By: Revanche

New dog, new car, say it ain’t so!

March 18, 2011

If you give Revanche a dog, 
then PiC must find a new car…

PiC might possibly be taking advantage of the situation, or he might just be reminding me of a few good points that have my head back on the desk. Either way, my nightmare of four years ago is coming back to haunt me.

We currently own my new-to-us car that we purchased in cash last year when I moved up here for a great bargain for the mileage and year. It’s a good old 4-door Acura, with seat warmers and a [crap] GPS [that I refuse to pay $100 to upgrade maps on because I cheap out on stupid things], and will last at least 150K miles.  It gets excellent highway mileage, so we’ve mainly used it for our road trips back to Southern California and for my tooling around town occasionally.

He owns a 2-door car, same age, also excellent condition, that gets good gas mileage, better than mine for street driving but worse for highway, and it’s fairly non-descript so we use it to get around the city. We just don’t like driving the “nice” car into the city, it feels too flashy.  The kicker here is that it’s a manual transmission which I can’t drive anymore as it causes too much pain.  Aggravating as it’s limiting.

The problems are that he doesn’t want the dog in my car: the seats are leather and a dog’s claws would go through that like butter. Most importantly, we both prefer to transport dogs in kennels – it’s safer for them in case of an accident, they would be better protected and less likely to be flung out of the car and that definitely wouldn’t fit in either of our cars.

With those conclusions, he’s decided that the time may have come to sell his trusty vehicle.  His choice, not mine. Mine could actually be sold for more than we bought it so I was willing, but he can’t let go of the seat warmers. 😉   Selfishly, I’m glad because I would have done it, but would have been sad to say goodbye.

PiC’s the car guy, so he’s narrowed down the options: not an SUV but it has to be something big enough for both transporting dogs and passengers.  [I think… I think he thinks we’re having kids? Or something?  Never mind that.]  It has to be low enough for a larger dog to get into fairly easily, it has to be easy to clean, it has to be within a certain price range, not that we have actually saved for a car yet —SIGH— and **heartburn**.

He’s narrowed it down to ….. the …… how many of you guessed this?

Flashback to The Nightmare of Yesteryear (2007)

He’s, after breaking my aesthetic heart a few times with the above, also suggested that perhaps the Pilot might be an option.  Le sigh.  And sigh again.  A new car?

I’m not 100% convinced.  While my preference is always to crate a dog in the car, I’ll have to be the first to admit that I’ve not been consistent with that in the past and it’s hard for me to commit to a new-to-us car straightaway based  solely on the new dog.  Seems heartless but there’s a part of me asking, now wait a minute – is this really totally necessary right now?  Just because you’re getting a dog doesn’t mean you need a matching (yes I’m exaggerating about the “matching” part) car.

We’re not in agreement yet, which means I haven’t said yes yet, and he’s not stopped looking yet.  It may be time to break out the negotiation dice to set parameters around when this would be reasonable.

The Morning After’s Important Details: I forgot to mention (thanks for reminding me Red!) that we’re not actually looking for a real new car. Just a new to us car – we only buy used. I forget to clarify that because in “our language” new = used. 

And he’s looking at newer cars model year 2009 for bargains[KBB $22K+, priced at $18K+] which is why I’m so balky. I don’t want to pull that much money out at once, and really don’t want a car loan.

16 Responses to “New dog, new car, say it ain’t so!”

  1. eemusings says:

    I greatly dislike leather seat and disagree with them in principle. But seatwarmers? That might make it bearable.

    Cars are the devil. (i say this never having owned one all of my own.) You have all my sympathies…

  2. Sense says:

    sorry, he wins in my opinion. (though i would agree to anything to get a puppy!) he has waited for this car, what, 4 years if your linked post is any indication, and it is a more than fair trade as changing up the vehicle accommodates your dream of getting a puppy (and more…?), which he adeptly noted and is using to his advantage. well played, sir!

    my friend and I were JUST talking about how luxury vehicles have the most ridiculous features, but I have to say I am a HUGE FAN of seatwarmers!!

    good luck compromising! I’m sure you’ll find a way to suit both of your dreams.

  3. I dunno… Sounds like PiC has some good points. Especially if you will be transporting the dog around. I guess it comes down to how much you cna sell his car for, the price of the new car and your budget.

    maybe you can both win?

  4. LOL! Here I thought I was the only human in the world who bought a Dog Chariot to accommodate her critters!

    Don’t forget: you’ll need to add the cost of the car in to your reckoning of the cost of dog ownership. That’s how I arrived at the figure of $40,000 for the lifetime cost of living with a German Shepherd and a greyhound. 😉

  5. c_vandoorn says:

    Ok, here is my non-pf perspective.

    Noooo don’t get an Element! Those are the worst cars ever. Not only are they fugly, they are super uncomfortable to drive. Especially the SC option. Very stiff and you can feel every little bump in the road. Seriously, that car can’t absorb any shock. Also if there’s any wind…the car will feel like it’s going to topple over. Not only that…the back seats are raised, like a on a bus!

    How do I know? I borrowed a friend’s for a few weeks when I was without my own car.

  6. Red says:

    I still can’t get behind leather seats, even with warmers. That only makes them bearable in the winter. What happens in the summer when the dang things sear the flesh right off your legs because they’ve been sitting in 80 degrees and sunlight all day? Ouch!

    PiC (and you) bring up some good points about kennels. I had never thought of that, because we only have cats and they’re always in their carriers. (Can’t stand them climbing all over the place while I’m driving!) Back in the day, I did take Libel out for car rides without his carrier, as I read online it helps make them comfortable with a car, so they’re not as much of a nightmare when you take them to the vet. We don’t do that anymore. Mom has a big german shepherd that she transports without a kennel, and after reading this post, that sounds extremely dangerous to me. But… Not my pet.

    From reading your other posts, I can tell you’re someone who takes pet ownership seriously and wants the best for your pets. In that case, you need to get a car that is appropriate for transporting a dog. If it’s too much to bear, maybe it’s too soon to get a puppy?

    I don’t know if I’d agree that it needs to be a NEW car. What’s wrong with shopping for a used car to replace PiC’s?

  7. payingmyself says:

    I don’t have anything to say about the new car debate, but wanted to commiserate about crappy GPSs on Acuras. Until a week or two ago we had a 2005 Acura TL – similar to yours with leather seats and heat warmers and the crappy GPS. When we lived in Halifax it was useless – it didn’t even recognize that anything past halfway through Quebec existed. B.’s parents recently got a new car and passed on their 2009 TL – haven’t had the chance to play with the GPS much but I’m hoping it’s been improved/updated.

  8. kh says:

    Interesting all the leather-seat-hating out there! 🙂 I actually love leather seats because they last longer and look better than cloth seats. They’re also easier to clean if you spill something on them (a very important detail for me, the klutz of the century). When you spill on leather you can wipe it up. When you spill on cloth it takes .02 seconds for it all to seep down into the seat itself and the smell comes back to haunt you on hot summer days.

    Speaking of summer, I also don’t think they sear your legs in the summer time (and I’m from the South, so I know from summer!). Of course Red’s a bit young to remember vinyl seats, which are my comparison for searing one’s thighs. 😉

  9. I will take whatever seats the car with the best price and mileage has.

    That said, leather is not my preference. I’m thinking of hot Texan weather burning up those seats and sticking to my legs.

  10. Revanche says:

    @eemusings: In my/our defense, the leather seats happened because we were looking for a good used car, and the seats only had to be in good condition. We cared about the mileage, the functionality, and seat material doesn’t even rank on the list.

    Cars are … exceedingly useful around CA. But purchasing one is not my idea of fun. Fun for PiC, though.

    @Sense: So, are you saying yes because it wins a dog? Because it doesn’t. The dog happens no matter what.

    But again, to clarify – the 4 years ago post was his car only, not a shared vehicle. Now it would be a shared vehicle. He didn’t actually need the car back then, nor did he need my buy-in. Now he does. 🙂 But yes. Well freakin’ played indeed.

    @AP: I can get around the seats thing. I can’t get around the safety thing. That was my OWN point. *kicks rocks*

    @FaM: We can start a club. I’ll try to stop pouting before we recruit new members. 🙂

    Poor dog. He’s running up an awfully high tab already.

    @c_vandoorn: THANK YOU. That put him off a bit. He likes the driving experience and having a bad one makes him sad. Maybe we can at least consider other cars too.

    @Red: My sweet darling Red. It’s SF. We get real, honest to goodness hot weather four days out of the year. (Hate.)

    But no, we didn’t pick leather a’purpose. It just happened to come with the best car for the lowest price with the least mileage.

    Also, we don’t care one way or the other because you stop caring about the seats the minute you grab the steering wheel and sear the flesh off your hands. That happens in every car in SoCal 😀

    @Payingmyself: oh my gosh, it’s NOT just us!

    @KH: They are marginally easier to clean – and it takes one HECK of a lot less scrubbing.

    And like I said, it’s not actually ever hot up here. Nor is it bad enough down in SoCal to me, anyway.

    @FB: Oh yes, windshield covers do wonders to keep the seats cool. They really work well.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to put in my two cents that I have a small car and it is a pain to put a large dog crate in the back even though I have four doors. My dog went through a phase where she absolutely refused to be crated and would constantly try to get in the front seat. So, to keep her, myself, and my seats safe, I bought a dog hammock (like this It protects the seats and keeps her in the back. It may be enough to protect your leather seats? My mom has leather seats in a van and she always just puts towels down when the dogs ride in it. I would personally say no to a new car just to transport dogs.

  12. Your PIC is exactly like my Poppa Star any major purchase wants from me follows by another major purchase wants from him so we always end up not getting anything at all :-/

  13. Liz L. says:

    The Element is an excellent dog chariot; we’re totally happy with ours. I have no idea what vandoorn is carrying on about. It is quite comfortable to drive, really well-suited for lugging home tons of stuff from Costco as well as ferrying the puppers about.

  14. Revanche says:

    @Anon: That’s a pretty cool seat protector.

    I’ve always done sheets or towels but they slip very easily.

    @counting all my stars: It can be a vicious cycle so we’re breaking it by working through how it fits into the budget.

    @Liz L: PiC likes a “fun” driving car, so I have a feeling c_vandoorn’s assessment will be in line with his. It doesn’t mean he won’t choose the more practical car anyway, just that he’s going to be a bit sad about it. 🙂

  15. Bought a subaru outback for our baby. And I had two dogs. Eh, we just strapped our babies into the backseat. now he rides in the trunk.

  16. So on the issue of the dog in the car.

    My dog is big (75 lbs) and for the first 9 months I had him in a smaller crate in the car. But I moved him to just being in the back seat without a crate. He just lays back there so it really isn’t an issue.

    Also, I have leather seats. And his nails to not puncture the leather. I actually PREFER the leather to the cloth seats because it is easier to clean.

    Mr Hive has a hatchback, and that works pretty nice because the dog just hops into the hatch and has his own little space where he’s well protected and also isn’t getting his dog hair on the cloth seats.

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