Yesterday, all the doors and windows were open to catch the fresh air on one of the remaining warm days of late autumn. Mid late November is when it switches from summer to winter in a few hours. Last night, the temps dropped 30 degrees. Yesterday, zephyr breezes. Today? Chill winds.
We have four dogs, one of whom is a giant constantly shedding hairball (Australian Shepherd to you). He’s affectionate and despite all evidence to the contrary, believes he is a lap-dog. His sensitive feelings are constantly hurt because I won’t let him in my lap. All 75 hairy pounds of him.
I have conversations with him. I explain, in detail, the issues involved. Not only will he not fit, but his paws are wicked weapons, cats-like with claws that dig deep holes in me. Bishop is a passionate boy. We have all learned to never look him in the eyes. The moment you do, he will become a huge piece of velcro, use his tongue to slather your eyeglasses with a thick layer of dog spit.
Which brings me back to the weather. Bishop and Bonnie (the Scottie) love winter. Bishop is at his happiest sleeping — literally — in a snowdrift with Bonnie on top of him, using him as a bed. Nan, at 12, is a couch potato, thinks the ultimate good time is a comfy spot on the sofa with frequent biscuit breaks. Amber lives under a blanket downstairs. Of the dogs in the house, Amber (the dachshund) is the one with short hair and does not care much for ice and snow. Garry and I are with her on that one. And with Nan (the Norwich). A nice nap, a cozy throw, a good TV show and maybe a little fire in the woodstove.
The issue is not just weather, but dog hair. Oodles of dog hair. Great gouts and lumps and bushy piles of fur on sofas, rugs, in corners and on clothing. I find I own a lot of nice clothing I refuse to wear because I don’t want to ruin it with dog hair, not to mention the giant holes that Bishop — in a fit of overwhelming love — will tear with those wicked paws. What then, you ask (I ask, we all ask) is the point of having nice clothing?
That is a good question and if anyone has an answer, I’d like to hear it. I seem to be under the illusion I might actually go someplace someday and need attractive clothing. A lifetime of working embedded this idea in my brain. One must have Decent Clothing for job interviews — but when was the last time I had one of those? For Events — once in a blue moon seems to be the frequency. So I have nice stuff and anything I wear is instantly covered with dog hair. Everything looks tweedy.
Ironically, the other day I realized the clothing in my closet, including stuff I’ve never worn, is hairy. Pet hair is vicious, pernicious, aggressive. It sneaks into closets in rooms where dogs are forbidden — though somehow they manage to steal my underwear.
It’s part of what makes this time of year challenging. I have wonderful sweaters. Cashmere and cotton and wool. Tunics and ponchos. Many are years old but barely worn. I don’t want to ruin them.
My nice clothing is dying in the closet. Getting old and hairy and hanger worn. We could solve the problem by having fewer dogs.
Nah. Not happening.