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‘Tis the season

I’m not talking Christmas. No, this is plucking season. Plucking season is the time of year when all four of my dogs are in full coat-blowing mode, where I can sit beside on of them and just pluck tufts of fur out of the coat. I am vacuuming no less than five times per day, the dogs all look like they either have mange or moths have been at them, and the birds are ecstatic because there’s as much fur floating around outside as in, enabling them to create soft and comfy nests for themselves.

Two unfortunate facts accompany this year’s plucking season:

1). As soft as all the dogs’ undercoats are, three of the coats are too short for any but the most experienced spinners to use. I am not one of those “most experienced spinners”, therefore most of the fur is either going to the birds, quite literally, or into the trash.

2). I am presently afraid to brush Thor, the one dog with fur long enough to spin, the one dog whose coat is not being dropped all over my house in large quantities, and the one dog who really needs to be brushed right now.

You see, two weeks ago, while playing in the backyard, Thor managed to impale himself on one of the dozens of sticks they all insist upon chewing into points. We don’t know exactly how it happened, and can only guess that he was running down the steps and fell onto the stick.

Siberian Huskies, in the lingo of their owners, possess something we call the Siberian Death Scream. I had never heard it before, and I will be very happy if I never hear it again. It is an ear-shattering, high-pitched shriek of sound, guaranteed to stop your heart while at the same time your feet are moving at mach speed in the direction of the scream, before the brain’s gears have even engaged, which is what happened here. Prior to this incident, only a shriek from one of my children could get me moving that fast. I have learned now that the Siberian Death Scream, henceforth called the SDS, can accomplish the same thing for the same reason.

Thor is so fuzzy that we did not find an actual wound for hours, and when we did, well, it was a Sunday night, which meant a trip to the emergency vet. After the area was shaved and he was in fashionable possession of a satellite dish around his neck, also known as an Elizabethan collar, it was decided that stitches weren’t actually necessary. Go home, dose him with amoxycillin twice daily, keep the wound clean with a dilute betadine solution, and all would be well. And it was, for about a week, until hubby decided to give him (and us) a break from the collar, which was annoying Thor, and which he was using to ram us in the back of the legs every chance he got. Naturally, hubby walked away, and I was busy and forgot to watch the dog. Can you guess the results of that particular lapse? Yep, wound reopened, blood everywhere, wound made deeper than originally, and another trip to the vet. For the sake of those who might be squeamish, I won’t include any pictures.

This time, Thor received three staples to close the wound. Amazingly, this dog, who screamed like he was dying when initially hurt, was not sedated and did not make a sound when the staples were put in, and I wasn’t even in the room.

So he has a few more days before the staples can be removed and the satellite dish tossed aside. I’m afraid to brush him because the very act of combing is going to pull the skin, and I don’t want to chance hurting him. This was, no doubt, his plan all along, as he tolerates (but does not like) being groomed. Once the staples are out, though, he will be getting a bath, and I will be relieving him of his spare fur as soon as he is dry. I will have to find an airtight container for it, as we are apparently in the early stages of the miller moth migration.

Malayko, illustrating "plucking season".

The alliteration, I might add, is not intentional. It’s what it actually is, and moths, which fall into the “bug” category for me and I am therefore phobic about them, are everywhere both inside and outside the house. I cannot begin to describe how badly I have the heebie-jeebies right now.

Hopefully soon I will have some pictures of spun Sibe fur to upload. In the meantime, enjoy a picture of Malayko in coat-blowing mode.


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