A Dog’s New Car

I bought a new car in April. Well, technically, I bought an old car and, technically, it’s an SUV. We call it a “truck” around here, though, because when referencing a thing it’s easier to use the one-syllable, simplistic derivative than the three-syllable acronym. Ironically, we called my original SUV – the 1998 Dodge Durango Magnum V8 I drove around for 15 years – the “big dog.”

Mrs C would say, for example: “Are we taking my car or the big dog?”

That question never comes up now. The new “big dog” – a 2004 Chevy Tahoe – isn’t for taking. For one thing it’s a gas guzzler that probably affords me 12 mpg, at best. I mean, have you seen the gas prices? I’m sure you have since it’s all the red-hats talk about these days. With Joe doing an above average job running the nation despite pandemic-driven, supply chain inflationary pressures “have you seen the gas prices?!” is all they’ve got.

I never mind gas prices, as an aside. It’s hard to say how much more I’m spending on gas right now because of the nature of my budget spreadsheet but I’d say it’s somewhere in the $40/month range for all cars total. I’m spending about $10 a week more on gas, it seems. About two beers at a bar plus tip’s worth. A couple of Starbucks coffees. About four times as much as I spend on my Sirius XM subscription which I listen to exactly 16 minutes/day.

My commute to work is 8 minutes. My commute back is also 8 minutes. That’s all my radio time.

Not to say that I’m not sympathetic to the problem. We’ve built a civilization dependent on petrol fuel, taken almost everything we can from the bottom wage earners in society, funneled that money upwards to make the extreme rich richer and richer, and work very hard to keep the downtrodden down. When a staple of their daily needs – fuel or food – spikes in price it causes greater hardship at the bottom and greater profits at the top exactly the way we set it up. The answer, obviously, isn’t to drill more oil or destroy sacred lands with pipelines but to fix the basic setup of society by distributing the gains we all accomplish together as a society to more of its constituents. We could use the billions trapped at the top to all but erase the pressure of $10 a week at the bottom. Crazy, huh?

But enough of the aside, I came here to talk about my new old car. It is, as I said, a 2004 Chevy Tahoe, black (of course), and nice looking with some obvious wear. Wear doesn’t bother me since I didn’t buy it to be a show car. I bought it for a very specific reason:

Never. Gets. Old.

From the moment I sold my old Durango and realized the 2017 Limited Edition Star Wars Nissan Rogue One was never going to be a dog car, I realized I had made a mistake. In the five years since I have been searching for a new dog car. Well, more like 2 years, since the 2017 Limited Edition Star Wars Nissan Rogue One was a three-year lease and I wanted to finish that up before committing to another vehicle (or two). As you know, when I turned the 2017 Limited Edition Star Wars Nissan Rogue One back into the dealer – happily, because it had to go to the body/repair shop three times in the first year – I bought my wife a black 2020 Honda Civic EX Sedan and took over driving her old one.

That one’s still a good car and I drive it for exactly 16 minutes every day. When we go places together, which we ought to do more now, we never ask “are we taking the old 2004 Honda Civic EX Sedan or the 12 mpg 2004 Chevy Tahoe Sport Utility Vehicle today?” we just simply both jump into the 2020 Honda Civic EX Sedan and off we go.

The picture above of the boys sticking their heads out the window at the gas station is from 2017 in the Durango, of course. That’s Moxie and Ludo, before the coming of him:

Pop, it’s Sunday, let’s do something!

It is my fervent wish to recreate that picture above with the new old SUV, which I might end up simply calling “the Beast.” But I’ve had to do some fine-tuning to get it dog-ready.

“The Beast”

Besides, it still mostly scares the hell out of one of them.

Ludo and Moxie kind of enjoy it, having had the experience of the Durango prior. Marvel fears it as some sort of elaborate trap he has not yet mastered how to escape.

Such is life.

So, one of the important things that has happened to me in the last few months – besides realizing that I have somehow contracted benign paroxysmal positional vertigo – is that I bought my dogs a car.

They love it.

Or they will.

Once they figure out what it’s for. 😁

19 thoughts on “A Dog’s New Car

  1. Those lovely boys will figure it out soon enough. Maybe a well placed piece of bacon would help move things along. As for gas prices I suppose the amount of pinch you feel depends on the amount you travel. We’ve cut back dramatically on that lately so it hasn’t been too bad. But I do need to fill my oil guzzling furnace tanks before winter and just discovered the price has gone up $2 a gallon to $5.65. Filling 550 gallons means an $1,100 increase from last year. Now that hurts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it does! Ouch. But, yeah, I don’t mean to be dismissive about the whole thing; the price of fuel affects all of us and all of the economy. I do disagree that Cool Joe is responsible for the recent spike and also disagree with the red-hat solutions to the quagmire. But, bacon, yes, I should have thought of that! Bacon, as they say, solves everything. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t blame Joe. I fault the highly subsided and profit driven oil companies. Coincidence prices rise when the administration is environmentally friendly Democratic and fall dramatically when it’s regulation free Republican? I think not.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dog’s n’ cars. “Go?” WOOF!

    I wonder about 20th century 1st world nation suburbanites and their fixation with cars.
    “Jeremiah, you don’t need another damn horse.”
    “It’s there, just in case.”
    “In case of what?”
    “Well, the others are for work, and the mare is yours…”
    “In case of what?”
    “In case I need to, I don’t know, ‘get away’?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! I don’t understand the fixation, either, I’m not even a car guy. I didn’t know my Chevy was a “Tahoe” when I purchased it only that it was a big, black SUV with reasonable miles and seats that fold all the way down flat for the dogs. When my boss, who is a car guy, asks me what kind of vehicle a certain customer was driving when they came in I usually say something like “I think a blue one?”

      But, for the sake of argument, I really do need three cars for the five of us. A super-reliable one to put my wife in, so she never breaks down, an older, paid-for commuter car with good gas mileage for me to drive 16 minutes every day, and a big one to fit the three dogs.

      See, perfectly normal family. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hopefully Marvel will love it when he realizes that the car is a way to get to a place where you can do something, and that even the journey itself can be at least as much fun as the destination. Or not. Ours don’t particularly enjoy the ride but they happily get in the car because they know it means they get to go somewhere.
    As for fuel prices, yes, we really need to entirely reshape the structure of our society and focus on renewables. Some days I think 2015 can’t get here fast enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What is it with dogs and cars? All we have to do is say to Atlas, “Do you want to go for a ride?” and he just about leaps out of his skin with excitement! And Joe isn’t running things up here but our gas prices are outrageous as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Tom,
    Congrats on the new SUV (not to be confused with SVU, which I always do. That can be so embarrassing!) I’m sure your pups think you’re the best Dad/Human ever…especially if you provide extra bacon on the side! So David and I are now on a fixed income and if it were just fuel prices that have gone up, that wouldn’t be such a big deal, but it’s the price of food, utilities and other essentials that’s adding up in ways that have become scary. We will figure it out, we always do, but it pains me that I can’t even get a soft drink these days at places we’ve frequented for the last 30 years for less than $3.00, which means one less small luxury in life has gone by the wayside. Ugh. I know, I’m whining about a first world annoyance, but whenever one has to give up something, there’s a period of adjustment, including a grieving period. Trust me, we’re continuing to give up a ton and feeling the pinch along with so many others! Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mona! There is no doubt that we are all feeling the pinch; we have a global surge in demand, a global dearth in supply, and an outsized measure of greed in play. We should invest in renewables and work to reallocate resources from those who have far more than they need to those who struggle to meet their basic necessities. Or just need a coke. 😉

      Hope you and David are doing well otherwise. Hang in there, and vote for progressive change as many times as you can, and encourage others to do the same!

      Liked by 1 person

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