Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor
She asks me why
I’m just a hairy guy
I’m hairy noon and night
Hair that’s a fright
I’m hairy high and low
Don’t ask me why
— The Cowsills (from “Hair”)
If you’ve looked at my mug shot attached to this column you’ll know the Cowsills didn’t have me in mind when they wrote that verse of the rock opera “Hair.” But they could have been talking about my dog.
It’s dog-hair season at our place right now and everything — the carpet, the furniture, clothes, the back yard and occasionally my nasal passages — is covered with dog hair.
I almost hate to mention the dog’s name because I know he must hate it, but it’s the one my wife hung on him right after she adopted him from the pound — Snickle Fritz or Sniggles for short. The animal rescue folks were calling him Goldie and he hated that even more so he became Sniggles.
Sniggles is half chow and half golden retriever. His coat looks pretty flat and retriever like with hardly any shedding all year — until the fall. That’s when the fleece-like chow fur shows up and soon begins to separate from the dog.
It comes out in big tufts, which migrate around the floor until clothing or furniture with the correct static electric charge finally acquire the fur puff.
About a year ago we had bought a new foot stool. I walked by it a day or two later, stopped, patted it on the head and called it a “good boy” before I realized it wasn’t the dog.
We’ve learned not to wear dark clothing this time of year because the dog hair shows. And a few years ago when we were replacing carpet I even took dog hair samples in with me to see how well they blended in with the fabric.
It doesn’t really matter how much I brush or bathe the beast, five minutes later he’s molting once again. I can easily fill a plastic grocery sack in one good brushing. I’ve often thought I should be saving his down for a comforter.
At times I’ve brushed him outside and inevitably some dog hair will escape. When this happens I’ve noticed birds grabbing up the fur for nests.
My wife’s favorite thing to tell him after a brushing is, “we got enough hair to start another dog here.”
My favorite nickname for him is “Dog Rug,” because he’s hairy and usually places himself prostrate in the geographic center of things so you have to step on, over or around him.
I’ve given some serious thought to purchasing a pair of sheep clippers and shearing poor old Sniggles. But I’ve seen that done to other chows and they really look strange and can get pretty cold if left outside. He’ll never have to worry about getting cold living in the outdoors though, not while my wife is around. She loves having her dogs around her.
If you come to visit this time of year, just remember, the dogs will be there to greet you, and you will leave with a coat of dog hair
Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain’t no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair