Monday, February 19, 2007

Snippety snip

My dear poochie Kodos is now 8 months old, and has entered adolescence. Thus, he has become a butt-head. Lucky for him, he is an incredibly cute--nay, beautiful butt-head Just look:

Could you stay mad at him for making a 6" diameter gouge in the drywall? (picture here--he enlarged it the next day.) I didn't think so.

I have a 3-pronged plan to combat this obnoxiousness
  1. Try and get to the dog park more often, so as to exercise the demons (hah!) out of him.
  2. Starting March 12 (yikes--that's my wedding anniversary!) we re-do basic obedience over at Noelle Ritter's. This time, no kids--just me. Fewer distractions.
  3. On March 9th, K goes in for neutering.
It is arguably early for the neutering (a lot of the advice I've seen is to wait until a year, in order to give them a chance to get their last hormone-induced growth in) but I'm willing to risk it to keep him from developing pushy and/or destructive habits. I have a hard time imagining him morphing into anything short of his current breathtakingly beautiful state. Not that I'm biased or anything... ;-)


With our latest addition to the family, we have been feeling a bit cramped in our current vehicles (a '99 Accord and '91 Civic). Thus, we are car shopping. We would like to be able to bring Kodos on various trips with us, and the days of us all getting into the Accord are long gone.

Now, having successfully avoided the minivan ('cause we're hep, man--thanks for asking) through the addition of 2 children to the family, we are fairly eager to keep doing so. Which means either station wagon or SUV. But Dear Wife is allergic to station wagons, and let's face it, she does like 80% of the driving, so I guess it's SUV-city for us.

The problem is that we've always been small-car people, and in particular, Honda people (I've never owned a non-Honda in my life). So naturally we have looked at the CR-V, the Element, and even the Pilot. Of the 3, the Pilot most captured my imagination. I have this fantasy that my brother would actually come out to visit us someday w/his family of 4, and since the Pilot seats 8, we could host them & all move about in one vehicle. I also have this fantasy that my sister would come out to visit someday, but she's got 6 in her family, so there's no way to avoid multiple vehicles.

But anyway, dang is that Pilot expensive--about double what we paid for the Accord in fact. So that's looking like a pipe-dream at this point.

The others are okay--the CR-V is actually quite nice, and a nice size. The fatal flaws on that are a) no 3rd-row seat at all and (this is silly, but it matters to me) b) no built-in aux jack so we can listen to our mp3 players in the car. To quote Lindsay Bluth "what are we, Amish?"

The Element has its funky look (which we both like) but it's a tad bit utilitarian for the money, and it won't hold all 4 of us plus the dog in the back. So that's out.

So... last Saturday we strayed across the street to the Toyota dealership (heresy!) and tried out the new RAV-4. Loved it! It gets decent mileage, is not outlandishly large, and yet you can still get it with fold-away 3rd row seats for 2. So it would hold 7 people in a pinch (w/close to no luggage or legroom, mind you, but sometimes that's enough). The salesdude even let us drive it home to test how it fit in our garage (no problems). We like. I have ordered the Consumer Reports price report on it, and will devise my strategy for getting a good price on it.

While we were there, we also looked at the Highlander. We like that one (and in fact daughter Annelise likes it better than the RAV-4, b/c it's got a bigger back for hiding in) quite a bit too. What makes it less of an attraction to us is that you have to choose between getting good gas mileage (e.g., get the hybrid) and fitting > 5 people in it. That is, you can't get a 3rd row seat on the hybrid (I believe because that space is taken up by all the batteries). So we'll see how it goes. It's conceivable to me that we'd settle for a non-hybrid Highlander if it's too tough to get a good price on a RAV-4. Wish us luck...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Getting big!

From Kodos
Kodos is 7 months old now, and has taken to resting his head on my keyboard tray while I'm working. This is cute, except when he's waiting for me to share food with him (as in the pic above), at which time he creates a slippery condition on my mouse pad. But I can't fault his patience.

As you can see, he is distractingly beautiful. ;-) His adult coat is almost all the way in, and it is gorgeous--curly and lustrous. I have woefully neglected his grooming since my one ill-fated attempt at an ear-trim which resulted in drawing blood. Poor guy--I almost wished he'd bit me for it, I felt so guilty. I promptly gave him a thing of leftover roast beef and all was forgiven. But he's skittish around me when I've got cutting implements, and I can't blame him. I think I will let the fur go au natural, and will just try to focus on brushing and nail trimming for a while.

We have discovered the fenced-in, off-leash area at local Raab park. Kodos loves it! We've been twice now. The first time, there was an ornery bulldog who growled & snapped at K, which was a bit scary. But his owner removed him from the park
right away and the rest of the visit was a hoot.

Kodos spent a bunch of time playing w/a gorgeous husky named Keetna (sp?), who literally vaulted back and forth over him. Such energy! It was a blast seeing all the different breeds playing together. There was a little Italian Greyhound that had the energy of a hummingbird--so fast!

The funniest thing that happened was, after getting tired out playing w/Keetna, Kodos took up w/an adorable chihuahua-doxie mix named Troy. Troy would bounce up and down on his hind feet, which brought him just about to K's face level. Kodos pranced around a bit, careful not to step on Troy, and then sat down. Well, as soon as he did, Troy promptly ran around to K's rear, mounted him, and started humping away. I just about fell over laughing. The whole time K has this confused look on his face like "what? do I have something stuck in my fur or something?". I don't think K even felt him back there. Hah!

We had one other amusing thing happen since the last post. We had a big windstorm, which knocked down a section of the fence between our backyard and that of our neighbors, who own a skittish little miniature pinscher named Lucky. Lucky is a frequent visitor to our back yard, since even before the wind storm, he can easily squeeze through the opening where 2 fences meet.

Well, Kodos was naturally loving his expanded domain during the time before my neighbor went and fixed up the fence. The neighbors like Kodos, so that wasn't an issue. But more than once we looked out and saw him w/his head stuck into their pet door, no doubt barking his fool head off. "Can Lucky come out to play?" Fat chance--with your head blocking his way out.