Thursday, September 15, 2011

#96 - Ranting about Dog Hair

I love my floors. If anyone has a pet peeve about a certain "thing" in their house, mine is my floors. I'm a maniac when it comes to my floors.

Deputy Dave creating a mosaic entry rug. I love it.
We did this on a tight budget with some cheating. We purchased nice tile
imported from Italy that we mixed with cheap mosaic sections from
Home Depot...the tile store's cost for mosaic strips were astronomical.
Deputy Dave saved us thousands on installation costs.
The house we live in right now was purchased as a foreclosure. It had small bits of slick, glossy tile here and there, but even the dining room had carpeting. What? A dining room with white carpet? It wasn't so lovely, especially with the red Koolaid stains along with a few mystery spots.
He began to lay this floor and ending up ripping it out three
times before he got what he wanted.
My problem is...I lived too many years of my young life in Europe and it RUINED me for life. By the age of 21, I'd already lived in Europe for approximately five years. You do not find wall to wall carpet over there as in America.

The mosaic entry tile and the Italian Porcelain being laid...with our tiny
dog Cinnamon at the side --- she lived to be approximately 16
years old. The best doggie ever at only 4 pounds.
Cinnamon's burial plot next to our house. Deputy Dave built her
a little pine coffin and I wrapped her in a beautiful piece of fabric.
After 16 years of her giving us unconditional love,
this was the least we could do.
As for carpeting, my friends in Germany and one of my best-friends from Spain tell me that America's idea of wall to wall carpeting is the most awful thing possible to own inside a house. What? Who are these people? Foreigners! That's who!

Deputy Dave doing what he does best.
Of course, I thought they were crazy, then I began to see how INCREDIBLY wound-tight these European people are with their house cleaning as they scrubbed their doorstoop at 6:00am and actually took out the rugs to beat them with a stick. They mop the floors with buckets of steaming hot water while employing a vicious attitude --- that dirt had no chance I tell you, no chance at all.

Speaking of dirt...Now I just have to clean the dust that has permeated every
single crevice and crack and that is covering every single surface
in the house. Construction dust containment is not Deputy Dave's
strong point. But, it will be from this point forward.

And I can tell you another thing I learned from living in NOT cross a in-country German woman who has cleaning on her mind, she is powerful, she has dangerous cleaning tools and she KNOWS how to use them.

Deputy Dave had removed all the builder grade tile from the floors
and from the fire place surround --- so he mimicked the mosaic entry floor
design around the fireplace, and I thought he did an awesome job.
After a few years of witnessing this crazy way of living...of people who were rejecting carpet in the main rooms of the house...I slowly became inordinately obsessed with carpeting and flooring.

The flooring construction is nearly finished and we can start
to put our lives back together. Little did we know, five months later,
our house would be destroyed by Hurricane Ike. But, at least
we had solid flooring downstairs in the living areas
instead of soggy carpet such in the rest of the house!!!
When I was 19 years old, I came home from Germany to visit the family and I stayed at my parents' house - the house I grew up in. However, now I had my 4 month old daughter with me. We would be staying for a two month visit, which meant Heather would eventually be crawling around...on my parents' super nasty orange shag carpeting that was in place when they purchased their house in 1976. And the carpet had already been there for many years prior to the purchase. For real. During this visit from Germany, the year was 1987.

That is my little brother at around 15 years old and
who is now nearly 40. But, that carpet was there when I was
8 and it was there when I was 18 and when I was 28 and beyond.
Gotta love resistance to change!
At that time, I decided that I'd rather live with the cement foundation exposed or with area rugs on top of plywood rather than finding myself touching 30+ year old wall to wall carpeting. Yes, my parents carpet was over 30 years old before they tossed it. Is it a wonder that I am carpet traumatized?

At my sister's house. Here is my brother these days...
all that beautiful hair he had at 16 years old served a purpose, for a time.
These days, he's an Ex-Marine and lives with some form of a buzz cut.
He's my official "Bubba." Yes, he really is, my Bubba.
And, his house is exactly the same toward carpeting as mine.
With most of the house covered with tile and wood flooring, we get to enjoy the bare minimum of carpeting. A few throw rugs and large area rugs are great at catching the extra stuff and I vacuum several times per week. It works out great.

But, my flooring complaint right now relates to being a pet owner of two large dogs. It's like I've shot myself in the foot. Yes, we have lost our minds by housing two large high-shedding dogs (which I will NEVER do again) and this means that we constantly have tons of dog hair floating around, tufts can be found in the corner, under furnishings, a constant renewable layer of dog hair settles across my electronics and I detest this never-ending battle. I vacuum obsessively. It's not a pretty thing. The vacuum cleaner remains jam-packed with dog hair, in spite of constant emptying of the dirt container. It's ridiculous. Weekly, I am appalled that I have so much dog hair in my house. I think I'm developing dog hair anxiety. Is there such a thing?

Our Australian Shepherd could literally produce enough hair to daily create several toupees for those on a tight budget.

Maybe I should start making them and selling them on EBay.

"Get your official AUSSIE toupee right here! Real hair! Thick, tri-color black/tan/white toupee that only smells like dog when wet."

Anyway, I'm so glad to not have wall to wall carpeting downstairs cause that is where our dogs mainly live. However, our tile takes some serious destructive traffic. I can mop three-four times per week, but it doesn't matter, paw prints always end up all over the place. Want to find the backdoor? Follow the paw tracks. I just mopped yesterday so they should REALLY stand out.

As for large doggies living in the house...I'll never make that mistake again, especially not with high-shedding breeds. However, I'm committed to my two big doggies, for life. I love their adorable shedding butts. I just can't keep up with the messes, the destruction, and the shedding they cause. How did I end up in the dog house?

I am the woman of the house...How did I allow this to happen? How could I have been so ignorant about large dogs and the amount of shedding they produce? I truly had no idea, but I've now been educated. My level of wisdom has cranked up a notch. I now know that there are indeed breeds of dog that shed more hair than can be imagined. Even our shepherd, with the under coat removed, there are still huge problems with shedding. It's a losing battle.

I get dressed to go to lunch with my husband, Howdy runs over to us as we're walking out the door and he lightly brushes by me. I look down, my leg is literally covered in dog hair. I cannot sit on my own furniture because the dog hair is EVERYWHERE. It's leather, so I usually start whacking it with a dust towel. WHACK WHACK goes the towel and I also vacuum my sofas so every crack can be cleaned of dog hair.

This little fluff ball, our Howdy, would end up leaving serious
fluff balls all over the house.
Moreover, I cannot wear nice clothes in my own home or they'll simply be covered in dog hair, so I opt for the moo-moo. I spend so much time clearing dog hair that I have incredible time wasted in my daily life...time that I could truly be spending doing many other things that are needed. But, the dog hair must come first and it is a definite daily battle. If I didn't take care of this every day, our house would quickly reflect a dog shedding nightmare. Augh!!!!!! It seems to be a senseless battle. I clean the blinds and two days later a fresh layer of dog hair coats the slats...What is the point? Yes, it's EVERYWHERE.

Since I'm whining about dog hair, I want to make it clear that we do brush the dogs. We even have a special brush to remove the under-coats. But, my point is...I've raised my's time for some house-keeping rules that will lessen the "keeping" part on my end.

There's no doubt that the constant dog hair all over EVERYTHING makes me nuts. The job of cleaning all that never-ending hair fallout is too big of a job. As soon as I am finished with these two big dogs, I'm retiring from big dog more big dogs in the main house. This has been a hard lesson for me...I never even knew large dogs could shed so much because I had never owned a large dog before these two shedding monsters. For the record, the Australian Shepherds are awesome dogs, but they are shedding machines.

I am giving Howdy a big hug because he is normally NOT ALLOWED on furniture
or our beds, but I'm about to wash the bedspread, so he gets to be spoiled
with a few big hugs, and I get a noseful of dog hair. He really is sweet.
And I look like I have a mustache and beard once he gets up and walks away.
But, I confess, it's a luxury for me to go to my sister's house and to walk on the plush carpeting throughout her house. It's like walking on a cushion. I feel like I could just fall down onto the thick, dense carpet with the spongy padding and start rolling around like a weirdo. For some reason, I don't think anyone in my family would blink an eye.

One day, when I'm no longer living in big dog land, maybe we can finally enjoy the luxurious feel of wall to wall carpeting again and gross out all of our European friends. But, there won't be any more carpet until I'm not frazzled daily by excessive dog hair. However, I must be honest...the Yorkie that recently joined our family does not shed. I can hold her against me while wearing a black blouse and there is not a hair on me from her little body. She feels like silk and does not shed. If you want a low-shedding dog, a Yorkie is definitely a recommendation.

Maybe we should start planning for that nice climate-controlled dog house next door. Yes, people in Texas have these souped-up dog kennels, only for triple digit days so you won't end up with permanent hot dogs being roasted by the Texas heat. My husband's cousin has one of these nice dog houses so she can keep her house free from dog hair. Smart woman.

It's a good thing we have a few acres, I have a feeling we're going to need it. But, the dogs won't get a mosaic tiled entry...just sealed concrete and perhaps I'll paint them a wall mural with all kinds of bones. It'll be the "Dog Coop" and I will finally be able to live in a house that's free of dog hair!!! Now, I really want to put a sign in the yard and get moved to our land.

I'm dog hair exhausted. Honey, can we put the sign in the yard next week?


LindaG said...

I don't think you're going to want to cover your pine floors with carpet...
We are thinking we might put a bit of carpet in the bedroom, but we might not, too.
And sand fleas. Ugh.
I think bare floors and slippers will be called for. ;-)

Rae said...

We have ZERO carpet in the house. When we bought it, the carpet had already been removed, so we pulled carpet staples and tack strips and installed laminate throughout. Our floor plan is really open, so I went to Home Depot and bought one of those soft dry-mop push brooms, about 2' wide. Makes "sweeping" much easier.

Do you have a furminator for your dogs? Best invention ever. And remember, it's called FURniture for a reason...

The tile work that Deputy Dave did is lovely. Tile is so much fun! I'm planning on ripping out the shower shell in our master bath this winter, and redoing the whole thing in tile... Can't wait!

Mike said...

Not only do Germans not have carpet, you'd be hard pressed to find a closet. That's considered another room and I think they get taxed on room count. Can you imagine; no closet space? But, then you wouldn't have a need for Shrunks and Wardrobes now, would you?
We finally downgraded from big dogs when we found Quigley, our Aussie, a new home. He was tri-colore, like Howdy only fatter and an outside dog. Mainly because he was so monstrously strong and demanding. And this house doesn't have a lot of walking room. He was way too much for us to handle at our ages and I'm ashamed to say we neglected him far too much. We finally realized our mistakes and he went to a family with 4 kids. I'll bet he's still having the time of his life ripping and romping with them. ;)
I do a bit of tiling too. I presently keep mine waist high on counter tops. I'm just too old to be crawling around in the floor. Well, I can get down. It just isn't very easy getting back up.
Remember, cats shed too. ;)

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Linda --- No, I won't want to cover the pine floors and I want the old-fashioned plank flooring. It'll be great --- a few throw rugs, braided rugs, etc. will be great. Maybe I'll one day be able to afford the plush kind of rugs.

Rae --- My furniture doesn't really hold the hair since it's leather, but it has to constantly be swiped off. Howdy sheds so prolific that the hair floats in the air --- getting everywhere. We can't let our drinks be without a lid because I am so disgusted by a rogue hair floating in it. Ugh. I'd love to do our shower as well. It's the ugly plastic kind of floor base that is discolored and icky, no matter what we do to clean it. Plain white tile adorns the walls. But, I don't know how much more I want to do to this house since we are planning to sell fairly soon. But, it's amazing how many people are going with other types of flooing, either in addition to their carpeting or they're not doing carpet at all.

Mike --- yep, I remember that. Each cabinet or closet counts as a room to be taxed, so our kitchen had two bottom cabinets and no upper cabinets, we installed shelving. And, we purchased wardrobes (shrunks) for the bedrooms. I think the base let us loan two shrunks for the master bedroom. We brought a shrunk home and still use it --- it sits in the room with our oldest daughter's belongings. Our china cabinet is also from German, we have several pieces from Germany...I did love their furniture. About the Aussie, I can DEFINITELY understand how they can be so energetic and powerful, causing tremendous issues. Howdy demands a great deal of my time, and he can be a brute if I didn't have my "A" dog personality ready to do combat with him. But, he's turned out to be an excellent dog. However, I would not recommend an Australian Shepherd for anyone unless they had room for the dog to run and run and run and play, the more kids the better so that the dog can be worn out and wear out the kids and the dog needs to be in action/working, constantly. They are not an easy-to-own dog, but I sure do love Howdy. I must say, he's protected me several times and proved his worthiness, so I'll clean up after his shedding. :-) But, your Higgins is adorable!