Friday, 24 April 2009

Keeping the new car clean(-ish)

We decided we would try and keep the new car as free from mud and dog-hair as possible and so we bought seat covers. They are strictly utilitarian – serviceable, dull, slightly stiff and moisture-resistant. They are not very attractive but they do the job. The back seats are folded down to give the dogs more room and we put rubber mats and dog bedding in the now very capacious boot to absorb the worst of the wear and to make cleaning up more efficient.
It didn't seem to be enough; Buddy Liver Spots was as fond of resting his chin on the front headrests as he had been in The Heap while Frodo the Faller was still able to ruffle my hair with his nose and nudge my left ear. Jenna-the-Labrador could leap easily from back to front and back again as the fancy took her. Gentle Dominie just lay where she was placed, hoping the other dogs wouldn't tread all over her.
So we thought something more substantial was called for, something that would more effectively contain the dogs. Barry, with his usual acumen, sought out the best solution for us and it was serendipity that it was called the Boot Buddy! When it arrived a couple of days later we didn't unpack it immediately as we were in the throes of garden activities nor did we remove it from the hall. Buddy Liver Spots had got very excited when he thought we were going walking and, unable to open the porch door, he took out his frustration on the parcel. I saw what he had done as I passed through to collect some plants; I gasped and cleared away the chewed up corrugated paper and the bits of rubber and put the now rather chewed package in the dining room. Later, when Barry breezily suggested we set about constructing the Boot Buddy I had to tell him that Buddy Liver Spots had been at it. He was not happy! I showed him the fragments of rubber and to my amazement he shrugged off my concern and said that it was just the mat and didn't really matter. He was right. Buddy had torn bits off it but it was just along one edge. Great was my relief!
Eventually we built the boot liner and put it in the car. The rubber mats went in, the frayed edge hidden under a pristine mat, a pink candlewick cover (a bed covering from a previous era and now doing duty as dog bedding) went on top. It was time to take the dogs out. Frodo leapt up, Buddy clambered in, Jenna jumped up and over into the front and we lifted Dominie in. Her wheels went in last. It was great – no more slobber on our head rests – or our heads. The Dalmatians were safely contained and Jenna, being a working Labrador, is small enough to fit neatly in the passenger foot well.
We are pleased. Now we can quickly convert the dog carriage back into a people carrier should the need arise and we won't have to worry unduly about mud and hairs transferring from vehicle to humans.

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