by Laura Sylvester
I have a friend who really likes the idea of getting a dog for her family, especially when she considers it for her son who has apraxia. She has one major hang-up, however, that seems to be the impassable roadblock between her and canine ownership. DOG HAIR.
I would so love for her family to experience the same joys we have found by having Orbit around! I so wish I could tell her that the shedding is not that bad and that you can control it with brushing and baths. But then, I would be lying! Areas of our house are now COVERED with dog hair. Its like a series of little indoor dog hair laden winter storms continually race through the inside of our house dumping the stuff all over the spots where Orbit is allowed. Little white hairs pile up everywhere. When Elliot’s play therapists come to play they now leave covered in sidewalk chalk, poster paint splotches AND fur. So, when at first I thought my friend was being overly fussy with her dog hair issues, I now realize that this is indeed hairy business and it should taken seriously!
There were some adjustments to make after our realization that the dog hair deluge was not going to stop and need management. I find that if I Furminate AND brush, the shedding does dissipate for a few days. Last week while I was Furminating and brushing Orbit, so much hair come out that Rick proceeded to amass it into another small dog.
Last week, we also gave Orbit his first bath. The process included Furminator, dry Zoom Groom, and then wet Zoom Groom with shampoo. Elliot helped with the shampooing and the rinsing. He was a great help and he appeared to enjoy it. His favorite part is when Orbit shakes off all of the loose water. Now, we just have to figure out how to train Orbit to “shake” on command. Orbit did NOT like rinsing with the hose; he much prefers the bucket pour method.
FYI - The Zoom Groom is a rubber brush-like thingy recommended by our friend, Nancy, who is a CCI puppy raiser. I LOVE that Zoom Groom. The Furminator is the ultimate de-shedding tool. Its narrow metal teeth REALLY collect the loose hair with nearly effortless strokes. Elise had warned us not to get OCD with the Furminator, as you can actually remove too much of the dog’s undercoat. So, when I feel I’ve Furminated enough, I switch to the Zoom Groom to keep removing hair with less intensity. Orbit fell asleep the first time I used it, on his back, all four paws in the air, me rubbing his tummy with the Zoom Groom. Sometimes, I forget he is still a puppy because he is so well behaved. In that moment he seemed so little, so warm and cuddly, so darn cute. I wish I could somehow transfer these amazing feelings to my friend with the dog hair issues. Let her know that, yes the fur flurries are an inseparable part of the deal…but the sledding and snow angels make it so worth it.
P,S, The title of this blog is also the title of Rick and I's favorite book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, A Corporate Fools Guide to Surviving with Grace