Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Shedding Season

Not to be duped a whiner, this is not a post about my dislike of dog hair...rather an ode to it.

Sunlight sifts through the lean windows facing south, where most of the light comes from this time of year. I always know I've fallen behind on my domestic duties when the sun decides to grace us with it's presence. It shines little beams of warmth into my home, illuminating each and every speck of dust I've ignored over the past week, weeks, month...

Not to be outdone by the dust is the dog hair.

Strands of silky white and black catch my eye as I walk down the hall. Scooping them up with my free hand, I realize that my job has just begun.. For just as the dust seems to have multiplied overnight, so has the dog hair.

I open a closet and pull the purple contraption out called "Animal." It made me promises when I decided to bring it home from the big box store offering $50 off it's original purchase price a few months ago. Lofty promises. Promises worth it's cost. Golden, unicorn and brand-new baby promises that dog hair would be a thing of the past.


Ignorance can be a brutal enemy when it comes to choosing the right kind of dog to bring home and be a part of your family FOREVER. In my case, the old saying "payback is a ..." rings true for all those times I rolled my eyes at my own mother when I was asked to scoop the poop my childhood dog's left in our yard. Note to self: eyerolling will get you nowhere. Had I known, had I researched just a smidgen, I would have known how much Aussies shed. The information is everywhere. Really hard to miss. Yet, caught up in the excitement that my husband had finally agreed to even look at these puppies, I went with the flow, bringing home that 8 pound bundle of joy (and hair) on Labor Day Weekend.

He is a good dog. He is affectionate (read: in my face). He is happy (read: bouncy). He is bonded to us (read: he goes nuts when we're not around). He is friendly (read: he gets frisky with just about any other dog he meets). He is active (read: complete ball of energy), and he is easy to train (read: he knows how to come, sit and stay). He is housebroken (read: oh yes, he is housebroken for sure, now if I could just stop him from lifting his leg 40 times during each walk).

But good golly miss molly, that dog can shed.

A visitor sits on my couch and I am finding it hard to concentrate on what he is saying because all I can focus on are the wisps of hair that I see waving from the arm of the couch on the other side of him. "Hey there, you missed a few when you were vacuuming," they mock me. I resist the urge to brush his pant legs before he leaves.

I am waiting in the doctor's office, passing the time reading one of those god-awful periodicals that you only find in doctor's office waiting rooms and I notice there, on my dark jeans, a gathering of white hairs. I'm a redhead, they are not mine. In fact no human in my home has that color hair...the dog, again. I remind myself to keep a lint roller in my purse.

I scour the Internet for a solution. I ponder getting him clippered. "You don't clipper Aussies!" shouts my husband after I suggest it, the one on the Westminster Dog Show looked like it had been clippered (I still say is was).

I dream of hairless, ugly dogs that shed not a single hair and then I cringe at the thought of actually having to pet such a thing.

He sheds. He does. He sheds more than any other dog I've ever known. True, his coat is easy to maintain, if you remember to brush him daily (which I do not, it wasn't in my contract) and when it gets dirty it is easy to clean. But the shampooing, oh the shampooing, that will kill a person. Oh, the upkeep!

I found a Furminator for $25 on a website selling discount pet products. People tell me this will change my life. I say, it's about time.


Dan said...

I sympathize. We have a border collie mix that sheds enough for three sweaters a month. I can't walk by the tiled entryway without seeing the tufts of fur playing tag.

I figure it's good one of us has hair to loose. {*grin*}

mona said...

Ooh I want to know how the furminator works. I'll use it on my cat. And then maybe myself because I shed so much hair, my floors look like someone shaved a bear.

Kerrie said...

Even short-haired dogs shed. We have three boxers and their short little hairs get on everything, and they are more difficult to get off than longer dog fur.

We have a dog show trick. Hot oil bath. V05. Give the dog a bath, then hold the plastic V05 vial under the hot water for a minute. Then, rub the warm (NOT hot) oil on the dog, then rinse. A lot of the dead/loose hair will come out. You may need more than one little vial for an Aussie. I don't know if it will work for dogs with thick coats, though. Boxers don't have an undercoat. If you try it, let me know. I'm curious.

Kyla said...

We have a dalmatian and she sheds like crazy! We always have tiny little white hairs on things. Can't win either way.

Cheffie-Mom said...

The Furminator sounds powerful! Good luck! (:

Jaye @ canadian-mom.ca said...

I sympathize with you, which is exactly why we opted for two poodles, although I can't tell you how often they get tangles and massive knots in their coats. Sometimes I think a shedding dog would be easier, but then I realize it wouldn't ;) Good luck with the Furminator!!

The Mother said...

Your mistake, if I may be so bold, was in the choice of dog COLOR.

I had an Aussie. He shed white.

Since I have a bottle in my cabinet that guarantees that I will NEVER shed white, when we got the next dog, I went with red.

Vizsla. Short red hair. Everyone assumes it's mine.

If it ends up on people's clothes, they feel too bad to mention it (maybe I'm on chemo?? Minoxodil??)

Ellyn said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. As I sit here now I can see the dog hair floating in the sun. This time of year is the worst.

It's a good thing we love the furry dogs.

We shave our dog every spring. Helps a lot. She is a shepard mix.

MoMMY said...

This is why I'm thankful for our cockapoo. No shedding. We do have to take him to be groomed every 8 weeks or so or he starts getting dreadlocks. Totally worth it though.

Hattie said...

Girl a feel your pain. Everyday. I have a golden retriever. When I vacuum it looks like a have sucked up a little dog w/ all that fur in the canister.

Lipstick and Hangnails said...

Soooooo funny! I had a Border Collie named Soda Pop, Soda for short which described his personality. He was my best friend, how I miss him. Our current dog was chosen per my husbands request to have a dog that doesn't shed..........she's a rat terrier, and doesn't have half the personality of my border. I'd take a shedding Border over my current pup any day! Don't get me wrong, I love my new dog, but, my Soda was my baby! I relate with EVERY PART of: affectionate, frisky, goes nuts......he was all those things.