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How to Vacuum Your Dog

There are plenty of reasons I love spring, but shedding my winter coat is not one of them. Once it’s done and gone I feel great, but the process is grueling. Everywhere I turn there are clumps of fur -  in the car, on the couch, in my bed, in the corners of every room. It’s hard to believe there’s any fur left on me.

It’s no cake walk for my mom either. She spends every free moment vacuuming trying in vain to keep the house from being devoured by a pile of my fur. The other day she yanked the vacuum’s plug from the wall in a fit of frustration and shouted, “I give up! I can’t possible suck up the fur faster than you’re shedding it.”

I had walked into the room to see what she was yelling about and she looked at me and looked at the vacuum and had an idea. “Maybe I should just go right to the source,” she said with a devious look. I quickly followed her line of thinking and began slowly backing out of the room. No way. No how.

Vacuum cleaners make me extremely uncomfortable. I don’t understand how they work, and I have no interest in learning. All I know is, they make a lot of noise and when they get near stuff, it disappears up the tube and is never seen again. Whenever I hear my mom or the cleaner pull it out of the closet, I find a comfy spot at the other end of the house and wait till it is over. Or better yet, I wait out on the porch.

So the idea of coming in direct contact with this monstrous machine was not something I was excited about. But my mom was determined to try it. So she did research on the web and found a site that gave specific instructions on how to vacuum your dog.

First she took me into her bedroom and closed the door. Then she brought the vacuum cleaner in and plugged it into the wall. I quickly scurried to the opposite side of the room. Then she turned on the vacuum cleaner and waited. I whined and stomped my paws and paced back and forth. Then she waited some more…and some more. Finally curiosity got the better of me and I got a little closer to sniff the vacuum. Then I sat down next to it and stared at it for a while.

Next my mom put a new piece on the end of the tube that was a small round brush called the upholstery attachment. She told me to lay down, which I did and she offered me a treat. Then very slowly, while holding my collar in case I tried to run away, she brought the tube to my body and slowly moved it down my belly going with my fur. It was an odd but not unpleasant sensation. Next she start moving the vacuum back up my side in the opposite direction of my fur, which was also an odd but not unpleasant sensation.

Before long I had surrendered and found myself laying limp on the floor as my mom vacuumed my belly and sides and neck and legs over and over again. I’ll admit I was a little bummed when it was over.

We have tried it a couple times since. Once I get over the shock of hearing the vacuum roar to life, I actually really enjoy it. And my mom thoroughly enjoys the substantially smaller amount of surface space she needs to vacuum.

It think it would be a special kind of person to try this on a cats, but it would probably work.

J Dawg, who voices the paws-on-the-ground perspective of island life, is created by Janet Forest, owner of Nantucket Pet Sitter, which you can follow on Facebook, too.