FUR BALLS

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.

DangerDogsWe 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.

Nan and BishopThe 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 ย 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.

Terriers and Garry

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 ย 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.



Categories: Animals, Personal, Pets, Scottish Terrier

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

26 replies

  1. You can solve the problem by simply wearing the clothes and start a new fad — Instead of fur-lined, fur-coated! Your sweaters will have extra fur so that will add to the warmth of the material! Yoo-hoo!

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    • It’s already a fad among pet owners. I once went on a job interview and hadn’t realized my cat had been sleeping on my briefcase. When I picked it up to get my writing samples, it had about half an inch of cat hair on it. The interviewer said “Cats?” I didn’t get the job, but I had a good laugh.

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  2. I went from having one non-shedding dog to having a non-shedding dog and one really-badly-shedding dog. I couldn’t fathom all the dog fur, at first. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though!

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  3. Comes in handy for the winter. Makes clothes warmer. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I usually have one of those lint rollers at work – in-case Fenway’s fur decides to come to work with me. Tape works too. I get them from the dollar store.

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  4. I found the first image to be magnificent!

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  5. Dog hair, it’s all over our carpets, furniture and clothing. I wear old jeans, track pants and sweat shirts most of the time but like yours the good clothes seem to get hair on them even in the wardrobe. Hubby has to be reminded to brush himself down before leaving the house because our dog, a 20kg staffy labrador cross thinks she is a lap dog. Yes, the answer is no pets in the house but no, that’s not going to happen.

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  6. This is LOVELY: funny and sweet and instantly recognisable to those of us with dogs! Great photos too! xxx

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    • We put up with stuff from our pets we wouldn’t tolerate for a moment from our kids or friends. But our pets are NICER to use. They think we are perfect and never mouth back.

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      • So true! They look at us as if we were gods, and bring offerings to us on a regular basis. Okay, I am not that enamoured of the old ‘dead mouse on bed in early hours’ ploy, nor indeed the,’ long buried bone placed lovingly on lap’ one, but both sure beat the smile on the face and the bitch behind the back that we so often get from our human ‘friends’!!! xxx

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  7. Yes, a pet is for life. Your dogs sound lovely!

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  8. Don’t forget the “presents” they leave us. Aargh!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

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  9. Ironically, about five minutes ago I was cleaning up a giant hairball — a wet, slimy 4-inch-plus hair cylinder, to be precise — formed in and ejected from the esophagus of Lady Mary Katherine, our Craigslist-sourced Maltipoo. The same Maltipoo who not long ago ingested and excreted giant piles of two-toned blue memory foam shredded and devoured from my mattress pad. Apparently I had groomed her brother Taz, a Black & Tan Cavalier, earlier this evening and carelessly discarded the matted debris, which she found and ate the moment our lights went out for the evening. As I’ve said before, probably many times, Lady Mary Katherine is smarter than the rest of us — four Cavaliers, a man with a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering (from Lehigh, no less) and me — put together. Sometimes I cradle her sweet little face in my hands and murmur, “You know, Lady Mary Katherine, there’s a reason pretty little Maltipoos wind up on Craigslist….” But then she reminds me that we just paid a cabinetmaker big bucks to design, build, and install a gate — essentially the lower half of a Dutch door between the kitchen and great room — that she could not outsmart. After several attempts with commercially available gates, we gave up. She really is smarter than the rest of us.

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    • They have us under their little paws. Who’s dumb? Owen built gates just like the ones you are talking about, but he uaws plywood from discarded shipping crates. The baby gate thing got VERY old.

      Bonnie goes everywhere head first. She’s a scotty, but there’s a reason we nicknamed her Hammerhead. She has a problem with her eyes and it gets better … until she decides to go outside and dig a hole and stick her head in it. Sometimes she comes in with a head full of dead leaves. Doggy camo?

      They make us crazy. They also make life worth living.

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  10. “In our house, dog hair is a condiment.”

    Like

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