February 22, 2006

Do they shed a lot?

Siberian Husky owners hear this question every time they take a dog out in public. Do they shed? Well, aside from the initial, smartypants answer that comes to mind (well, they're dogs, what do you think?) I do try to be polite and even offer some education about the breed so my reply usually goes something like this: "Yep, every day and then a HUGE coat dump 2 times a year or so." Give up on the fantasy of ever wearing black (or any dark, slimming color) again. Accept that when you open your car windows you'll create some weird weather anomoly...a dry white out...as the hair is sucked out of your vehicle. If you want clean, dog hair free sheets check into a hotel, preferably one that doesn't allow pets, as a Siberian Husky owner may have been there before you.

It's often opined that the coat dump is triggered by seasonal changes...in with the winter coat, out with the winter coat...which doesn't really explain why Siberian Huskies in Southern California still dump their coats, does it? My crew starts dumping their coats in October/November...that's pretty much winter in my book, way too late to be growing in the "keep me warm" hairs.

I have a theory; coat dumps are triggered by dog show entries. The more expensive the entry, the more important the show (to the owner of course) the better one's chances of having a "naked" dog are. Take Satinka, for example. She's been rolling her coat out (a gentle shed, where every bath removes a little bit of dead hair, but she's still got a lovely, full coat) all year long. I don't mind, I'm happy she's not a coat dumper. I'm proud she's not a coat dumper and I loudly praise her non-coat dumping qualities to all of my show friends, especially when they have naked dogs. Pride goeth before a fall should be the thought coming to mind about now.

So, we're coming up on the beginning of the spring/summer show season; lots of shows coming up. No major shows, but lots of small, close to home, relatively inexpensive shows. Guess what I did last night? I combed a grocery sack full of hair off of Satinka. Not your little plastic bag...the big, paper bag kind of grocery bag. How does she know show time is starting up? Is there some sort of canine telegraph that we mere humans can't hear?

February 21, 2006

The Joys of Home Ownership

Kaos is in...well...chaos. Somewhere along the line, the lovely light "builder beige" carpet that was installed in our lovely, new home turned "backyard brown." Now, as anyone who's seen dirt knows, it's not the most attractive color on a carpet...nor is it consistently shaded (or I might have just lived with it). So, in a spurt of "we've got to do something" the adults of Kaos (as opposed to the dogs of Kaos) decided to pull up all of the carpet in the living areas and lay down tile. Not hire someone to lay tile...to lay the tile...ourselves. Did I mention that our house is roughly 2800 sq. feet? And that we're laying tile in at least 2/3 of it?

Over the weekend we did most of the dining area (that space between the family room and the kitchen that defies naming), most of the kitchen (including pulling out the appliances to tile underneath them as needed) and most of the family room. Grandma's room and new walk in closet are about 1/2 done...we'll go back upstairs later, after the downstairs projects are complete. Did I mention that I'm not a svelte, fitness freak and that tiling is a lot of work? I found muscles I didn't know existed...and I liked them that way.

So, back to that backyard beige carpet. Some areas will get new carpet; the living room, formerly known as the dog room, is going to be the library, with french doors opening into it. That room will be dog free and carpeted. The stairs, upstairs hallway and Sean's den/guestroom will also get new carpet. Sean and I picked a gorgeous "black cherry" carpet. Yes, it'll show dog hair...but everything does. However, the black cherry carpet does NOT work with the merlot walls downstairs...which means the dark merlot walls need to be primed and repainted. "No, Sean, we cannot leave the walls primer gray."

And where were the dogs during all of this weekend fun? Well, they spent parts of the weekend outside...when it wasn't pouring rain or when they weren't opening the new slider (did I mention the 8' slider that took the installers two trips to install according to code? and they still didn't do the interior drywall work? Sean HATES drywall) and tromping through the tile adhesive on the floor. The rest of the weekend they spent hanging out in their crates, sleeping. Even the puppy...he's such a good boy. And getting BIG...but I digress.

So, we're about 1/2 way done with the tile; the entry way and the "new" dog room (which was our library and to normal people is a dining room) both need tiled and there are a few more rows in the family room to do, as well as all of the edge pieces that need cut. Then Sean has to put up the wall and the french door into the libary. All of the new wall needs to be textured, then we need to paint everything that needs painted. When all that messy stuff is done, we go back upstairs. Finish Grandma's suite (tile the other 1/2 of the floor and her bathroom and install her new vanity), paint and tile the master bedroom & bath and then, finally...have the black cherry carpet installed.

Then, I guess, we move outside...to do some landscaping in the front. But don't hold your breath for that one...I may hire it done.

The spring dog show season is coming up. I can tell, because Satinka is blowing her coat. One of our new favorite games is "pull the hair off the dog." Ok, maybe it's not her favorite game, but I sure enjoy it. The spring blowing of the coat means I'll have more time at home for fun house projects and less money spent at dog shows. Guess where I'd rather be?