Sing along: In my Easter bonnet with all the dog hairs on it I will be the hairiest in the Easter parade.
Yep, dog hair is my new accessory — long, wispy strands of golden dog hair from my boy, Brodie, a golden doodle. Although Brodie was given to me, his chief selling point was that he was a hybrid mixed to be a non-shedding, hypoallergenic breed. Boy was I hoodwinked!
It’s typical of my luck that he sheds terribly. And of course, we realized this after we fell madly in love with him. I always wanted a golden retriever but didn’t get one because I knew them to be heavy shedders. I have one highly allergic child and an excess of dog hair in the house could have sent her into an asthma attack. Luckily, she no longer lives at home.
When the thick clumps of hair began showing up like tumbleweeds on the wood floor of my hallway, I thought it was just his puppy hair coming out. When friends were compelled to point out in the I.G.A. that I had dog hair on my coat, I laughed and said, “Ah, Brodie’s becoming a man and losing his puppy fur.”
But I’ve since learned otherwise. Brodie sheds all the time. It’s not only in my hallway but on my clothes (which is tough because he’s blond and I wear a lot of black), on my rugs, on my furniture, on my bed, and even in my mouth. Yes, I cough up hairballs these days. Look the other way if you see me choking in public.
He’s also not hypoallergenic. I have a good friend who often comes to visit on a weekend night so we can shoot the breeze at my dining room table. She, too, is allergic, and now instead of shooting the breeze she shoots nonstop sneezes. We might have to start going to her house.
My mother, who is so not a dog person, recently visited. My husband and I took her shopping one day and let her off at the store’s entrance. I watched to make sure she got inside okay and as she walked away from the car we couldn’t help but giggle at the blond strands of Brodie hair covering the back of her black jacket. Revenge was finally mine for the dumb Easter outfits she used to make me wear.
One in particular always stands out. We did wear Easter bonnets when we were children and mine that year was a red pillbox like the one Jackie Kennedy used to wear. I wore it (actually I should say I was made to wear it) with a blue polyester coat with big gold buttons, white tights, and white patent leather shoes. My mother had set my hair the night before in rollers and teased it into a bouffant the next day. I looked like a first lady. I was 12 years old. I should not have looked like the wife of a president.
As we took pictures on the beach on City Island, where I grew up, the hat flew off my head and landed in the chilly water of the Long Island Sound. I was fine bidding it adieu, but one of my brothers felt it was his duty to retrieve my Jackie Kennedy hat. While the others searched the beach for long sticks to grab it with, I watched and silently called upon the Lord on the holiest of Catholic holidays to let it sink. I guess he was too busy to listen to me because the hat was retrieved, soggy but still intact.
I’ve never been a fan of hats and think that episode probably has something to do with it. And so on Sunday I will not be wearing an Easter bonnet. But who’s going to be looking at me anyway? Unless, of course, I’m standing to the side coughing up hairballs and wearing a coat of fur.
Janis Hewitt is a senior writer at The Star.