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Karen B. London
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Dog Drool
You gotta love it.
Drool is a part of my life.

Yesterday, I was listening to one of the Harry Potter books on CD as a way to motivate myself to clean my house. (It’s a losing battle, but I remain ever hopeful!) Anyway, what really caught my attention were the scenes with Hagrid’s dog Fang. I found it so amusing that the author always has Fang choose to be near Harry and to drool all over him. Harry never seems too thrilled, but accepts it as part of life. I myself have been drooled on to excess by Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands, Pit Bulls, Bulldogs, and the occasional elderly Golden Retriever.

When I was working full time with seeing dogs with behavioral issues, my clothes were often covered in dog hair and dog slobber by the end of the day, and I never really minded. I always felt so lucky to be spending my days with dogs that the fact that I was wearing the evidence of that happy occurrence was of no consequence to me. Of course, when I returned home at the end of the day, my own dog sniffed me like I had been unfaithful.

One day I picked up my dry cleaning and the owner of the shop came rushing out to the front of the shop in a hurry. As he slid up to the counter, he suddenly assumed a casual, unhurried air and said, “Say, I was just curious. What do you do for a living?” When I told him that I worked with dogs with serious behavior issues, he said, “Aaah, I see. Dogs.” I’ve always suspected that the employees had a pool going about what I did to get my clothes dirty in such an unusual way.

The dry cleaner was an ally in my battle against slobber. I wore black a lot, which worked out well since my own dog was black. After I’d worked with a Samoyed, a Yellow Lab, an American Eskimo or any other light-colored dog, I required a once-over with a lint brush before going out in public. Or not, if I didn’t feel like bothering. The mess is just part of living with, working with and loving dogs.

How do you deal with the drool, hair, and other related issues? Or, is it so irrelevant that you simply ignore it?

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Lisa Wogan | November 6 2009 |

I frequently wear black too and many are the days when I'm running errands and realize I am speckled with white dog fur. I hardly notice it when I'm on my own, but out in the real world, I become aware of my extra coat. I only wish I was a professional dog trainer or walker or groomer so I'd have an excuse. As it is, I'm just that lady who can't (or won't) keep up with the lint brush.

Submitted by Shana | November 9 2009 |

I'm a big fan of my lint roller, I have two in my desk at work, one in the car, one in my purse, and two at my house at all times. I really dont mind it though, I love my dog and all of the fur just reminds me of our snuggletime or really just of my best buddy!!

Submitted by Wendy | November 9 2009 |

I have a Brittany who can't get close enough to me while we're watching TV at night or any other time for that matter. I keep her cut in a nice clean feild cut in the summer. In the winter I make sure to have a blanket over me while we're sitting on the couch together. Nonetheless, there are still white hairs floating all over my life (plus I have a cat who has the thickest coat on Earth and sheds like crazy too). Most of the time I just ignore it unless it's REALLY obvious. Anyone who knows me and cares about me knows that these critters are part of my life and they don't judge me. Anyone who judges me based on the dog/cat hair I carry with me isn't worth two seconds of my time and I don't really care what they think.

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