Copywriter, Journalist, and Content Coach

Does He Shed?

Me and Magnus in 2012

Excerpt from Magnus Opum, a full-length memoir

It’s a known fact that in the kuvasz, the fur follicle and the root of the fur shaft both carry a positive electrical charge. Tiny ligaments at the base of the shaft hold the fur in place for approximately six months, at which time they weaken to the point that the forces of repulsion are stronger than the physical attachment, and the fur is ejected from the follicle. The collective strands of fur then expand to fill the available space, much as gas injected into a vacuum canister expands to fill it.

Interestingly, the vacuum created by housekeeping appliances is insufficient to collect kuvasz fur, which has enough of a kink to weave itself into all fibrous matter, including itself, which clogs the vacuum hose.

Magnus visited Amy’s office with me one day for about an hour. Before we left, I saw a six-inch-long strand of something white and kinky floating in the air above her desk.

The dust bunnies in my house grow legs within a week.

Kuvasz dogs undergo a seasonal process known as “blowing the coat.” I think you can guess what this means. Magnus blows his coat all year because he belongs on a Carpathian mountainside, not in California. If I brush him properly, which I do about every two weeks, the fur I collect fills a small wastebasket, compacted. Uncompacted, it would fill a kitchen trash bag. Brushing properly means starting from the tail, holding the fur back against the grain with one hand, and getting the grooming brush through the fur right down to the skin. I do surface brushing in between proper brushings. This provides my man and me with frequent opportunities for intimate bonding. Until I hit a snarl.

The kuvasz list started a thread on “weirdest places you’ve found kuvasz fur.”

“In my baby’s poopy diaper.”

“In the butter dish in the refrigerator.”

“I once went two years between dogs, and I still had dog hair in the house.”

“In my keyboard at work.”

But the winner was “In my appetizer at a cafe in Mykonos, Greece, during a two-week cruise in the Mediterranean.”

The list reviews vacuum cleaners about once a year. Me, I just get on my hands and knees with a grooming brush to get the fur out of the carpet. On the hardwood floor downstairs, I reach down and grab handfuls when I notice them. As time goes on, I notice them less often. My once-meticulous housekeeping habits are in decline.