It is no laughing matter. We have hosted many varieties of canine throughout our nearly 71 years of wedded bliss, during which time I have been more or less on top of the cleaning game. The Health Department has never visited our home with poor housekeeping complaints in hand.

However, we have been “done in” by a Jack Russell Terrier, whose shedding has caused us to purchase several vacuum cleaners in the past few years. The last one was a lovely Dyson, which was difficult to care for. Our handyman was able to unclog Charlie’s hair, so we gave it to him and bought another simpler machine.

When I was a girl, my Grandmother did not have a vacuum cleaner. We used a Bissell carpet sweeper, and she hung smaller rugs on a line and beat the dust out. Auntie had a vac, and taught me to sweep over each area 7 times. (She may have taught me to chew my food 30 times since that was a new fad in the ’30s, brought about by Dr. Kellogg of corn flake fame. We have had many vacuum cleaners through the years, including a heavy and expensive Kirby, which came our way when I bought it from a door-to-door salesman. It was the best one we ever had, but I was a lot stronger in those days.

To solve the seriousness of our problem, I also bought a tool called a “Furminator” to brush Charlie. It worked fine, but I neglected to use it during a period of malaise. It somehow disappeared, so I have purchased another. I will hide this in a better place.

“A Gentle Descent” watercolor by kayti sweetland rasmussen

This painting has absolutely nothing to do with dog hair, but it was relaxation after all the vacuuming. The mountains are gently draining a spring thaw into a deep, dark and mysterious pool. To give the sky some tactile interest, I sprinkled canning salt over a coat of paint.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

12 thoughts on “HAIR OF THE DOG”

  1. A very nice painting, Kayti.

    We have had three vacuum machines so far excluding the robotic one. The first was a strong one which was carried like a back pack. It was heavy and the motor so strong it used to almost spin me around with it when starting it.
    The next one was a Norwegian Nifisk or perhaps it is Danish, I only use it when I feel an inexplicable urge for Scandinavia. The last one we bought is a lithium battery cordless. It’s name ‘Freedom.’ A much smaller and watered down version of the Dyson. The Dyson, we just read too much negative publicity on Google.
    I like the ‘Freedom’ most, and this friendly machine makes me feel so unshackled from endless domestic chores. I has no cords that wrap themselves around everything imaginable, even to that unimaginable.
    We too have fits by which we brush Milo. He loves it but doesn’t make for a reduction of dog hairs. He seems to delight in shedding his own weight in hairs almost daily. ‘Where does Milo come from,’ we keep asking ourselves?,


    1. I laughed out loud thinking of you moving around with a back pack on cleaning house. Awkward at the least. I have not seen a robot cleaner, but it would save a lot of steps. I have been pleased with all the vacuums we have had, temporarily at least, until the dog hair overcomes them. I wondered why this never happened in the old old days, but then realized that the dogs were usually kept outside in my family. My Grandmother didn’t even have a dog. Strange to us, since we always seem to have one or two running around, or in the bed!


    1. Thanks mrsdaffodil.
      A Furminator is a small tool with a cutting knife which gets down to the undercoat. It has a button you press when it has collected hair and releases it into the trash. The dogs seem to like it so it doesn’t hurt them. The one I just bought has a short handle. You just use it as a comb. Very smart.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your painting, Katey…the colors are very desert.

    My daughter and grandson once filled eight large black garbage bags brushing their Australian Shepherd/Black Lab mix and could have filled more…her hair used to float in the air and cling to the walls and make a haze of shadow across the carpet. It was other-worldly! Aussies have a winter undercoat that exceed nature’s elements in Ohio…and it just keeps coming…


    1. I know what you mean about hair floating around the room. For such a small dog, a JRT generates piles of it sneaking under ever chair, couch and TV. One of the hairiest dogs we had were the German Shepherds. I swore that they shed 13 months out of the year, and we could make a new dog from each brushing. Two of our chairs are covered in handwoven wool, and long after those dogs went over the Rainbow Bridge, I could fine hair woven right into the wool. The large dog who seems to shed the least was our Old English Sheepdog, but I usually kept her trimmed right down.


  3. I love this painting, AK. I am looking forward to seeing it in person this summer. Your idea to sprinkle canning salt on it is terrific. Your contrasting blue and orange made radiant by your title are a perfect package.

    As far as dog hair, well…Sara just got an adorable AussieDoodle puppy who has a hypoallergenic coat. No shedding. Dinah, the Lab, sheds worse than the German Shepherds. As I write this comment, I am staring at a Dyson vacumn full of blond hair. Yuck!


  4. Your painting is extraordinary. The colors are so appealing, and so evocative. It reminds me of the little alpine lakes in the canyons up above Salt Lake City. Of course, considering the final treatment you gave it, perhaps I should revise my opinion, and consider it a portrait of the Wasatch mountains looming over the Great Salt Lake!

    Somewhere, I recently read that you can get spilled nail polish up by pouring straight sugar over it. Apparently the sugar absorbs the polish, and you can sweep it right up.

    When it comes to hair, my Dixie Rose will take on your dogs. Even though I brush her twice a day, it’s remarkable how much floats around. She is a bit of a seasonal shedder, though. With summer coming on, it’s the height of shedding season.

    Can you believe — I still have a carpet sweeper. It’s actually fairly new — maybe 15 years old, but not an antique. I bought it from The Vermont Country Store.


  5. I laughed at your vacuuming woes and fell in love with your painting — it’s a perfect depiction of spring mountains in our area after a snow melt. I, too, had an old Kirby I valued but had it give it up for something lighter. Sigh.


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