Great Dane in a Prius

This weekend our dear friend Rupert came to stay with us for the weekend. We haven’t had him over since we bought a Prius Wagon so I wasn’t exactly sure how the weekend would go. You see Rupert is a 135lb Great Dane.

I took comfort knowing that when Rupert was in rescue and being fostered, his foster Mom carted him around in a Volkswagen Bug.

For almost the last 8 years I have driven Toyota Highlanders. I needed a big car for my client dogs and later our rescue dogs.   On airport runs, I found I could fit the dogs and several crates. I also liked the Highlander for our personal road trips. We went to St. George, Utah a couple of times and there have been trips north of Santa Barbara and down south to La Jolla.

Both of my Highlanders were blue and I racked up the miles on them very quickly. They were very good cars. All I did was change the oil and rotate the tires until about 126,00 miles when they grew tired.  So that was about  250,000 miles on the two cars in just under 8 years. And also about $16,000 in gasoline.  That always nagged at me. Especially when prices rose as summer approached or there was crisis in the Middle East.

In April of 2011, I produced a campaign for Toyota and their advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. It was a live 20-hour webcast called Prius Records. I was delighted when I saw that one of the vehicles we were introducing was the Prius Wagon or the Prius V.

On the day of the technical rehearsal when the vehicles arrived I wasted no time slipping behind the wheel of the Prius V. I volunteered to drive it the short distance onto the stage. It was so adorable and futuristic. Roomier than I thought it would be. I knew then that I would one day become the owner of a Prius Wagon.

Last summer just a couple of days before the July 4th holiday weekend, our 2009 Highlander was having more than a few hiccups. My husband and I made a bold decision to go out and buy a Prius Wagon instead of throwing in another thousand dollars at our ailing Highlander. It was the best decision we ever made. We had to make some adjustments with our doggie loads but it’s been pretty painless. We’ve had up to 11 dogs and 2 people in the wagon. A combination of large and small dogs.

Unbelievably, we are spending half of what we used to spend on gasoline. We use more on Wednesdays and Sundays when we go up and down Doheny carrying 3 large Bulldogs. Generally, we get about 382 miles to the tank. One time we got 426 miles.We’ve gotten close to 400 a couple of times now.

We did also have what we called a “Prius Scare” — that was when we pushed the limit too far and ended up with no gasoline bars. We screamed all the way down Westridge Road until we got to the nearest gas station on Sunset Boulevard. Whew! Scariest roller coaster ride I had ever been on.

This weekend we put the seats down and got Rupert into the V just fine. We did a couple of hikes and yesterday we went to the Barrington Dog Park. People laughed when Rupert jumped out of the car. When we were leaving, my friend Scott came over to tell me everyone was watching “the lady get the Great Dane into the Prius.”

When people saw all the dogs hopping out of the Highlander they used to say,   “Your car is like a clown car.”

It still is a clown car but looks like Rupert and the Prius V have given me a new circus act to add to my repertoire.

When it still smelled like new (sigh).

When it still smelled like new (sigh).

The Big and the Small of the Prius V.

The Big and the Small of the Prius V.

Rupert Gets Comfy in the Prius.

Rupert Gets Comfy in the Prius.