Preparing for the Arrival

Do you know how many types of Nature’s Miracle are sold?

Damn, I didn’t either, and it’s the recommended brand. It comes in sprays, carpet shampoos, “accu-shot” squirt applicators with nozzles so phallic they gave me the giggles.

Then there’s the formulas… there’s “Stain and Odor Remover”, “Hard Floor Cleaner”, “Set-Stain Remover”, formulas for dogs, formulas for cats, lavender, fresh linen…

aaaaaaaand let’s not forget “Advanced Severe Mess…for the toughest severe messes of urine, diarrhea and vomit”… um… okay, yes, we really do wanna do this… we can handle it… just buy the basic and the advanced severe mess for good measure…

I went into full on nesting baby prep mode when we heard the pup’s arrival is October 13… holy crap, we’re visiting Blondie between now and then, work is insane and we need to PREPARE!

Thank GOD Beloved is retired and excited about this… so when I said we needed to pilgrimage to PetSmart, she readily agreed.

Hence standing in front of the wall of de-ponging products.

Normally I’d order from the Magnificent Monster Warehouse… nothing like one-click next day delivery for near-instant happiness. However, looking at the array of Kong chew toys (one of the approved toys), I started reading the reviews.

Someone confirmed the nagging fear I foster, borne of articles in the WSJ, Business Insider and others.

“…this KONG is not an authentic KONG. It’s definitely a knockoff product that smells like chemicals/tires…”

Oh, HELL no. No freaking WAY is our new pup having some fake-o disintegrating mass of unnamed toxins molded into a trash chew toy. Someone else talked about their ordered toy getting lodged on the pup’s teeth and needing cutters to get it off, terrifying the hound in the process.

Not only am I not subjecting any animal to that, Guide Dogs of America (GDA), the provider of the pup, is quite specific in what the puppy is and isn’t allowed…and while they don’t cite it in so many words, I’m pretty darn sure they don’t want these dogs gnawing on toxic waste of unnamed origin.

For anyone who hasn’t heard the news yet, our new puppy is a foster… s/he is headed for a career as either a guide dog for the blind (the most elite due to how much is required of the dog – they have to be able to decide for themselves to refuse a command that would put the handler in danger, for example) or a service dog for autistic children or vets with PTSD.

So we’ve heard we’ll pick up the pup on the 13th, and the litter’s group name letter is M. There’s five boys, one girl in the lab litter, so odds on we get a male. More testosterone in the house…

As the puppy raisers are permitted to name their baby (after approval by GDA), we’re hoping we can use the name Marley. A friend of mine had a Marley, who passed away a year ago, so it’s a nice memorial, and it’s a great name.

Blondie: “you know… there’s a movie with a dog with that name? Marley and Me?”

Me: yeah, I remember something about that, but never seen it.

“Um… well, only watch it if you wanna bawl your eyes out.”

Huh. How’s that for a hard pass. There’s far too much misery in the world lately to pay money to subject myself to more. It’s like horror flicks – $12 to have nightmares is no bargain, as far as I’m concerned.

So Wednesday night is our first monthly meeting, when we get to see the GDA Sylmar campus. 7:00pm. Hooray!… until we realized we’re headed to Blondie’s on Thursday.

Beloved, Granny and I are taking yon Bolt up to see her in Northern CA. With a gas vehicle, it’s about 12 hours. With the electric vehicle, requiring at least three or four 45 minute fueling stops, we’re looking at a good 15, so we’re leaving well before Sparrowfart. I’m one of those nutcases who function well in the early morning, so off we tootle.

Being an early-morning riser, 8:30 – 9 pm is primo snoozy time. With this 7 pm meeting, o noooo… Still, it’s super important so off we go.

Alternatively, we could take the SUV, but where’s the fun in that? I wanna see if we can head up using electricity, especially since

a) we’ll start out running on sunshine because of our solar at home and

b) there’s a smattering of free stations around the place (I love free fuel)

c) it’s so much more environmentally friendly and

d) its a fun car to drive.

For anyone who’s heard about the Chevy Bolts that offer complimentary barbecues (there are some garages and apartments actually refusing to allow Bolts to park there)… seriously, people. They’ve had 12 smokin’-hot cars, out of more than 141,000 vehicles produced – and most of those have been 2017 – 2019 with defective batteries.

We have a 2021, and while yes, it’s theoretically possible the car could spontaneously combust, I don’t use the driving practices that put the car at highest risk.

And… um… our other car is a 2016 RAV4, which the NTSB is also investigating due to spontaneous fire, but you don’t hear jack about that. I mentioned that this morning after looking it up – Beloved’s reaction: Um… really? (Giggle).

Toyota’s had 11 of those flaming vehicles in model years 2013 – 2018 – one less than Chevy.

Now, I’ll grant you, Toyota’s got 1.9 million of those little creampuffs on the road, compared to Chevy’s paltry number, but either way, put it into a regular calculator and both ratios will come back with E because the result is too small for it to calculate. You gotta break out Excel or your HP if you want a percentage that tinky.

So back to el perro. We’re getting ready…

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