Sunday, April 1, 2018

Shedding dog single-pawedly keeps lint roller industry afloat

As spring arrives I begin to wonder if there is any place in my house, on my body or perhaps in space, that I can’t find dog hair. 

Skipper’s winter coat apparently sheds at the rate of 1000 follicles per second, and is dispersed throughout my universe in a method that even string theory cannot explain. At work I glance down at my shirt and there are dog hairs. In the car. On the dinner plate. In the shower. On the pillow at bedtime. 

It is as if the old boy is getting a commission based on sheer coverage. He is not a long-haired dog, so he sheds short, fine little buggers, which float up onto your nose and settle, causing you to slap your palms down your face like one of the Three Stooges. 

(If there are any young readers who do not know who the Three Stooges are, here is what you need to do: ask for new parents. Or go on YouTube. But the former choice makes a stronger statement.)

There are many benefits to having a dog, but none involves breathing. 

There is a certain doggie dander factor which creates a kind of haze in the air, especially in the spring. Combined with the pollen wafting in through the many cracks in my old house, the audible sniffling from my family is at, like, “Hamilton” Act II levels. (Not as many people die in Act II as do at the end of “Hamlet,” but you care more, because they’re Americans.)

One benefit to having a dog is decorative; one’s window sill looks so bare without one. Skipper mounts a chair and then takes his position on the sill, like a general. There he will stand sentinel for an hour, or, more accurately, lounge sentinel, chin resting on paws, vigilant but not trying to show off or anything. 

To the letter carrier, to a passing jogger, to a delivery truck, he barks the following outrage, without variation: If this window were not here, I would now be in possession of your ankles. To a dog, a delivery truck totally has ankles.

This time of year I brush and comb Skipper's fur, which you'd think would take care of the shedding, but the Fates just laugh. Every pleasure in life has its cost, and a canine's cost is a fortune in lint-removal-rollers. 

It’s O.K. I just tell my coworkers I moonlight as a furrier. Nothing surprises them any more. 

Ankles. I give you fair warning.