Friday, January 28, 2011


In my life, dog hair is a fashion statement.

One of the major facts of life when you live with dogs is hair.  One has to be realistic – there is no way to live with dogs and not live with hair as well, unless your breed is Xolos.  What is important is to look at the positive.

First of all, dog hair is much, much easier to live with than cat hair.  I used to have house cats as well as house dogs; now my cats all live out of doors.  When there is a cat in the house, the hair is EVERYWHERE, and it is so delicate and fine that it is hard to see, and sometimes you only realize it is there when you find it in your mouth together with your food, or start choking because you have breathed it in. (Please, cat lovers, I have nothing against cats, I love them, but let’s be real about it…!)  With dog hair, I can see it is there, so I can pull it out of my food before I eat, and usually manage not to breathe it in.

I have given up imagining that I will ever wear an outfit that is not decorated with some hair.  So the idea is to wear clothes that are either the same color as the dog, so that the hair doesn’t show, or to wear colors that are complimentary to the dog, so that the hair gives them an interesting aspect, and to proudly feel that the dog hair is an aesthetic accessory and really makes me look better.  After all, it looks really good on my dogs, I have always wanted to be as good looking as they are…

Fabrics are chosen carefully. No matter how popular and in fashion something may be, if it collects all the hair from an area of a hundred meters, and that hair remains stuck on as if with superglue, that is not something you will find in my wardrobe.  Sleek, slippery fashions are good, the hair just slides off.  Jeans, which constitute about 90% of the items in my closet, are great – the hair doesn’t stick at all.  Mohair and various sorts of fuzzy things are great – if you are careful about color choice, no one can be sure what part of the fuzz is fashion and what part is dog.  And since those fabrics also shed, if you leave hair on the sofa at your friend’s house, no one can be sure whether to blame the dog or not.

Of course there are some additional fashion problems aside from hair.  Even though a lot of my dogs are close to white in color, it is rare to see me dressed in anything white, or anything from the waist down that is light colored.  The chances of me getting from the door of the house to the car dressed like that without collecting puppy footprints is infinitesimal.  Clothes in camouflage patterns are great…

The yard is a paradise for birds during nesting season. Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough birds around to make use of all this lovely warm fur, and nesting season is much too short.  Around here, if the birds nested four times a year, there would still be plenty to go around.  The yard here has this soft and fuzzy look, and there are fluffy tufts around the flowers.  I wonder if I could popularize a new sort of look for the garden…

I do like to have my house clean.  But I have to admit that I am not an obsessive cleaner – the parts of the house that I can see get cleaned regularly, but places that are hidden, like under the furniture, are usually ignored, on the principle of “If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.” 

I made the mistake last week of looking under the bed.  I think I was looking for a dog toy that had disappeared; what I discovered was a layer of hair that looked like some sort of animal living there.  Now that I had seen it, it couldn’t be ignored anymore.  Cleaning that was definitely not pleasant and completely filled the tank of the vacuum cleaner several times. I have been careful not to look under the sofa or the chairs – any dog toy that ends up there can stay there.

My consideration in buying furniture are very similar to those in buying clothes. Now that I think of it, my wardrobe and my house do match, and are very well color coordinated to the dogs.  Color coordinating is a good design principle, isn’t it?

People tend to have the idea that long haired dogs shed more than short haired dogs and that really short haired dogs don’t shed at all.  Well, sorry to puncture that bubble, but almost all dogs shed.  The worst I have experienced was a black Labrador that stayed with me for a few days, and left a trail of short black hairs everywhere.  Those short coated dogs also seem to shed all the time.  My collies and Canaans have what is called a double coat, which means that they have a lot of thick wool under the outer coat, and they both shed just as much, but not all the time, it is seasonal.  And it doesn’t matter if they are smooth collies, rough collies, or Canaans – when they shed, they shed…!  If I was into filling pillows, stuffed toys, or mattresses, I would do well.

Habibi doesn’t shed a lot.  Most of the time, he really leaves almost no hair around.  In shedding season, though, of course there is plenty.  This is true of all the gang – their coats are healthy and shiny and they don’t shed a lot.  The problem is that they seem to have worked it out very carefully – there is no time during the year when at least one of them is not shedding.  How have they managed to plan things so well????

It’s okay. I like wearing jeans and fuzzy sweaters.

Shedding season - Habibi's sister Kiss

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't stop laughing as I read this post. I totally relate to your situation. You're right, one of the dogs is always "molting". I bought the Dyson vacuum, model "The Animal" which does a credible job. I also got this red mitt that you can rub on your clothes and furniture to pick up dog hair. But I too have given up on leaving the house and car without having some dog hair on my clothes. At least everyone knows I'm an animal lover. :) This was very funny.