January 10, 2017
I woke later than I should have, but that's because I stayed up too late (again) watching "Band of Brothers." After I walked the dogs and showered, I couldn't go to sleep (again). My tardy rise yielded another short walk for the dogs. I skipped the warm-up and cool-down of "Kempo X" in order to accommodate doing the dogs' laundry, picking up my mail, and unhooking BOB, so I could to go to Melbourne for the dogs' grooming appointment at PetSmart and my eye exam at LensCrafters.
I have had a much stronger relationship with Petco than I have with PetSmart, but I can't explain why. It may only have be a matter of convenience since Petco is in the same plaza as Whole Foods in Providence. The dogs were groomed privately while we lived there; I only started using the chains for grooming since I've been on the road with BOB. The Petcos in Missoula and Rehoboth Beach each did an excellent job with the dogs, and they were pleasant stores.
The PetSmart in Melbourne is dark and feels more like a warehouse. The grooming salon looks like an assembly line with six stations open to the owners (at Petco, the drop-off/pick-up desk is separated from the grooming stations), and the airborne dog hair and dander gave my Flonase a challenge. When I walked in, a man stopped grooming a small dog, removed it from his station to a room in the back, and checked me in. He was very nice but I found the whole experience to be much less professional than that of Petco because both the dogs and the humans had to interact with each other unnecessarily.
When I returned to pick up my dogs, a groomer who was still shaving the dog of an owner who had showed up, told him that the dog was difficult, he should only ask for her, and she will never groom the dog on the weekend because it's too crowded. PetSmart must have the local market tied up because the grooming salon was pretty “tied up” on a Tuesday.
At the check-out, I was hit up for a tip for the groomer and two donations –one for a can of cat or dog food, and one for a cash donation for a homeless pet. I gave a tip and made both donations, of course. No Petco has ever solicited tips for its groomers, nor have the private salons I’ve used.
After I dropped the dogs at PetSmart I went LensCrafters for an eye appointment. I arrived a few minutes early but I wasn't seen for another 30 minutes. For the last several years, I have seen an ophthalmologist for my eye car because I had insurance to cover the visit. My Obamacare insurance doesn’t cover eye care, and I was due last month for a check-up. The eye exam experience today was much more high-tech than I have ever had, and I opted to have my eyeballs photographed rather than having my pupils dilated because I was concerned about driving a six-ton vehicle with impaired vision. The optometrist showed me a freckle on my pupil which he said might be or could become cancer, and he said that I should have it rechecked in three months because eye cancer grows quickly. "So, I may have had that freckle for 30 years if it isn't cancer, right?" Right.
He gave me a new prescription. I attempted to have my two year old Warby Parker lenses replaced with it, but I kept moving the frames down my nose to keep my eyelashes from hitting the glass. The technician bent the frames to try to move the top away from my eyelashes to center the prescription, but it was to no avail. So, I walked over to the Ray-Ban display and picked out a pair of wire frame oval glasses with nose pads. Two hours after I arrived and $700 later, I left to pick up the dogs, get propane, eat lunch, return phone calls, and open my mail before returning to pick up my new progressive, photo-grey-transition eyeglasses. Tomorrow, if it's sunny, I'll know whether I like them. I have 30 days to replace the lenses at no charge if I don't.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.