November 30th, 1997

Under All This Fur...

They say that dogs get rid of their hair only twice a year, in spring and in autumn. Those periods last approximately six months each. I've now got certain doubts that those people haven't quite found out yet what the truth really is. Or then they might have short-haired dogs and I haven't got much experience in their habits since I've been a long-haired one as long as I can remember.

Anyway, if it were so that I dropped my hair the year round, I would never notice anything special. I do, though - I did the very last week. Suddenly Hanna wanted to comb me every day instead of forgetting it for months or well, at least for weeks. And it wasn't just a little combing of five minutes and afterwards a freedom. No, it might last for half an hour or so and end up with a dozen hair balls floating around.

Hanna started combing me when I was just a little puppy and didn't understand much about dog's life yet. Pretty tricky of her... if she had allowed me to grow up first and then decide independently if I want to get combed or not just guess which alternative I'd choose? But now I haven't got much choice... I've got used to it and the whole thing isn't quite worth arguing.

One thing annoys me though. Earlier Hanna used to give me little something every time she had combed me and cut my nails. Then her mother went on with this pleasant tradition. Now Hanna seems to have completely forgotten what she promised me and I have to say it out pretty loudly until she finally understands what's missing. And still she doesn't necessarily give me anything but just tells me to be quiet. In my opinion that's anything but fair: I suffer for half an hour and don't even get anything afterwards. Luckily we spent the last weekend with her parents so they took better care of my rights.

Now the whole fuss seems to be over. About a week ago a friend of Hanna's wondered if I had got fatter since we had met the last time. I don't quite understand why she didn't know all that fatness was just extra fur I was getting rid of. And she has a dog herself... humans are strange. A couple of days later I was as slim as ever because Hanna had combed about three plastic bags full of hair out of my fur. Maybe also humans might try to get slimmer this way? I guess they can't, those poor ones lack the hair.

Of course it's not always pleasant to be a long-haired dog. Today we had a pretty heavy snow fall. When Hanna took me to a horrible walk in the snow storm there was plenty of fresh snow on the ground and thanks to the long hair on my paws it got stuck there. Sometimes I've got real snow balls hanging around which might look very funny but is far from it. Just think of snow balls hanging from your hair - and I've got to walk with my paws.

In the Finnish winter it's however good to have plenty of fur. I feel really pity for those poor long-haired fellows whose owners are ridiculous enough to make them wear coats. I think that's gone a bit too far. I can somehow understand why humans wear clothes because they're awkward in so many other things too. But dogs... I'd feel like an idiot if I was forced to have an own coat. I prefer my own fur which usually keeps me warm in any weather. Not that I didn't still prefer a nice sleep in a warm apartment... time to go to sleep I suppose.

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