The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Shedding part of warmer weather fallout


Sharna Johnson

Oh yeah, it’s coming. Not only will the days get longer this weekend, the extra sunshine will usher in warmer temperatures and people won’t be the only ones losing the layers and sporting

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more airy attire.

Yep, the woolly ones are about to start lightening their loads and getting rid of that thick winter hair that has made them look so darn fluffy for the last couple of months.

Some critters will lose their hair in chunky lumps that hang from their coats and make them look like half sheered sheep while others will lose those follicles slowly, seeming to drop them one-by-one for several weeks.

Once it is all said and done, they will look sleek and shiny and have the glow of summer just in time for all the outdoor activities they are sure to take part in.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the inside critter variety, that hair isn’t just going to evaporate and disappear.

Nope, it’s going to clog and cover the filters in the house, collect like tumbleweed in the corners of the house, coat the carpets and furniture, and cling to the clothing of their people no matter how hard they try to keep it away.

Most all animals shed in one fashion or another.

Snakes and lizards wriggle and scratch out of their own skin every couple of months.

Birds molt and drop their feathers a couple of times a year, albeit usually in a slow, one-at-a-time type of way.

Insects, arachnids and crustaceans literally crawl out of their shells, leaving behind spooky exoskeletons.

Horses, livestock and other mammals fluff up and trim down in time with the weather.

Even humans join the fray, flaking off that top layer every now and again.

But few impact our worlds quite like Fido and the cats.

Cats try to take care of things themselves, bathing almost neurotically in an attempt to keep that hair neat and preened — but one way or another, it will find its way to the couch, be it hairball or static fuzz.

At least, hairballs not withstanding, they try to keep ahead of the shed.

Dogs, on the other hand, don’t do quite as good a job of keeping up with the wayward hairs as cats do.

Sure, they spend an inordinate amount of time licking themselves, but it doesn’t seem to do a lot for the hair invasion.

The general guidance on the issue is to brush, brush, brush the dog every day to keep the hair under control. And there is a plethora of products on the market to help clean up the fall out, from sticky plastic sheets to lift the hair from furniture to lint rollers to plastic coated sponges. Of course none of them works quite as well as a (free) canvas tennis shoe with a plastic sole slipped over the hand like a glove and swept across the surface of whatever needs cleaning.

However, even in the face of diligence, both by humans and pets, the shed is just a part of life and part of the fallout, so to speak, and it is inevitable for all critters.

In the face of the shed, it makes sense not only to run a quick maintenance on the vacuum and get acquainted with its inner workings since it is inevitable that they will be clogged before the season is out.

In the meantime, rest assured that the appearance of fine scatterings of hair everywhere can mean only one thing — summer is nigh.

Sharna Johnson is a writer who is always searching for ponies. You can reach her at:

[email protected]


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