“I’m all itchy and scratchy,” Fido said. He sat on his haunches, bent down a bit and scratched behind his ear.
“Wow, that’s a lot of fur that just flew off your neck, Old Boy,” I said. “Lemme take a look.”
There wasn’t anything that I could spot that was out of the ordinary.
“Fido, it’s shedding season, and I can make a lot of jokes out of that.”
“You’re shed out of luck, for one. “
Fido made a little noise that sounded very much like a chuckle.
“Or,” said I, “You’re up shed creek without a paddle.”
“I’m laughing,” Fido said, “but I’m still all itchy and scratchy. Howzabout you give me another brush?”
“Gosh, Fido, you had a brush this morning! If I brush you any more, you’re going to start looking like an orange, A-Frame shag carpet from the ’70s. Just look around the neighborhood. Your dog fur is forming a red-and-black patina just about everywhere you look! Trees, shrubs—everywhere.”
“I have a double-coat,” Fido explained. “I can shake and bake and get rid of the top layer myself. It’s the under-layer that really bugs me.”
“Fido, you know I’ll do anything for you.” I reached for his brush, stepped onto the deck, closed the screen door (critical) and began to brush his back, then his neck, then his throat, and then his hiney. Fur came off in clumps.
“This is like a massage!” he said.
“When have you ever had a massage, Fido?”
“Remember that time we went to Vegas?
“Fido, whatever sheds in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
A shedding dog doesn’t freak me out. Twice a year, once in mid-summer and another in the early spring, Fido needs to get rid of his old, dead hair so he can be ready for the change of the seasons.
He’s an indoor-outdoor dog. He likes indoors during the warm months, outside in the cold months.
He’s also a vacuum cleaner killer. Years ago, after we’d first met, Fido came home from the Whitmore Shelter and within weeks he began to shed all over the place. That was the death of vacuum cleaner No. 1.
So I went up a grade in vacuum cleaners (not inexpensive). During the next shedding season, vacuum cleaner No. 2 choked to death.
Finally, weary of dog fur in my nose, my breakfast cereal, the car (don’t even mention the car) and the linens, a pal of mine suggested I use a rake—one of this small-tined rakes gardeners use for the itty-bitty bits.
“It’s funny when you rake the carpet,” Fido said.
“It’s the same principle as raking your back with a brush, Fido. I’d appreciate a minimum of guff on this.”
“Look at who’s up shed creek now!” he yelped.
“You gotta be shedding me.”
He laughed and laughed and laughed his way into a deep, summer slumber.
Me, I grabbed the rake.