Dog hair. How much doesn’t matter? How much is too much? These answers totally depend on the person you’re asking. I mean, those two words can get such different reactions from people. I’ve seen people not care, even a smidge, about those words. I’ve also seen (and laughed very hard at) a person freak out into total chaos at the mention of dog hair being on their shirt. Seriously though; it’s not like dog hair is life altering due to its ability to stick to your clothing. Come on people – its dog hair. It happens. It exists. It’s not toxic. It can’t “get” you. You can dust it off most any surface. Humans shed and that doesn’t create a state of emergency; and that hair is everywhere. It too gets on your shirt. On the table you’re eating dinner at. On the counters. In the refrigerator. In the food you just consumed. So stop being drama…its a little dog hair. It’s not a big deal. Or is it?
It’s weird to me that dog hair hasn’t always been relevant in my life yet I’ve always had at least one dog. And yes, those dogs had fur. I’ve no clue where that fur went though. I feel like dog hair didn’t enter my life until about 1988. Weird right? I also feel like it wasn’t that big of an issue at that time either. That’s weird again right? I mean, I don’t know that non-existent dog hair is a possibility. Could it be that shedding has changed over the years? Oh come on! How else do you explain this stuff? There’s no answer that’s not odd. So, what caused shedding to increase over the years? Global warming? I don’t know but whatever it is, there’s a whole lot more dog hair that exists in my life now.
I think I’ve told you before that I’m fairly anal about our house and it being clean. Dog hair kind of, isn’t really, sort of, part of that (now that was a twisty sentence). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a golf ball sized fur ball garnish on my dinner salad. I just mean I have much less analness (it’s a word-or at least it is now) about the topic of dog hair. Ok, just let me explain or at least try to. Dog hair drives me crazy to a point. It mostly drives me crazy because of other people. I realize that sounds weird but I worry about what other people think (you’d think that at 47-years old I wouldn’t give a crap what they think). I don’t want them to see the dog hair and think I don’t clean the house. Or that we’re dirty people who just don’t care about cleanliness. Or that we’re lazy. Or that our dogs eat off the counters. You know, any “normal” thing people might think when they see dog hair on the floor, in a house with dogs. I’m going to check into some therapy soon I swear.
I’m assuming you get it; the why of my stressing about dog hair affecting guests at our house. Well that sentence isn’t co-dependent is it? RHETORICAL thank you very much! You see, for those of you who are “dog-people” you’ll understand what I’m going to say: Most people say they’re dog people and then when it comes to dog hair (and other things-especially slime) you quickly figure out that they’re full of crap. Here’s an example. We recently had someone over that was wearing nice jeans. You know, the kind you’d go out in; not the let’s dig ditches kind. This person wasn’t worried about the slime that is generated continuously by Zoey and Jax. Rather, the person was worried about the dog hair. Dog hair! A thing that you can brush off or that you can get rid of with one of the many lint rollers in this house. They were literally walking behind other people so they “didn’t get dog hair on them.” This adult turned into a child quicker than I can turn a brownie into crumbs. I’ll admit that in my head I was laughing and saying, “Chill out. It’s dog hair not poop. I’ll get the dang lint roller. Geez you freakin’ drama queen.” Remember, I said that conversation was in my head. Out loud I asked Marc to grab Jax so that he wouldn’t get dog hair on this person. This is a perfect example of why I buy lint rollers in bulk from Costco!
A dog hair worry that I do have is about food. I am really, really, really, really, really, really anal about making sure the table and counters get cleaned often. Dog hair on those surfaces is just nastiness. It’s gross. I mean I’ve had dog hair in my food a million times but it doesn’t mean I enjoy it. I don’t want pasta with a dash of dog hair. I also don’t want anyone, Marc, Bob, Bill, anyone having to pull it out of their food. Sure you can get past it. You may not puke or even gag because of it but again, no one likes it. No one wants it to happen. No one wishes for it. So yes, I stress with the hopes that my stressing will keep the dog hair off the counters and on the floor where it belongs (Of course I know how ridiculous that sounds)!
Speaking of a clean house, one of the worst things about dog hair (probably in my opinion only) is when it’s on the floor it makes the whole area look dirty. Then I question myself about the house’s cleanliness even though I’m the one who cleaned it so I know it’s clean. I need help; I know. No that’s not a sudden realization, I’m just reaffirming. Back on track. I used to vacuum two times per day minimum. Why? Because I am so anal about the dog hair for the simple reason I just stated: it makes a spotless house look dirty. Since hurting my back, I can’t vacuum as often as I’d like to, but thankfully Marc does it as often as he can. In order to keep the house vacuumed, we now have his and hers vacuums. No, I’m serious. We have a Dyson Animal that Marc uses because it’s not only fantastic for a herd of dogs, it’s also supercharged and pretty damn hefty. It works great but isn’t ideal for a crappy back. I use my own vacuum that our kids bought me (yes I really did asked for it for Mother’s Day). On good days, it’s perfect. It’s sturdy and light, which means less back issues. This is awesome for my dog hair analism (Nice! My second new word for today).
In reference to our house, keeping it clean with six dogs is no easy feat. Dog hair gets in places that just stumps the hell out of me. I have literally looked at a closed shoe box, in my closet, and asked myself, “How the hell did it get in there?” It’s crazy to me but it happens. We have to dust pictures and shelves often, very, often. Hell, we have to dust walls often. The hair gets in the tub but the dogs don’t go in the bathroom. It gets in drawers, the pantry, and in the closets. It accumulates at an insane rate. For most people, vacuuming behind and under furniture might happen every four or so months. For us? It happens once a month, sometimes more. See, it’s that increased shedding stuff we talked about earlier. I’m telling you it happens. We vacuum the kitchen cabinets and drawers to keep them clean because we’ve learned that if we don’t, the dog hair will settle there, yea IN the cabinets, and that’s not pleasant.
We’ve had some mishaps over the years but I think the more it happens the less we care. It’s like getting immune to something. I now know you can get immune to dog stuff. Except farts. There’s no freakin’ way you can become immune to those. Dog hair though, in the ginormous backyard of life, isn’t a big deal.
Probably one of the best (in my opinion) reactions to dog hair that I’ve ever seen was my mom. The funniest thing is that it wasn’t even on her, it was on my shorts. This was back when we owned Golden Retrievers; yea, they shed-a lot. Here’s the scene: My sister owns a café that I worked in for several years. I worked weekend mornings and my parents used to come in every weekend for breakfast. They always came in at o’dark-thirty so there weren’t a whole lot of customs yet. I was thankful for that. I literally lost control of whatever it is that makes you stop laughing. Yea, I didn’t have one of those at the time. I almost threw-up and wet my pants from laughing and yes, both at the same time! It was roughly 7 am when my parents came into the café. I, not being a morning person, and having worked late the night before, was moving but not really functioning. It was something I had perfected. I get them their standard coffee and hot tea and bring it to their table. We share the minimal of pleasantries, remember-I’m only one level above sleep walking-and I turn their breakfast order in. I begin getting things ready for our impending breakfast rush and as I walk past the table, my mother calls me back. As I approach their table, I see the most horrified look on my mother’s face. It gave me a weird feeling in my stomach because I thought she was going to tell me something very, very bad. The only thing that kept my panic down some was that she wasn’t looking at my face; she was staring at my leg, side, and trying to see my back. All with that terrified look. I began throwing words: What? What are you looking at? Mom, what? She said (in panic and with an edge of stern), “Turn around!” We played word volleyball for a minute, “Why?” “Just turn around.” “What are you looking at?” “Just do it.” And so on. Side note here, my mother could turn Cujo into a face licking, tail wagging, ball of fur with just a glance. She had a look and she used it well. So, imagine my additional, Oh sh*t thoughts when I saw some of that look accompanying the horror she was showing. My mind was racing and I was so embarrassed because I was sure I had a sock or an extra pair of underwear stuck to my shorts from the laundry (it happened once). But no, thankfully her horror was strictly about the enormous amount of dog hair on the back of my shorts and shirt. This is probably a good time to tell you that my mom used to say she was a dog person but she in fact was not so much so. Needless to say, the dog hair on me made her feel faint. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration but she looked white. Please understand that I didn’t just shrug off the hair. I mean I was at work and in a restaurant. I didn’t make a habit of going to work covered with hair but I forgot the dogs were in the car that weekend and I hadn’t used the lint roller on my seat. At that point, I no longer had to right? So as I turn because my mother has ordered me to, she lets out an, “Oh my God,” that is so loud, I’m instantly embarrassed as the customers turn to see why she just did that! My first thought was, “Overact much?” But I’m no idiot; I’d never have said that to her face. Her next exclamation was, “Why is there so much dog hair on you?” As if I knew it was there and my answer was going to be something like, “Oh, I got ready quicker than normal today so I napped on the dog beds before I came to work.” It was definitely not a question she truly wanted the answer to because I am 100% positive that no matter how I answered her, she would not have liked the answer. Once I remembered the dogs in the car scenario, I tried to explain the why of it but she was already long past caring about why. Instead, she was walking with me to the back door so she could get the hair off me. She did not appreciate the fact that my stomach hurt from laughing at her and her reaction to some dog hair. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated her telling me and then getting it off me but holy crap, you’d have thought I had forgotten my shorts (damn; sorry about that mental picture). The scenario was hilarious; to me, not to my mom!
Dog stuff happens; including hair. So I just don’t get it. How can a person claim to be a dog person but in reality they can’t handle dog stuff? I’m not saying that I enjoy every aspect of dogs. I don’t jump up and down or change my Facebook status when Jax throws up on the sofa and Crispie starts eating it; which happened Thursday. I don’t hope that when I sit to eat dinner, I find a dog hair in my salad. I don’t wish for those things but when they happen I deal with them because I’m a dog person. Being a dog person, I vote that dog hair can be relevant, can be a pain in the butt, can make you crazy, and can be quite evasive. Yes, it can also be too much. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much is too much.