Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow

Anyone who lives in a multi-pet household knows the joy of shedding season: hair everywhere. With three double coated dogs and two cats indoors (one long-haired) there seems to be no point in sweeping or vacuuming the Ruddy Beast because you might as well start again by the time you finish. Today was very windy at Farcical Farm, so we opened all the windows and let the tufts accumulate in the corners for easy removal -- thank you mother nature! (And thank goodness for hard floors because methinks the combination of carpets and pets would result in bloody carpets around here.)

Indoor pet hair is a fact of life to which we resigned ourselves long ago, so I find the outdoor pet hair more interesting. The picture above shows what comes out of a pygmy goat (specifically Timbit) at this time of year. It is a soft, downy wool completely unlike their course, bristled overcoats. They love to scratch themselves up and down the fences, so there is a fine coating of this stuff along the lower two feet of wire in the goat and horse paddocks.

And then there's the horses. Raven has fine black hair and her shedding process isn't particularly drastic or noticeable this year (unlike last year when her rough orange coat came out in clumps). Tonka is a woolly beast who leaves his coat wherever he goes. The whole dirt portion of the paddock is covered in white hair, as are any roll-worthy areas of the pasture. I can go at him with the shedding blade for half an hour and the hair never stops coming (the picture is from last year, but would look exactly the same this year except for the blue garage).

The worst culprit by far is Titan. Right now he is the dirtiest, most raggedy-looking creature you could ever imagine (and you're going to have to imagine, because I'm not taking pictures of that mess). Whenever it drives me to the brink I tackle and groom him, but no amount of brushing or plucking seems to make a difference. We expect the SPCA any day now.

Pipsqueak doesn't shed much and neither does David, but I think this picture is really cute. It makes up for the undisplayed hideousness of Titan.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Titan can't be that bad, he looks great in his 'ready for prime time' photo before the shedding dirty mess he is now. I think all your critters look great. And I can sympathize with you on the hair all over the place. 7 horses and 3 dogs is no picnic around here either.

Funder said...

We have beige carpets which hide the pet hair quite well.... but we also have a black and earth toned Persian-type rug which is always covered in yellow hair. I will be so glad when spring has sprung.

I've always wondered why on earth the original breeders of Great Pyrs accepted white dogs as the standard. A dirty GSD doesn't look too bad; a dirty Pyr looks like a carnivorous sheep!

EvenSong said...

When we bought our place, it had white vinyl in the mud room and kitchen (the better to SEE the mud!), and still had beige carpeting (soon to be replaced with laminate, I hope). A friend once commented that the original owners certainly didn't plan on pets/horses!

Kate's little Champagne sister, Amy, is the wooliest baby I've ever had. She's been shedding right along with all the rest for two months now, and STILL has more winter coat that any of the others EVER had! She's a YAK!

larrium = the lair of the hair

Anonymous said...

Ugh! I hear you about the pet hair in the house! Except, we have carpets with 4 cats and 2 double coated dogs. One of the cats is long-haired, so it looks like he's left "chunks" of himself behind where ever he's been laying down at.

I use a slick n easy on Casey. I bought the block with Taz because he was a hairy yak when we bought him. I find it works great for shedding, much like a pumice stone on us. Even with the big trace clip, Casey is still shedding horridly!

Freya hates the tub. She won't enter the bathroom at all, ever. I'm just waiting for a nice day at a convenient time to take her to the barn to bath her in the wash stall since it's heated, or another oddly hot day to have a hose bath here at home.

Chelsi said...

Cndcowgirl says this thing really works!!


Carole said...

That one photo with the single goat eye is great!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Great Pyr's always look a little raggedy come Springtime. It's to be expected. :) That photo is adorable. Looks like some hugging is going on.


Black Jack's Carol said...

Oh my, very cute photo!

But, hideous??? A bit strong, don't you think? Poor Titan. Always one to root for the underdog (or undercoat maybe?), Titan now goes to the top of my favorites list.

I always loved that silky, shiny Spring coat, after Sam's winter one finally succumbed to the shedding blade.

Jean said...

I have four double-coated dogs and one short-haired tortie cat. I swear I get more cat hair flying around than doggy dust-bunnies! Well, except when they are blowing their coats when it comes off by the bagful. Unfortunately, with four dogs, there nearly always seems to be one blowing a coat.

I'm doing renos on the house I'm moving to - my number one priority for absolutely everything -furniture, flooring, construction - is "must be pet-friendly, pet-safe, and pet-convenient."