Comment from Newin Defol

I was once the shared owner of a Samoyed dog – not dissimilar in appearance to Buzzy, the same snow white colour, but perhaps a little larger (he was a male), and learnt a thing or to (the hard way!) about the upkeep and daily maintenance of these gentle and endearing long hair breeds (We acquired bags and bags and bags of dog-hair!) They make a wonderful addition to a home, but are something of an all-round labour of love…ever more so when deep blue carpets run throughout the house…and boy, do they like to chew…doors, fridges, skirting boards, floor tiles, table legs, chairs, upholstery, clothes, shoes, books, and electrical leads – I’m certain they are related to goats! lol 🙂

At the time of ownership I was between jobs and had the hours to spend walking him miles and miles in a futile attempt to induce a little fatigue, but all to no avail, he would literally run non-stop 24/7 if given the chance. Anyway, we were also the new owners of a smoky-grey Burmese kitten that we had acquired from the London Docklands and named Alfie after the character portrayed by Michael Caine in the film of the same name. He was adorable, and the two inseparable from the start. What we hadn’t bargained for was the kitten spending time grooming the dog, natural though it may be, but as it turned out, certainly an unanticipated oversight on our part.

One evening Alfie came wobbling over like a drunkard to where I was sat on the floor and quite literally collapsed in my lap, severely fatigued, excessively dehydrated, and altogether close to death. Up until that moment he’d not displayed any sign of ill health nor given us cause for concern, we had been so careful in taking care of him. Following a brief moment of sheer panic, we cradled Alfie in a shoebox, grabbed the car-keys and headed immediately to the vets, hoping that the rush-hour traffic would not delay us unnecessarily. Upon arrival Alfie was given priority due to his condition and taken at once for examination and treatment.

What seemed like a long time passed before the vet reappeared and announced he was still a little uncertain of the root cause behind Alfie’s collapse but advised possible renal failure due to his presenting symptoms. He suggested persistence with exploratory tests if we were prepared to have him stay overnight. Well of course we had no option other than to accept his request, grateful indeed to have the little fella looked after, and equally as grateful for having had the foresight to acquire pet-insurance when Alfie first came to us (The vet’s bill would run to just short of 3.5k sterling). That was the first night of what turned out to be a long 7 days, during which time Alfie was subjected to a variety of tests and treatments in the hope of avoiding surgery due to his tender young age…treatments that included x-rays, two or three blood transfusions and a whole host of tracing agents, diuretic pills and potions, and round-the-clock attendance by wonderfully committed staff. When each of these seemed to fail to provide satisfactory answers, the vet had no option other than open him up and take a look inside.

At the end of a long week, the vet telephoned and asked if we would like to come down and collect Alfie. He said Alfie had responded superbly to his surgery, was a little sore in places but ready to go home. He concluded his call by saying he, the vet, had something interesting to show us. We arrived some 50 minutes later, thrilled to be having our little furball back in the fold. Alfie was perky, smiling as cats do, and altogether back to within a spitting distance of his former self. After completing the formalities and necessary paperwork, the vet presented us with a sealed jar, about the size of a regular jam-jar, within which was stuffed a coiled mass of matted hair some 15 inches in length and a good inch or so wide that he’d removed from Alfie’s stomach earlier in the week. Indeed, the coiled mass of dog hair had been unwittingly ingested as a result of Alfie’s loving attention, and had after a period impacted in his intestines and ultimately caused his renal failure.

Suffice to say, we upped our grooming game following Alfie’s return home and remained as vigilant as possible in keeping the pair apart when fun and play became licks and washes. Of course this was not always possible, but Alfie learnt quickly and grew even quicker and thankfully, finally gave up the need to be so closely attentive to the dog. He went on to enjoy a very happy life. Oh, and just for the record, we decided to dispose of the jam-jar and matted hair after numerous explanations and presentations to family and friends…it didn’t age so well once out in the air! Ewww! As for the dog-hair knitted sweaters…we had two made for posterities sake, unaffordable to us, both were gifts from family, and although neither were ever worn, I distinctly remember them being wonderfully soft and comfortingly warm just like the dog who grew the fur.

Thanks for listening 🙂

Namaste

DN – 11/09/2015

Note from Linda at Nutsrok.  I got this incredible comment from dewinnefol.wordpress.com in response to my post https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/tale-of-the-hair-of-the-dog-sweater/  It is way too good to keep to myself.  I am posting it with his permission.  Enjoy it and check out his blog.