Gretchen Rubin wrote in The Happiness Project about the year she spent “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy.” The Puppiness Project is my attempt to learn the same from Honey, my Golden Retriever.
The fine line between love and hate
After brushing my teeth, I apply a little lip balm and crawl under the comforter. Within seconds, my mouth is coated with dog hair and every word I speak comes out fuzzy.
In the morning, I grab my slacks from the closet. As the hems touch the ground, they pick up dog hair faster than a greyhound on amphetamines.
When I make my lunch, I find a stray gold hair on the plate I take out of the cupboard.
I hate dog hair.
And yet every dog I bring home has a thick, double coat. I just love beautiful dogs with luxuriant fur.
I love dogs that shed as much as I hate dog hair.
Living with something you hate to get something you love
As we head into winter, I’m preparing my survival kit: long underwear, boxes of my favorite tea, the space heater that fits under my desk, and lots and lots of rum.
We’re heading into a dark and gloomy season and it takes all my reserves to get through the ever shorter days.
Every once in a while my husband threatens to move me to Florida. I say, “no way.”
Somehow I don’t think I’d experience near the joy of summer if I didn’t have to survive such a long winter to get to it.
When we finally get an 80 degree day, I can’t stop smiling. My face turns up to the sun like a sunflower. I can’t bear to be indoors. I’m determined to enjoy every moment of warm weather before heading back into autumn and winter.
The upside of dog hair
Yes, the price I pay for having a beautiful dog with a floofie tail and soft furry coat is dog hair condiments and hairball rhinos under the bed (they’ve long since grown past the bunny stage). And it’s worth every stray hair.
But the upside? A five minute vacuum job makes my house look like something out of House and Garden even if I haven’t cleaned another thing.
Skating over a thick veneer of dog hair for days at a time makes those five seconds of hair-free floors look beautiful. At least to me.