DECORATING HINTS FOR GOLDEN LOVERS
Once upon a time, on a planet located three rocks out from its sun, a family built a home. Seeking to avoid the blahs of boring beige, they selected a very nice rusty-golden carpet color. Life was good, partly because dirt from shoes of children and their friends did not show so much. Neither did workshop sawdust – of which there was a plentitude.
Then along came Misty, a nice, medium-tone Golden Retriever. Misty’s fur matched the carpet color so well that nobody noticed how much she was shedding until one day we opened the door on a breezy day, and a dog-fur tumbleweed rolled into a corner and covered up the dog. The vacuum cleaner, up until that time, was collecting cobwebs. Soon, it was hard at work, and that task came to be never-ending. I quickly learned the definition of “lost cause” when I needed to wear winter Navy Reserve blue uniforms in the same house (or car) that houses a golden!
A pretty good color match
Sixteen years passed with our best furry friend, but, after many happy times, this pup went to the place all such good buddies go. The carpeting soldiered on alone – for a while. A few years later, a visit to the local Humane Society resulted in adoption of another Golden with the unlikely moniker, Kramer. She was a canine marvel - one of curly fur and mild temperament – and, once again, copious volumes of carpet-matching fur. Almost matching – for a while.
However, the years marched on, and the carpet was aging. So was Kramer. High-traffic lanes looked like local highways where studded snow tires used to carve grooves, and the color in such areas was dingy at best. As for Kramer, she was simply graying. Finally, the time for new carpet came – and passed. We reluctantly caved in to contemporary wisdom (isn’t that phrase an oxymoron?), to choose neutral tones. So, with a virtual sigh, we bought nice-quality, boring beige, on the advice of realty gurus. Well, it actually did look nice in all the rooms, so we’ll have to accept this wisdom. The real surprise was how well the new floor covering matched the no-longer-new dog. One dog – two carpet colors, radically different, and each in its own time matched up. It would have been cheaper to dye the dog, and keep the old carpet for a bit longer, but one family member might have taken a dim view of that.
It’s a match – again!
Well, in winter, we still had industrial-strength dust bunnies made of Kramer fur. The vacuum no longer collected cobwebs, but one day I had to administer the Heimlich maneuver to the dust bag inlet to dislodge the hair ball that the machine had choked on. Summers were easier because Kramer would get a nice short buzz cut to alleviate certain olfactory effects from being in the lake all day. In addition, short fur doesn’t seem to fall out so much, and it picks up much less debris and burrs than a long, curly coat. Life was good again. Then, the big challenge for us was to avoid tripping over the boring beige dog sprawled on boring beige carpet – blending in like a canine chameleon.
On the day after Christmas one year, Kramer departed this life and headed for the “Rainbow Bridge.” Less than a year later, another rescued Golden, Bailey, joined us from GRRoW. Then, a few months later, her buddy and father of her two litters, Benjamin, also came to be part of the pack. Details of those events were recorded in “The Bailey/Ben Blogs” – a 25-chapter series of observations on the ordeals and the fun of adopting and adapting. Both of these pups were of the darker golden hue that retrievers can exhibit. Thus, they’d have been better suited to match our previous carpet color. Now, the workload doubled, and there were two long-haired critters bouncing about the place, and the shedding fur was rising like tumbleweeds piled up by the wind on a North Texas fence line. Our oldest vacuum cleaner gave up the ghost not long ago with a screech, a choking sound and a belch, followed by what must have been its death rattle. The other two machines locked themselves in the closet and aren’t responding to us.
Ben & Bailey share a bone
Note carpet – dog contrast
They blend nicely into the wood floors, however.
A few days ago, I noticed that the living room carpet seemed a bit beaten-down. Whoa! It’s too early for good carpeting to look like that. Even the deep-pile texture looked subdued – detail a bit hazy – like a skyline on a smoggy day. I reached down and pulled my fingers through the nap – and raked up a huge handful of doggy fur! With three passes of both hands I collected enough to fill a sandwich-sized Zip-Lock bag! Really full. An hour later, having started with a brand new bag, our relatively new Hoover was moaning in protest – and the bag was again full. The darker doggies blended in better than we had expected.
So, we made a big move and purchased the bag-less Dyson vacuum that advertises "animal fur" right in its name. We vacuumed the living room carpet alone and had to empty the canister three times. That machine was impressive.
Dark blue wool-blend clothing exhibits black-hole-like attraction for dog fur, and the attractive force is proportional to the difference in color shade. One afternoon, Lynn slipped into the back seat of my car (then dubbed “The Dog Car”) while wearing dark-colored wool slacks. Now the slacks are twice as thick, and you can’t tell what color they used to be. Rumor has it that we have been put on the local dry-cleaner’s “do not call” list.
If dog fur in your soup, on your clothing or up your nose is a turn-off, you might want to think hard before acquiring a Golden Retriever or two. If you do proceed, you’ll benefit if you have carpeting that matches the animals. If your car seats are anything other than leather or vinyl – you’re doomed! Also, it’ll be best to buy an extended warranty on any new vacuum cleaner.
Golden Retrievers - - They’re still worth every fiber of it! And, they’re rather like potato chips – You can’t hardly get by with just one.