Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Drowning in Dog Hair

It's hot and I don't do well in the heat. I get bitchy. Last night as I was going to bed I glanced at my thermostat and it was 89.7 degrees IN MY BEDROOM! At 11pm. Obviously we don't have a/c. We have a ceiling fan in two of the bedrooms and an ocillating fan (circa 1983) in the kitchen/living room area. I open the house up at night in an attempt to cool the place off while we slumber, and then close everything up by 9:30am in a vain attempt too keep it as cool as possible during the scorching heat of the day. In essence I now live in a cave. A dark place with no sunlight whatsoever yet with a slight breeze from the fan. That's really just moving the hot air from one corner to another. No fresh air here, no sirree. Cracking a window might make the temperature jump up a degree. Can't have that, so we continue to live in the shadows for the next week or so. Mr. Chick convinced me to go in the hottub last night because he had turned the temp down to 96 degrees and really, that would cool me off. What's sick is that he was right, and sitting in a HOTTUB *cooled* me off. Scary.

Like I said, I get bitchy when the weather is too hot. What's too hot? 70's are good, 80's are fine, 90's push it. High 90's/100's = TOO F*CKING HOT. Yesterday it was 100+. I find that my patience wears out by mid-afternoon and I start to yell more at the kids. I snap at Mr. Chick more. I don't feel like cooking. It's too hot to do much of anything, really. I break a sweat just walking from the couch to the refridgerator to get something to drink. So you KNOW I'd be in a lather if I had to vaccuum in this heat.

Floors are sort of my my "thing". I can't stand a dirty floor. If I get stuff stuck to my feet when I walk barefoot in my house (which is most of the time - we usually take our shoes off when we get home), then I must vaccuum. To make matters worse, we have pets. A cat and a dog. I love our animals, really I do, but is it wrong to confess that I'm ready to be pet-free? After having kids the pets naturally got demoted to pets, not our substitute children. And lately I've been viewing them as liabilities rather than assets.

Take our cat. Or really, Mr. Chick's cat. She is 12 years old and recently went from being a fat cat to being Nicole Ritchie skinny. It was alarming. She simply wasn't eating, it seemed. She was wasting away before our very eyes. A few weeks ago Mr. Chick didn't think she'd make it through the night. She was having labored breathing and making funny noises. We started talking about putting her down the next day. This has been a good cat, but she's very much Mr. Chick's cat. Not mine. She only approaches me if her food or water bowl is empty and he's not around. So part of me, while sad for Mr. Chick to lose his cat, was glad we'd be down to just the dog. Only she made it through the night and continues to hang on. Mr. Chick switched her food from the dry stuff to the wet stuff. That was the problem, apparently. She could no longer eat hard, dry food and now much have the stinky, make-me-gag-to-open-it wet food from a can. On a plate. In my kitchen. I want to hurl just thinking about it. For some reason this diva cat won't eat even the prima donna wet stuff out in the garage where she used to dine on the dry stuff. It has to be on the kitchen floor. Where Lauren wants to play with it. That's a fun battle - keeping her away from it. And having to remember to put it up when the dog comes in, because that's the first thing she goes for once she's inside. I just love have foul-smelling, slightly crusty from the intense heat, wet cat food on a saucer on my kitchen counter. Really, there is nothing better.

And speaking of our dog, she, like me, is not doing well in this heat. She's shedding like crazy. Which only makes me have to vaccuum more frequently. Except lately, because it's just too damn hot for housework. I've brushed her and gotten pounds of hair off, but it still keeps coming. She doesn't really even have long hair - she not a breed that requires grooming. I've taken to keeping her outside most of the time just to cut back on the nasty clumps of hair I find in the house - on the carpet or sides of furniture next to which she'll lay. So the other day I was doing a water-check of her bowl and she came running around from the side yard and dog hair was literally flying off her as she ran. I could see it just coming off her. And I was thinking "hell NO you aren't coming inside!" - I'm not vaccuuming, I just took a shower. So I decided to give her a bath and see if that would help cut down on the amount of hair she's shedding. Our dog is NOT a water dog. Turning the hose on her is tantamount to torture in her little canine brain. But turn the hose on her I did. I had to wash and rinse with one hand because the other had to hold her at all times. She's big (ok, FAT from all the kid scraps, lack of exercise, and occasional saucer of wet cat food) and weighs close to 70lbs. I got her wet and lathered her up, my fingers raking her fur and getting coated in black and white dog hair. Gross. I finished up and she shook the way dogs do and then promptly plopped down in the dirt. Nice. Wet dog now sitting in the dirt. So much for the bath. I was hoping to brush her while she was still wet, but she was having no part of that action. So I figured I'd just brush her later when it was cooler and she'd forgiven me for getting her wet in the first place. Except I didn't. I saw her and saw how much MORE she was shedding post-bath that I didn't feel up to the monumental task and said I'd do it the next day. I instructed Mr. Chick to keep her outside until I could give her a good brushing. Except he didn't. I got home from the pool this morning and my happy-to-be-inside-again dog greeted me at the door. And right behind her, on the carpet in the hallway, was a new area rug of dog hair. I've spent more time than a normal person would picking up clumps (CLUMPS!) of dog hair from all over my house today. Because it's still hot and I don't vaccuum in the heat. The only way I'm able to stand this situation is that we live in a shadowy cave of drawn curtains and closed blinds so I can't actually see how much dog hair is coating everything.

But you can bet your sweet ass that tomorrow morning, before the temps climb into the 80's, I'll be vaccumming carpets and furniture like a mad woman. Hell, I may even vaccuum the dog! Anyone up for taking a lovable, sweet, overweight dog who happens to shed hair as if she's Big Foot doing chemotherapy? No? Well, I tried.

Oh God this is our story (the dog and hair) to the T, only we do have LOVELY A/C. It's been in the high 90's here too, with 100+ coming the next few days. I keep the A/C down to 71 and all the curtains and blinds shut tight so that the temp in the house doesn't climb much. It still gets around 74 when it's really hot, but I am very thankful for A/C because I'd think I'd freak if I had to melt around my house in the high 80's.

Sorry. Hoping for a "cold front" to burst through the PNW soon to soothe you!!!!
I have 2 chows so you can imagine my fur situation. I can just pull the tuffs off of one of them. I really should have bought a bagless vac; I go through bags like crazy (2 - 3 vacs per bag!). My one really can't stand the heat and will actually lay across one of the a/c vents to sleep (blocking it from ever entering the room!) I'll be glad when fall gets here.
Just wanted to thank you real quick for trying to call me yesterday. Sorry I missed your call hon. Kevins home today and we will be running errands all day long but will you be home tomorrow? Hope to catch ya then. Will try ya on Thursday afternoon. Have a great day!
Oh this sounds way too familiar!! The dog hair!
The best way to rid it I found was to shave our dog. Seriously.
It's hot here and the dog's much happier. And a lot less hair.
Also the Dyson vac for animals is AWESOME!
We have 2 dogs and a cat and I am ashamed to say I too long for the day to be pet-free. (now that we have two kids)
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