Have You Tried Vacuuming the Dog?

Tending to the shedding.


Okay, so vacuuming Rosie didn’t go so well. Don’t blame me. Tufts veterinary dermatologist Lluis Ferrer, DVM, suggested it as a way of helping to keep the house free of all the hairs that come from shedding. (See the story that starts on page 11.) I knew Franklin the border collie, an even bigger shedder than Rosie, wouldn’t go for it. He always dives for cover the second he hears the motor. But I thought Rosie would enjoy it because one, she’s always chasing the vacuum as soon as we flip the “on” switch — she thinks it’s a game; and two, she likes tactile sensation, always leaning into an intense run of our fingers through her hair and often rubbing back and forth against us as hard as she can, like a cat. She also doesn’t seem to mind noise. Heck, she’d jump on a motorcycle if she could — without a helmet!

But the little cream-colored shiba inu ran from me as soon as I started coming toward her with the wand. I guess chasing the vacuum cleaner is one thing; being chased by it, quite another. You should have seen her looking back and forth from the vacuum to me like I had completely lost my mind. If she could have picked up the phone and called DSS — Doggie Social Services — she would have.

It’s probably just as well that it didn’t work out. Thin as a tube sock, she might very well have gotten sucked up into the thing. People often remark to us, in fact, that she’s too thin. But she’s not. As Tufts veterinary nutritionist Lisa Freeman, DVM, explains, dogs have been becoming heavy enough that overweight has become the new normal, and normal weight is now perceived by many as too svelte. For a reality check on what’s healthy weight and what’s too thin, see the article that begins on page 8.

In the meantime, I keep threatening both Rosie and Franklin that I’m going to create another Rosie and Franklin with all the hairs they leave around. But even if I could, I wouldn’t be on the cutting edge. Dogs have been cloned now for the better part of a decade — since 2005. Yup, for a cool $100,000 you can recreate your beloved canine pet. Or can you? Moreover, should you? Should you even want to? Check out the story that begins on page 1.

Happy tails to you,

Lawrence Lindner
Executive Editor


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