“She’s a beaut! But is the cargo space big enough for a dead Mastiff? Alright-y then. Wrap her up, she’s mine!”

Coarse though it sounds, that’s the reality of selecting a car for some veterinarians. Gas mileage, crash test results and comfort? Like everyone else, that’s where we start. But just ask Gina over at PetConnection . She knows there’s a whole lot more to take into consideration when you’re seeking a vet-friendly “Dogmobile.”

General practitioners like me willing to run off at lunch and do house calls generally need “Vetmobiles.” A small SUV will usually do it, though a covered pick-up is probably even better (if you can live with its substandard gas mileage).

Just don’t forget the rubber cargo mats and the anything-but-cloth seats.

That’s because most suburban small animal vets aren’t doing house calls on mostly well pets. In fact, the vast majority of mine are euthanasias. Because big dogs who can no longer walk comprise the bulk of these, it’s inevitable that we’d need space, glorious space to transport their remains back to the hospital.

Until last year when I bought my four year-old Lexus RX-300 (fancy, no?) I’d been trucking them around in the back seat of my 1994 Lexus sedan. This is not recommended, by the way, as the seats are sufficiently tilted so that any stray bodily fluids accumulate in the impossible-to-reach dead zone between the back seats and the trunk. Yuck!

It was inevitable that I’d need an upgrade after that smelly mess of a car (which I got all of $500 for on my trade-in).

But now I’m besieged by pangs of guilt over the fabulousness of my “new” car. It didn’t help to hear that one of my colleagues had recently been berated for charging too much only to fund her “BMW lifestyle.” For the record, her BMW is a small, five year-old wagon (the cheapest kind money can lease). Nonetheless, it hurt to have her choices thrust in her face by an irate client.

“Am I so undeserving of my choice of luxuries just because I work with animals?”

Considering the $150,000 Porsche that sits front-and-center at my son’s orthodontist’s office (which no one begrudges him) it seems wrong to feel any guilt whatsoever over our sub-$20K car choices—especially when we have to include vet-necessary upgrades we’ll not be reimbursed by our hospitals for (not in our case, anyway).

So it is that later today when I take this small beast of mine across the state to pick up my new goatling, I promise you the guilt over having a fancy car will all but evaporate as I fill my cargo space with the sweet aroma of caprine manure. Mmmmm…now that’s a vetmobile!