Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bags and Bags of Hair

For the last 20 years I have owned dogs (2) with white fur that sheds all year long.  I'm not sure why I didn't learn my lesson with the first one, but I didn't and now have a second one that sheds more than any dog I've ever had, ever.  I keep tape rollers in all the rooms of the house and friends who come over regularly usually bring some sort of sweater/sweatshirt to wear in order to play with my lovable dog and then, afterwards, remove it and be reasonably hair free.  With the new floors throughout the house, Rigby's fur has been the bane of my existence.  White clumps of it just appear out of nowhere ALL DAY LONG.  I adore my new floors, but at times I feel like I'm tethered to that vacuum and dust mop.
It is said that brushing dogs who shed helps with constant shedding, but it's not something I've ever done regularly with my lack of time when working.  Now that summer break is here and I don't have any major plans or responsibilities, I decided I would solve this shedding all over my floors problem once and for all.  I dug out my FURminator, a comb/brush gadget this is supposed to make brushing easier (I'm not entirely convinced), intent on making dog brushing part of my daily routine this summer.  We are 19 days into summer break today (including weekends), and I've brushed her 11 of those days.  As expected, the first two days of brushing were very very hairy.  Being part Queensland and part Shepherd Rigby has a thick undercoat that is soft and fine while the top coat is more hair-like, thick and wiry.  About three days in, it seemed as if I was making progress with the undercoat, and it didn't seem so thick.  But she is still shedding.  In 11 days I have filled 11 plastic grocery bags with dog hair, enough dog hair that would make it seem there was no hair actually left on the dog, but there is.  I don't know how Rigby is not bald at that point!
While hair is still winding up on my new floors, it HAS lessened quite a bit.  I'm only feeling the need to vacuum or dry mop about once a day now.  And with our 100+ degree weather over the last two weeks, I'm sure Rigby is feeling cooler with those bags of hair in the trash instead of on her body.  But I do wonder if she will ever stop shedding completely.


  1. (chuckle) Look at it this way. You are on a road. Not to being a slob, but to being a person that can live with a bit of dirt. Dirt you know you can get at in an hour or so.
    There's just a point you get to that realises the wind will move the hair to gathering places making it easy to get too.
    If you don't get there you'll need prescription meds.

    1. It never bothered me when there was carpet :) since I couldn't see it. The thing that is most bothersome is that I find it RIGHT AFTER I have cleaned. That's why it feels like it's constant. The brushing has helped some as the time between cleaning and more hair is becoming greater.
      She's taken to jumping on the couch - not on the spot she is allowed on - the last few weeks. Most of the time I don't see her there, just what she's left behind all over the couch. Although since I've been off, I'll come downstairs and she's sound asleep on she forgot I was home. Such a stinker!!

    2. I think they find comfort from laying on the spot you usually occupy. And trying to deflect them off that one is bound to lose.
      Me, I tend to pick my battles for I think they are genuinely willing to 'help'so I play into her willingness than try to break her off something, for that only stresses her.

      Here's a tip for you. The reason you rarely saw any hair when you had carpet is two fold. One, it blended. Two, the hair and the carpet carry a static charge. Only opposite, so they stick to each other and the carpet draws the hair out of the air.
      Now you are in the situation of having inert wood floors so the hair is free to swirl and eddy. And attach itself to any and all fabric.
      Now to the tip. Get a ten meter flexible hoover hose. Long enough to put the motor outside and you to swish about inside. Again two reasons. One, the exhaust is just a bloody great hairdryer which will blow the crap that was settled up into the air. And two, the exhaust air is charged keeping the hair up.
      But my best tip is to say fuck-it, I can live with some. It took me a year maybe two to get that far though.

    3. Yes, I think throwing up my hands in the air at it is far more likely to happen than the contraption you mention. ;) And once I'm back to work, I will probably care less. I've got the time to obsess over it right now.

  2. Listen to what Vince is saying. He's a wise man.

    I've fought dog hair for decades. In time you will learn the collection points and find yourself bending over and scooping up hairballs in passing. It's easier than trying to swiffer constantly.

    I love the image of friends arriving prepared with a change of clothing in order to play with her! :)

    1. I'd really like one of those robot vacuums as I've had several people tell me they are great. Something to save for!
      My hairy dog is notorious!! ;)

    2. We actually have a Roomba, but I consider it more a "toy" for my husband since I prefer the instant gratification of the swiffer. He has one particular room he likes to use it in, but it takes awhile since it just randomly moves around the room. Plus, it occasionally gets hung up on things or fills with so much hair it has to be emptied before it'll continue on. (and yes, it has little electronic ditties that tell you what it needs you to do)

      I'm with Vince in that I've learned a little dirt and hair isn't the end of the world. I was far more worried about it when I had babies crawling around, etc, but even then... they're healthier if exposed to a bit of dirt! ;)

    3. Yes, the getting "hung up" is the most common negative review about those robots. It's interesting to read the reviews as some LOVE them and some get so frustrated by them. It's probably all in the expectation. I like the idea of setting off when I'm gone or over night, but if there is something there and easy to get to the dry mop or little vacuum seems like a much easier fix. I'll still have to think on it.