HAIR OF THE DOG


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.

Advertisements

WHERE THE WHITE DOG DANCES


vac2 “Good morning madam, show me your dirt”. We all have it. Some more than others. Imagine someone actually offering to see your dirt. If he appears to be an obnoxious, sly-looking pervert with a dirt fetish, close the door as quick as you can. However, if he is holding what appears to be a vacuum cleaner, invite him in for coffee and cleaning.

The Jewel Tea Company and Fuller Brush Company employed young men to canvas door to door offering to clean your house and hopefully sell you the equipment to do it. I purchased a Kirby vacuum cleaner about sixty-four years ago after firmly spurning it from the Jewel Tea man. That was before he went right ahead and cleaned a visible path through the center of my living room, clearing dust, dog and cat hair, and unmentionable debris to reveal a perfectly clean wall-to-wall carpet.

kirby2

My Kirby vacuum cleaner moved several times along with the rest of our family for many years. I don’t remember what actually killed it, but it did eventually die, and gave way to several other brands of vacuum cleaner, none with the precision, style, and efficiency, though not the weight and cost of the Kirby vacuum cleaner. Today’s models sell for about $1200, and even Charlie’s hair loss is not worth that much brass.

Segue through time and place, and changes of generation. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and who knows how many generations of furry friends have romped through our various homes through the years and each have left remnants of their existence.

I am generally able to forestall an embarrassing situation, but when your friends begin asking for a towel to cover the sofa before they will sit on it, it’s time to recognize that the resident brown and white dog is depositing a great deal of his hair throughout the house. Charlie doesn’t simply walk through a room, he chooses to perform his Jack Russell gymnastics on the red Bokhara and dark Persian carpets as he goes from room to room.

001

My daughter purchased a new vacuum cleaner which promised to remove pet hair, so we purchased the same one. It did not perform as promised, so we gave it away. Since we seemed to be in the vacuum buying mode, we continued looking and researching for the perfect machine to suit our purpose. Our old vacuum was relegated to the garage rug.

Yellow Vac This is the beautiful new yellow vacuum cleaner which has come to live with us, and which promises to inhale most of the white hair which is evidence of the dance of the white dog.

The only problem is that this new acquisition has given way to a sudden surge of cleaning activity of all sorts. I found myself at midnight last night wondering what cleaning job I could accomplish today. Instead we went out and had an ice cream sundae.