I had to have a dog.
Over four years ago, at 34 weeks pregnant with my third bundle of joy, there was still something missing from my life.
A cold wet nose. A wagging tail. Heavy breathing.
Okay, well maybe a little too much heavy breathing had something to do with the fact that I was 34 weeks pregnant for the third time, but I’m a lady (sometimes) and would never talk about such things (*cough* liar *cough*).
After a surge of hormones that left me weeping in fear that my man-children would never know the joy of a loyal dog (though they had known the frustrations of disloyal ones), I went in search of the perfect dog. For free. On Craigslist.
Some higher power must have been looking out for me, because, really. Do I need to repeat that? FREE DOG. ON CRAIGSLIST. What could possibly go wrong?
But somehow we scored canine gold.
Ginger Suzanne, aka GinnySue
The day I met Ginger (aka, GinnySue), it was love at first sight – for me.
The day GinnySue met the Hubster, it was love at first sight – for her.
The day the Hubster met GinnySue he knew his days of living in a dog-hair-free home were over.
The Hubster and I. Awwww, aren’t we cute?
(By the way, this is a real testament to how much the Hubster loves me. He’s not an animal person – not by any stretch. He’d be completely content to never have a pet in the house, ever. But I love animals – especially doggies and horses – and grew up with at least one dog in the house my whole childhood. He puts up with my furry addiction purely out of love for me, which is so, so sweet.)
The first few years of GinnySue living with us were…rough. And sometimes icky. Her health was poor. She’d not been seriously neglected by her previous family, but they hadn’t been great to her, either. When she joined our family she had some problems that left much of her poor body furless, her ears would have eebed out even those with strong constitutions, and she enjoyed a steady diet of her own poo. A really, really disgusting habit that has been hell to break. Thankfully, she’s figured out that we’re more than happy to feed her on a regular basis and now only enjoys this rancid indulgence semi-regularly – like holidays (she celebrates Festivus), and the occasional casual Friday.
Now that she’s a normal healthy senior citizen, she’s got a gorgeous full body of hair (as opposed to previous years when her rump was so bare and pink she looked as if she were part baboon). And now that we’re on the cusp of summer, that gorgeous full body of hair has found its way to our floor, and floorboards, and crevices in our stairs.
It’s got to go.
So, I’m trying a couple new things.
DUSTING WITH A DRYER SHEET. The website I got this idea from promised that dryer sheets are a hair magnet – and guess what…
They totally are.
I especially loved using them in the creases of our carpeted stairs, and where the floorboards meet the wall. We live in a quad and have SO MANY stairs. Ginny’s hair really loves to accumulate in those places, where the vacuum has a hard time reaching. This little trick pulled the hair out of the crevices easily, without just spreading the hair elsewhere. Not to mention how fresh and happy it smells. Love it!
The second thing I tried was BRUSHING THE CARPET BEFORE VACUUMING. The same website suggested using a few drops of fabric softener to a spray bottle of water, spraying the carpet, and then brushing it with a stiff-bristled brush or broom (I used a clean shop brush attached to a broom handle). We don’t use liquid fabric softener, so I made a little of my own using a variation of this recipe (link) – which, by the way, smelled so great (and was so flipping affordable) I’m going to seriously consider making my own in the future.
Once the softener was made, I put it in a spray bottle (two turkey baster’s worth), and filled the rest with water. Then, spray, brush, brush, spray, brush, brush…
So here’s the deal about brushing the carpet this way:
IT. IS. AMAZING.
We vacuum around here about every other day…and it’s almost enough to keep up with GinnySue’s shedding. But even with our frequent, thorough vacuuming, I was astounded by the amount of hair this concoction pulled up, even in places Ginny doesn’t frequent. After a good brushing, followed by the vacuum, our carpets looked like new. And I don’t mean that they looked pretty good.
I mean they looked like new.
I’m in love. LOVE, I tell you.
I’m pretty convinced that the concoction of homemade fabric softer and water is basically what Febreeze is. Our house smells delicious, and in a moment of Happy Hausfrau bravery, I went ahead and misted our furniture and curtains with the stuff. NO discoloration, NO sticky residue, FABULOUS smelling furnishings.
Screw love. This is downright idolatry. *glances upward, fearing lightning bolt*
So, my dear readers, this is one Happy Hausfrau experiment that went absolutely, beautifully, without-a-hitch PERFECTLY. I really hope y’all give these tricks a try!