by laurafrombaltimore

What pets do you have? What do you like best about them? What drives you nuts?

I’ve recently posted about fostering kittens, and about how in the process I was adopted by a rescue cat who was missing a leg (thanks to some pitiful excuse for a human being who thought it would be fun to shoot her). We have now taken “Shelly”* home, and here are the first pictures of her making herself at home in the kids’ dump zone. She is sort of ridiculously sweet and friendly given what she went through.

*”Shelly” is what the shelter named her. Please give us some better ideas, we’re running low on creativity.




111 thoughts on “Pets!

  1. Frida Kahlo was an amputee at the end of her life, as was Zsa Zsa Gabor. Do you want Totebag cred or pop cred? The name we did not end up using for our female cat, Katniss, was Khaleesi. Since “Shelly” is obviously going to be empress of the house, that might be appropriate, although she looks a bit more gentle than the Targaryen representative in the mad queen competition (Game of Thrones).

  2. Laura, that cat is so adorable!

    We have no pets. DH and I had a cat pre-kids, but he died, and we didn’t replace him because our nanny (who was basically part of our family during the years we had her) was horribly allergic to cats. We don’t have a nanny any more, but there hasn’t been enough enthusiasm among our family members to get a new cat.

    DD, however, has been advocating for a dog for years. We might just cave when she’s old enough to take on significant care duties on her own (she’s a real animal lover, and I do think that she would be be an involved pet owner). I’m intimidated by the idea because I’ve never owned a dog before. Any recommendations for dog breeds that would be good for a nervou first-time dog owner?

  3. Meme l love your name ideas. I was just recently reading about Kahlo and I didn’t know about Zsa Zsa. I seem to remember reading that Khaleesi had become popular as a girl’s name.

  4. Cat names can be very hard – we tend to get to know them a bit and then name them. We currently have four that we named: Sally (lynx point almost 11), Panther (all black 9), Tim (tabby almost 4), and Ivy (seal point almost 2). The first three are oriental shorthairs and the last one is at least part apple head siamese. Then, we took my mom’s cat after she passed – Madeline (grey with white paws domestic shorthair about 10) and Jax (the outside ferral, who never comes in and adopted us, is an orange and white tabby about 13).

    Yes, we are beginning to look like a cat lady house. Jax has a small roaming area and has several caregivers. Just recently he has started spending a little less time here, but that means he found someone with younger kids who treat him well. He likes attention. Sally, has a fall about 2 years ago and two weeks ago broke a fang and had to have some teeth removed. She has very few teeth left, but is still super sweet.

    Our biggest problem is the clashes between Madeline and Tim, who both see DD#1 as their main human. When Tim gets angry he starts to pee in inappropriate places. This is currently driving me nuts. The rest all get along. Losing their human to college next year, may create a larger problem.

    Missed reading the topics last week as DD#1 and I did the northeast college visit circuit.

  5. NoB,

    Do not get a border collie. They are wonderful dogs, smart, obedient and really want to please their owners. They also need LOTS and LOTS of exercise everyday to stay sane. We have three border collies, and they are great dogs. The younger two (eight months and six years old) spend their days herding tractors and keeping people company. The older one (eleven years old) lays around half the day. Unless you have time and space to let them run miles every day, pick another breed.

  6. It is a standard life passage for parents of a girl 11 to 13 to finally cave and get a small pedigreed dog “since she is old enough to care for it”. In most of the cases, very soon it becomes Dad’s (or occasionally Mom’s) responsibility, since high school schedules mean the early morning walk would eat into precious adolescent sleep time, the evening walk homework and extra curricular time, and then the kid goes off to college anyway. With a work from home mom, there will be a midday walk as well that is her responsibility, and the groomer visits, and the vet visits. If you have sufficient property to set up a fenced dog run in the back yard, with a small dog you can avoid the walk, and just have the cleanup. This is such a common story that I have heard it many times from my friends, all with very responsible girls. If you get a regular sized dog (I assume a BIG dog is not what you want) or a shelter mutt longer walks are mandatory for the animal’s health, and even some of the non toy terriers need the stimulation of proper walks. Dogs above toy or small size are often crate trained for sleeping and if they are in the house alone for long stretches often have a zoned area in the rec room where they stay to avoid damage in the entire house.

    Rhett had, and probably still does have, a couple of tiny dogs in his downtown condo – French bulldogs or something of that size. He can tell you what it takes to care for them. A friend had a maltese that was trained to a litter box in the daytime. Feh.

    You have met my cats. Why go over to the dark side?

  7. Austin, how did the trip go? :)

    We have no pets. #1 is allergic to dogs (woohoo!) so we don’t have to get one. I wouldn’t mind a cat (to get the mice, partially) but I suspect #1 is also allergic to cats w/ long hair so it would have to be a short-hair one and DH doesn’t want any pets at all, so I am fine not getting one. #1 child is also the animal lover and now is advocating for getting a bunny. Sigh. I am also fine with that IF I don’t have to take care of it…no idea how good she will actually be with it.

  8. We have a black lab named Abby and that’s one of the first words Baby WCE could say. During my “bad day” last week, we found out she has a mast cell tumor and surgery is scheduled for September. Thankfully,the university veterinary lab is good and I expect an accurate analysis and prognosis. She spends her days in our half acre yard. Mr WCE is a dog person. I’m not, but I can now imagine enjoying the company of a pet in old age.

    At church camp, I was watching my boys move constantly during campfire time when the other children were exhausted and thought, “I got the border collies.” And Finn, the problem with the dishwasher was the motor.

  9. I mentioned before that I foster dogs for a rescue organization. I really enjoy this, and it gives me the opportunity to help dogs, as well as to have a dog without owning one.

  10. We don’t have any pets. I would enjoy having a cat or two but DH and DS are allergic. DD and DS would like a dog – but since we have a small yard and all four of us are gone from the house for most of the day, it doesn’t seem fair to a dog for us to own one. Our neighbors recently got a puppy and DS has been hanging out at their house quite a bit this summer playing with the puppy. It’s the best of all worlds – DS gets all the fun of a dog and none of the responsibility.

  11. We also have a cat. Or maybe the cat has us. It likes to leave the house at 2:00 am and generally requires one of the kids to let it out. It generally wants to come in at 4:00 and knocks on my door so that I know to let it in. It lays around all day, but will let us pick it up and adore it. Its friendly time is right before school, when it flops over and expects to be petted.

    DD1 is allergic to dogs (we think). After she plays with the dogs, her hands and arms get red and itchy. I have suggested not playing with the dogs, but she doesn’t think that is a good idea.

  12. French bulldogs

    You’ll note that along with pugs the recommendation is “vigorous exercise is not recommended.” They just want to nap and snuggle with a daily leisurely stroll.

  13. L – The trip went well overall and pretty must as I expected. DD#1 found Penn State to be large and overwhelming. While she hasn’t said it, she seems to be leaning toward to the R-1 state flagship in our town as her option for a very large school – (1) because it is much easier to get to and (2) the campus and city are more familiar. She loved Rensselaer, she could relate to what some of the students talked about, and liked the Troy/Albany area; only drawback is the cold weather. She liked a lot of what she saw/heard at WPI, but the drawback, in addition to the cold, is they focus on a lot of hands on project work. But, she said she could see herself at either of them.

    The guidance counselor wants 6 schools. We now have 4. She also liked UTD that we visited earlier in the spring. It is also an R-1, but smaller with roughly 25,000 students. It tends to be a commuter school, but the campus feel is much smaller.

    School started today and she is going to make an appointment with the counselor for later this week or early next week to talk with her about what she might consider to round out her 6.

  14. Meme, I love cats, and I would be very happy getting a cat for a pet rather than a dog. However, DH and DD seem to think that a pet isn’t a real pet unless that pet is a dog; they’re really not interested in another cat. DS, for his part, is kind of “meh” on the whole idea of any kind of pet. So who knows what will happen. “No pet” might end up being the best option for us.

  15. We adopted a puppy two and a half weeks ago on my oldest’s 10th birthday – her name is Ruby. My oldest DD has been begging for 5 years and we finally decided just to do it. I’m exhausted (puppy has kennel cough so is keeping us up a bit coughing) but she is now sleeping through the night so I’m anticipating some more sleep soon. We were under no illusions that the kids as a whole would be helpful, but the ten year old does take her out and on walks when she gets home from school (so far) and I like anything that gets that one to go outside more. I actually wanted a dog that needed a good amount of exercise as it forces me to walk. And my DH who was opposed to getting the dog is completely besotted with her. I think it’s a bit de-stressing for him.

  16. Stay away from German Shepherds or Malinois. Very smart dogs, but need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Consider getting a dog that is at least 1-2 years old. Usually already housebroken/crate trained and at the end of the chewing phase.

  17. AustinMom – It sounds like a very productive trip.

    WCE, I’m sorry about Abby and I hope she has a full recovery.

  18. NoB – AKC has a questionnaire on their website about what type of dog you should get (like how much exercise you want to do, etc.) and then it spits out some breed recommendations.

  19. I like to adopt older dogs. They don’t chew stuff, they are usually potty trained, and they don’t need a ton of exercise.

  20. Austin and Becky: Dropping DS off at college tomorrow. Having too many conversations about what is appropriate to bring. DS wanted to bring a burnt orange sleeping bag to fish camp. He claims that people won’t care. Ha! He is also debating whether it’s ok to bring other college’s t shirts to his new college. I basically told him to listen to me because I’m his mom.

  21. Related to adopting a dog – While I support adopting from a shelter or rescue group, be aware that with puppies determining the “breed” or “size” involves a bit of guess work if there is minimal information on the parentage of the puppies. Also, research the illnesses associated with purebreds. This is another area you can run into surprises if you haven’t done your research.

    If you like the temperment of a dog, but think you’d prefer a cat, check out the oriental shorthairs. Most are very people oriented and want to be involved with everything you do. However, it is not a good idea to leave them alone for long periods without a companion (furry or human). They hardly shed as their fur is so short, but the are sensitive to cold – ours often sleep on a heated whelping pad in the house all year round.

  22. We are not a pet family. I like cats but am fairly allergic, and DH is terrified of them. I am terrified of dogs, and DH is ambivalent. DS is not really into animals (probably nurture not nature there), so no one is begging for a dog or any other pet in our house.

    I enjoy looking at pictures of other people’s pets & properly gush over my canine “nephews”. But please, please do not expect me to get friendly with your dog up close. I will admire from afar, preferably on Instagram. ;)

    “He is also debating whether it’s ok to bring other college’s t shirts to his new college. ”

    What was the verdict? I say yes, but that eventually he will build up a stash of those for his own and probably stop wearing them often.

  23. Ivy: I said “no”, because his college has a reputation for being a bit intense about these types of things. He has other t-shirts, so it’s not a hardship. If he were going to a SLAC, I would not care.

  24. Rhett – For the advance purchase price it was definitely enjoyable. On the way out I had the solo suite cabin, which is fabulous. Lots of room to spread out and shelves on both sides, room to work, privacy. Of course in the seats immediately before me a late 30s tech boss/owner returning to San Francisco along with the smart attractive female subordinate never shut up talking about himself, how great he is, his equally hard charging wife, new baby, etc. She listened dutifully. Nothing ever changes in life. It was not an overnight flight, so no norm violation here. I used earplugs and headphones to get a little nap. The food was pretty good. Not Europe/Asian front of plane quality. Toscanini’s ice cream for dessert. Espresso machine.

    On the way back it was an early redeye – take off at 8:30 pm. I chose the interior bunk in a two across (last minute trip – the solos were all taken). I did have an even more last minute seat mate – a wealthy tanned late 50s guy who had to fly back to Boston with an elderly Yorkie on his lap who needed to see her vet pronto – (one of the middle school girl dog purchase stories) . Dog was perfect and no one told him to keep her in the carrier. Not as much room and not individual pods so definitely better if you are traveling with your own choice of companion, but I went right to sleep for the available 4 plus hours, lights were out, woke up for a cuppa coffee and they gave me a bag with a hot cream cheese bagel and a water to go. Landed at 5:15 am refreshed enough to drive to the Cape from Logan before traffic.

  25. Houston – It sounds like your DS is going to a large school a bit north of you and east of me. If so, that is my alma mater. I would definitely leave the burnt orange anything at home unless it is clearly his high school’s color as well as includes that logo, crest, team name, etc. Anything that is another shade of orange is passable. Other college’s t’shirts – not to fish camp. To wear otherwise during the year, likely not a big deal. But, I would bet you that even if he took them, he would not wear them, or would wear them as an underlayer.

    From my experience BITD, fish camp was a wonderful experience!

    I agree it is hard when you have to play the “mom” card because they are being hard headed!

  26. L – rabbits are nice, and they are less work than dogs, but be aware that it’s sort of like having miniature horses (hay, poop) that also like to chew furniture. Perhaps do not keep them in the more elegantly furnished rooms in L’Abbey.

  27. “The guidance counselor wants 6 schools.”

    And if she stands pat at 4, what’s the consequence? No services from guidance? IME, it’s better to have 4 solid-candidate schools at this point, possibly adding more in the next month or so.

  28. We’re a cat family, have had many over the years. Currently just have one, a 15 year old female. We tried getting a dog about two years ago, a really cute pug/terrier mix, and he just would not leave the cat alone. The cat is declawed (we adopted her that way, we didn’t do it) so she couldn’t fight back.

  29. Fred – At the last visit with the counselor before school ended, DD#1 had 6 on the list. It was sort of a hectic year end and DD#1 never followed up with the “assignment” of which do you think are reach, attainable, and safety along with do you have at least one of each.

    In the meantime, campus visits have knocked her list down to 4. Given that she is interested in computer science and/or engineering, which are competitive at her current 4, and two are private which are only doable with some merit money thrown in, it seems prudent to add to the list of schools to explore.

    The counselor has been helpful and will follow up, but she always makes time for those who seek her out. In fact, based on one of DD#1’s initial choices, the counselor suggested she look at another school that DD#1 had discounted without much thought. That school has now ended up in her current 4. Plus, it always helps when it is a “third party” and not a parent that is suggesting almost anything.

  30. OK, Louise, that’s really funny, because since I wrote this, the name has been decided: she is Gertrude McFuzz. Directly from Dr. Seuss (my first “grown-up” cats were Sam-I-Am and Max from “Where the Wild Things Are,” and it seemed appropriate to go back). Had no idea there was a patron saint involved! I think objectively, we preferred Sylvester McMonkey McBean, but she’s a girl, and I didn’t want to go to three names since the vet will add mine to the end of it. She is almost completely healed from her surgery and settling in well, although still skittish — loveslovesloves to be petted, but will skitter away when you come into the room. Our other two are Bevo (big orange tabby) and Taylor (name inherited when we got her from the shelter at @7-8 yrs old, and we didn’t want to throw her off by changing it).

    Meanwhile, our menagerie continues to grow. DD’s summer job requires that she take home one of the animals over the school year to care for; the last few years, it was a bearded dragon. This year we managed to avoid the snake (me: “talk to dad. But NO animals, live or dead, in my fridge or freezer.”), but I agreed to the turtles. Meanwhile, DS has been asking for years, “why can’t I get a lizard, too?” I have been putting him off (“because your sister’s goes BACK every summer”), but DH has a soft spot for lizards. So come fall, I am guessing we will be adding a gecko to the family (because if we have to have a lizard, I am a total sucker for little sticky gecko feet).

    @Houston: good call.

  31. LfB – Um…we avoided lizards/geckos, because of the cats. The DDs saw what happened when the cats caught the ones that wander in from outside. Unless it is big enough to intimidate the cat, in which case, it is likely too big for me to deal with.

  32. @houston/Austin – Oh that makes perfect sense. Yeah – rival college shirts are maybe different from generic “other colleges”! Fish camp is orientation of some sort, I’m gathering?

  33. @Austin: don’t worry, the lizard will be in DS’ room, where the cats are not allowed (DS has slight cat allergies, so we keep his room completely cat-free).

  34. Ivy – Yes, fish camp (freshman=fish) is an off-campus at a camp, I think still 4 day, orientation of sorts with you and about 100-150 other fish. You learn about campus life, traditions, and can meet other students. It helps to avoid signing up with people you already know, IMO.

  35. L — outside bunnies have a much shorter lifespan than inside bunnies. . An outdoor run is a great thing, especially if you can have it fully enclosed since there are more birds of prey in your area, but I would recommend finding a place indoors for them to live most of the time. Just not where your nice furniture is! Somewhere that you can sweep easily and put up pet gates to keep them out of the rest of the house (not that they have to be out all the time, but your kids are going to want to have them out running around when they’re playing with them).

  36. Plus, it always helps when it is a “third party” and not a parent that is suggesting almost anything.

    This is pretty much rule #1 with parenting.

  37. LFB — Odd, but I looked again including in my spam folder and cannot find the second pic. If you’d like to re-send I can still add it to the post or comments.

  38. Speaking of college and pets, this was our weekly Skype session with son in college. I think he missed the dogs more than any other family members.

  39. That’s going to be my son and our alpha bunny when he (son) goes off to college.

  40. I am just not a dog person. My H and kids really own our two dogs, a Westie named Ziggy and an oversized Cairn Terrier (not sure if he’s a mutation or if the breeder scammed us) named Riley. They like to lie around most of the day but they do get in their exercise running around in the back yard a few times a day. Yes, the puppy stage can be a lot of work.

  41. I may have already shared, when my kids are not at home. They text me anything – often just the word “alive” – and I am to respond with a cat picture. I am pretty certain they miss the cats more than the people at home.

  42. We don’t have any pets. DD would love to have a dog. It is the Meme story 1000%. I cant say yes because the other half of Meme’s post is also 1000% correct. I will get stuck taking care of this oh so cute tiny dog that she wants.

    My husband is highly allergic to cats and dogs. We spent a lot of time with our neighbors this summer while the kids were away. His eye completely closed up one time, and he couldn’t stop sneezing at another house. Bottom line, we are not getting a dog even though we do think it would be great for DD because of allergies, work etc.

    So many of our neighbors have dogs, so I’ve learned to like most of them. I’m not a fan of pets. I get it, but I just don’t want the expense, work, clean up or hair.

    She is back home and I’ve already done a lot of laundry. She has exactly 3 weeks until school starts so plenty of time to shop for supplies and enjoy friends. Our school doesn’t release schedules until later this week so it’s difficult to finish school supply shopping since each teacher has slightly different stuff.

  43. Off topic — Finn and HM, do you have a dog (or a cow) in this fight?

  44. Another off-topic question. If anyone wears contacts or their kids wear them, how much do they cost? DD really wants to get them, but she needs bifocal ones, and the prices they gave us are about $320 a year for monthly ones and $720 a year for daily ones. Of course the eye dr recommends the daily ones. But either way, that seems like a lot of money.

    I know we could take her prescription and shop around, but I’ve found it really is worth paying the premium at the eye dr’s for glasses, and I’m guessing it will be the same with contacts. But I’m wondering if these prices are really far out of line or just the stand markup for getting them there. And again, I know they are more expensive because they are bifocal.

  45. which is only a five-hour flight from Silicon Valley

    Only? Boston is exactly the same distance from SV as SV is to HI.

  46. DD,

    I’ve had no problem with 1800-contacts. They even have a way to scan in your prescription now if I recall correctly. That said, a lot of eye doctors are offering pricing similar to online. If it’s within a few bucks, it may be easier to just get them at the Dr.

  47. RMS, Omidyar’s forays into local civic life, such as his online newspaper, leave me eye-rolly. But I hadn’t heard anything about a dairy on Kauai.

  48. DD, we usually buy our contacts at Costco. I think DD uses the weekly ones, but extends the life by not wearing them at home some days.

    Cost is on the order of $60 for 6 months, but they’re single vision.

  49. I looked to see what local coverage there was and it looks like just a little spread over time, which is probably how I missed it. It sounds like yet another case where there’s plenty of self-righteousness on each side. A commodity of which neither the residents of Kauai nor Omidyar and crew suffer from any shortage.

  50. The Omidyar dairy on Kauai has been an issue for at least a few years now. I don’t know enough to take a side, but in general I like the idea of local food production.

    I’ve met him and talked to him briefly a couple of times, but have talked to his wife more often a bit in the past (when kids were on same team). My impression is that they really do want to use their wealth to effect positive change, and while HM’s point is valid, there are some nice things they’ve done too.

  51. Kauai was the only island never conquered by Kamehameha I (their king worked out a deal with him) and they have never stopped talking about it in the 200 years since. “Things are different on Kauai, you know.”

    And anyone from Kauai reading this thread, you are of course welcome to join in and gripe about Oahu! We know you tell people our island’s nickname is the “Traffic Island.”

  52. @DD – I buy my contacts from Costco Optical. I buy my glasses from the optometrist, but I see no need to buy contacts there since they are exactly the same and require no adjustment or maintenance. I wear dailies, and they are a little under $400/year for the toric ones that correct astigmatism. From a quick search on Costco – looks like multifocal are in the same range as toric.

    I far prefer daily lenses to monthly. I switched last year, and all my previous eye problems (dry eye, redness, etc) have gone away.

  53. “A commodity of which neither the residents of Kauai nor Omidyar and crew suffer from any shortage.”

    I wonder how it’s perceived by locals and others with deep enough roots to have lived through the aftermath of Iniki.

  54. Ok – wait, the contacts are are $500, not $400 for a year’s supply. I forgot that I get the first $100 paid for by insurance when I looked at the bill.

  55. “I buy my contacts from Costco Optical. I buy my glasses from the optometrist”

    We also buy our glasses from Costco.

  56. DD,
    It’s very easy to order contacts online or at Costco. BITD it used to be much cheaper than buying from the eye doc but the competition has lowered the prices now. Yes, they are more expensive than glasses but so much better IMO especially for sports. The monthly ones are $1/day if that makes it seem less pricey. I recently switched to daily wears and love them despite the expense. Eye docs like them because they see so many patients with infections and other problems from careless lens cleaning habits. My kids did not have them but i don’t remember them being an option a decade ago.

  57. I wonder how it’s perceived by locals and others with deep enough roots to have lived through the aftermath of Iniki.

    There is definitely a split between those with roots on Kauai and those who have semi-retired there from California or somewhere, in my experience, and I’m guessing that’s what you’re referring to. With the former being more likely to, say, have a cousin who works for the seed farm or in construction and the latter being more likely to protest the seed farm’s use of pesticides or the impact of whatever project is being planned / built.

  58. OTOH, I’ve not heard of any similar controversy with the goat farm on Maui. The biggest problem with goat farms seems to be rustling.

  59. And if you were implying that those who lived through Iniki have more reason to understand the value of locally produced food, I agree with you.

  60. “I’m guessing that’s what you’re referring to. ”

    Sort of. I was thinking that those who lived through the aftermath and the associated severe shortages might have a much different view on local production of food than those who hadn’t lived through it.

  61. “Dropping DS off at college tomorrow.”

    Dropping DS off at airport tonight. I’m really going to miss him.

  62. “why can’t I get a lizard, too?”

    We have been adopted by many lizards. Their care is very easy, although their messes do require occasional cleanup.

  63. Austin, thanks for posting about your college visits. I’m very much interested in whatever you’re willing to share.

    ” Missed reading the topics last week as DD#1 and I did the northeast college visit circuit.”

    Reminds me of about 3 years ago, when we had what was one of our most active post topics ever, about college. I didn’t get to it until the next day because, of course, I was at a campus visit.

    “but the drawback, in addition to the cold, is they focus on a lot of hands on project work.’

    Interesting. My experience suggests that for most engineering wannabes that would be a feature, not a bug. But it’s good that she knows that and can use that knowledge to help find a good match.

    “the “assignment” of which do you think are reach, attainable, and safety “

    Is the assumption that the schools on the list already have been identified as matching her temperament, interests, and preferences? I would hope the categorization extends beyond likelihood of acceptance to affordability as well.

    “In the meantime, campus visits have knocked her list down to 4. “

    Which got knocked off, for what reasons? Again, feel free to share as little or as much as you feel is appropriate.

    I found one of the more interesting, and useful, discussions over at CC to be the one about which schools were dropped from kids’ lists as a result of campus visits, and why.

    “Plus, it always helps when it is a “third party” and not a parent that is suggesting almost anything.”

    At your service.

  64. We adopted a mutt from the kill shelter here at about a year old. He is probably a mix of chihuahua and maltese. He is hair is fine and long and he almost looks like he was an attempt at making one of those designer breeds but the parts didn’t come together quite right. We don’t know his background but he really does not enjoy large crowds or a lot of dogs and he didn’t have a ton of personality other than being insanely devoted to my husband. Surprisingly he LOVES sailing and boating generally. The dog literally smiles while we are on the boat. He may be enjoying our trip the most. Loyal first mate. Excellent sleeper. Extremely portable at 8 pounds. A keeper.

  65. It’s very easy to order contacts online or at Costco.

    But what’s the quality like? I bought glasses lenses at Costco once and they were total crap. I wear progressives and I could actually see the focal circle. I paid for the anti scratch coating and still got a scratch within the first two weeks (I’ve never gotten a scratch on the ones from the optometrist). And they were complete dust magnets – within 10 minutes of cleaning them they’d be completely covered with dust.

    So there’s no way I’m going to go the discount route if we get DD contacts. I’m just wanting to see if these are reasonable prices.

  66. DD, those prices sound similar to what we pay through the optometrist. Our optometrist is good about giving samples to try so you can get a sense of which brands are more comfortable for your eyes before you order, too, which doesn’t seem like something the online sellers could as readily do.

  67. @DD – They are identical boxes of contacts direct from the manufacturer as the optometrist will order for you. There is zero difference. It’s not the same as glasses which are more made-to-order and assembled to fit thousands of different frames. I believe that they also have some “Kirkland” brand contacts, but I order Acuvues from Costco so they are the exact same product. Contact prescriptions are actually written for a specific brand and style – you can not interchange for a different brand. The eye doctor “fits” you for a certain brand/style, and then you can order the contacts themselves from Costco.

    I still buy my glasses from the optometrist for the same reason as you – selection, quality, service. But I don’t find that necessary at all for contacts.

  68. We wear glasses, not contacts, but have found Target to be pretty awesome. I’d check out their contact lens options. They have a great sale going on now.

  69. “P.S. LfB, I’ll be by later with a dumpster. :-P”

    LOL, yeah, you got me — I realized that the background of that pic was in the kids’ books-and-shoes-and-jacket-dump zone, a/k/a the epicenter of my aggravation. Alas, the cat spent her first day or two holed up in the little cubbies on top of the kids’ shoes, so when I sent this in, I didn’t have any pictures that made the house look like less than a total sty. But you will be happy to hear that this is the project for the last week in August — things got so crazy at the end of the school year that we never cleared it out, and the Giant Pile O’ Crap there is driving me nuts (the little boxes in the pic were designed to corral and organize the mess — you can see how well that worked). So all I can say is that the kids are going to be sooooo happy to return from vacation to discover I have their last week of freedom planned out for them.

    Of course, if you’d prefer to show up and take care of it while we’re in OR, I’m more than happy to give you the back door code. . . . Just don’t repaint everything white. ;-)

  70. Finn – In no particular order:

    1. I should have clarified – GROUP project work. An important skill, but her life experience so far is that she generally cares more about the grade than her other team members and usually ends up doing more than she agreed to when they divided up the work. (And, we had the discussion about the real world experience that group projects often have the person who cares the most pulling the most weight.)

    2. The counselor asked them to research schools and then come talk to her. DD#1 had a few, the meeting resulted in a few more, then we attended a college fair which resulted in a couple dropped and a couple added and magically we were at 6. However, DD#1 had not looped back around to the counselor. We visited two near the end of the school year, she attended a camp at one (local), and we visited 3 in the northeast. When asked, she is not ready to say 2 are off the list, but I am 95% sure they are.

    3. The “list” – the guidance from the counselor was to use the criteria on the Naviance website to consider what felt right – size, location, major offered, flexibility to change major if uncertain, affordability, likelihood of acceptance, etc. – and let it “match” you to schools. Then to look at the school’s websites and narrow your list to those you wanted to visit and to take a virtual visit if a physical one was not possible. I think the big flaw here was not giving them more guidance about what to look for on the websites to help them decide.

    4. Factors resulting lowering or dropping a school from her list – limited availability of merit aid, need-based aid offered mainly in loans, feeling welcome on campus & by people she interacted with, the inflexibility of your degree plan and/or ability to change your major, perceived peer pressure to/priority to party vs. study (based on student tour guides), limited access or encouragement to do COOP/Internship/Research, and where she falls on the “smartness” scale. For her the “smartness” scale means that she wants to have students brighter than she is to challenge her, but she doesn’t want to have so many brighter than she is so that she is at the bottom of her class.

  71. Good luck to Finn and Houston and others who are sending kids off the college this week. DS3 is working on the Coalition App, with which I am unfamiliar because it seems to have launched after the other sons went through this process. There is some overlap with the Common App, but not enough that he won’t need to fill out both, along with all those supplements for the various individual schools. Let the games begin!

    On the pet topic, my sweet rescue kitty has spent the day at the window, twitching and squeaking at the gaggle of hummingbirds buzzing wildly about the feeder outside. We remind her often of how she won the lottery last winter when I decided my heart had healed enough after the death of her predecessor to try to love again, and her Humane Society Pet of the Week ad moved us to arrange a meet up. I’d been online dating cats for several months, but I knew she was the one at first glance.

  72. @DD – sorry you got a crappy pair of glasses from Costco once, but I wouldn’t decide that the every pair that doesn’t come from the optometrist is terrible. I have bought (for me, DH, my mom) glasses from Zenni and Coastal a number of times. I don’t wear glasses often, and I am really good at leaving them everywhere. Which means I lose them all the time. I don’t get so sad about losing $12 of glasses. I find the quality to be acceptable. DH wears his from waking to sleeping, and broke his good pair a few months ago. He used the back up pair for a few weeks until they broke as well (these were both old, fancy optometrist glasses). Suddenly he was out of glasses with no current prescription. After a rush to the eye doctor, I got him two pairs, for a total of about $50. I upgraded to anti scratch coating on his everyday ones, and now he has some cheap backups for when kids inevitably strike again.

  73. Ada, if I only paid $12 or $25 for them, I wouldn’t be bothered so much about the quality. But they were over $100, after my insurance discount. So to replace them after they get scratched is quite a bit more. I’m sure there are probably some good less expensive lenses out there, but I’m not willing to risk it at that price. If they end up being bad, I’m stuck with them for a year.

  74. I missed a fun post! We had a holiday today A nice random one celebrating the end of WWII.

    I’ve always had dogs. Up until October we have 2 wheaten terriers. But our oldest, Cherie had to be put to sleep. Our youngest is Finley. She’s like having a second toddler. DS1 has mastered “Finnnleey” in an exasperated tone when she barks at the neighbor’s dogs.

    We’ll probably get a second dog eventually.

    WCE – I’m so sorry about Abby. I wish her well.

  75. Denver Dad. I have two pair of Costco prescription sunglasses that I love. The regular glasses were as you say, and when I got a new pair I upgraded to an optometrist with the insurance discount. That was 250 or so. But 100 at Costco for a pair of prescription glasses is a bargain price in my experience. Of course, before I had lasik 10 years ago each pair of lenses, not including the frames, was over 500 with my eyesight, so my baseline is different.

  76. Meme, spending a year looking through a scratched lens was not worth saving $150. And as I said, I could also see the focal point or whatever it’s called on the progressive lenses. They are always completely invisible on the optometrist lenses. $100 might be a bargain price, but it’s not a bargain when your glasses are a constant distraction.

  77. Houston, that is funny about the burnt orange. School spirit is such a thing there. I can remember DD telling me a cute guy walking by said howdy to her, and she replied with “hey”, and people behind her gave her a hard time! I guess he’ll figure out the first time he wears one whether anyone cares. I have heard great things about fish camp – I hope he has a great time.

  78. Whenever I have tried to get cheap glasses (Warby Parker, etc.) they never work. The focus on the last pair was in the wrong place so everything looked skewed. I took them back and even after they were ‘fixed’ they weren’t quite right. My glasses from the dr’s shop are usually $250-$300 and that is *with* the family discount (I have a relative who works there). I am v. nearsighted and have a lot of astigmatism so I must be hard to fit. Blerg.

  79. LfB – have you started getting some cute accessories for Gertrude yet ?
    I am amused by folks dressing their pets (dogs) in cute sweaters.

  80. @DD – Contacts from 1-800-CONTACTS or Target would be the same too. I chose Costco over 1-800-CONTACTS because the price difference was only a buck or two, and I trust Costco’s service/returns if there is a problem especially since I shop there so much. I never checked Target or any other mass retailers.

    @AustinMom – Those were priorities that I had for my college search too. I don’t even remember what major I thought I might have when I started. I highly preferred small LAC’s for a variety of reasons (size, flexibility and DIII sports being some of the big ones).

  81. Hah — Louise, no, not quite my thing. Plus trying to get her acclimated to two other cats and a new house, not freak her out more. ;-)

  82. Denver Dad. We are saying the same thing. You get what you pay for. Bargain in my lexicon is like economy in air travel. It is a classification, not a favorable judgment.

  83. Oh, man, Louise, do NOT show that to DD, or I know where every future gift will come from. . . .

  84. Late, but on topic, we have two dogs (a 40 pound rat terrior and a border collie who lives for herding the sheep), two barn cats, and a tank of fish. In the livestock category, we have a flock of 25 ewes + all of the lambs that haven’t been sold yet this year + a couple of rams, and a pair of Holstein calves that will be gracing the meat freezer in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The kids periodically make requests for other animals, but anything that would live in the house with us is an automatic NO.

  85. ” The focus on the last pair was in the wrong place so everything looked skewed.”

    That’s not necessarily due to the frames. They need to be properly sized for you.

    OTOH, it is possible that the frames make that difficult or impossible.

  86. The NYT article about Omidyar and his dairy farm was printed in the local paper, so I read it.

    IMO, the writer did Omidyar (and Case) a disservice by grouping them with Ellison and, especially, Zuckerberg. The former two, especially Case, have local roots (Omidyar and his wife are both alums of local K-12 schools), while Ellison and Zuckerberg do not, and Omidyar and Case both have track records of trying to use their wealth to the betterment of the community (albeit perhaps clumsily at times).

    Ellison has been trying to do that also, but I’m not aware of Zuckerberg doing anything along those lines. Zuckerberg’s been in local news mainly for some legal wrangling that could be perceived as ignorant or insensitive to local customs and local people, or an attempt to take advantage of some indigenous people.

  87. I should have said “bargain price”. That would have conveyed my meaning more exactly. And my Costco ladies’ sunglasses are a bargain in both senses. I also wasn’t sure how to respond to the idea of prescription glasses for less than the cost of drug store readers as cited by Ada. It is completely beyond my comprehension and experience.

  88. Glasses – I have gotten my last 3 pairs from Eyemart Express (brick/mortar) near my gym. Before our Hawaii trip I got a pair of prescription bifocal sunglasses for ~$75.

    I do notice a quality difference. The brand name Ray-Bans I now wear at the gym are much better made/sturdier than the cheapo ones from Eyemart that I use in the office. But the Ray-Bans were ~$300 / pair at Lenscrafters.

  89. That’s not necessarily due to the frames. They need to be properly sized for you.

    OTOH, it is possible that the frames make that difficult or impossible.

    That’s the job of the person who is doing the fitting (do they have a name for that job?). They will make sure the frames are appropriate for the type of lenses you need, and they will get the correct measurements for where the focus needs to be.

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