A 13-Year Battle – Dogster


Hi, I’m Allison. Read my introduction to learn more about me and my three mixed-breed dogs from Thailand, Jelly, Lorraina, and Manic.

If you have a dog, you will most likely have to battle with their fur. You will find it on your clothes, on the floor, under the bed…you get the picture. One obvious way to battle the fur is by grooming your dog. Now, if your dog does not mind being brushed, this should be a fairly simple task.

Unless you have a dog like Jelly. What should be a simple grooming session turns into a battle—and Jelly usually wins.

Jelly’s Shedding

Jelly started shedding heavily when she reached middle age. It was not excessive, but I noticed I had to sweep up more fluff a bit more than usual. Worried, I reached out to my vet. After an examination and discussion of her history, the vet did not say her shedding was due to any illness, allergies, stress, or parasites, so I was not concerned with her overall health. We also do not know what breed she is mixed with, so her shedding could be due to genetics. She has a single coat, so the shedding is fairly consistent throughout the year.

However, this means my home started becoming full of fluff fairly consistently.

Jelly getting brushed outside

Jelly History With Brushing

Since she was shedding more frequently, I decided that brushing her a few times a week was necessary to keep the house clean. Plus, it would be more comfortable for her. I doubt she enjoyed being surrounded by her loose fur more than I do.

I have brushed her before and used various types of brushes. However, she never really liked it and always ran away. Jelly has short fur and did not shed much when she was a puppy, so I did not mind skipping her weekly grooming session.

But why did she hate it so much? I never harmed her (to my knowledge) when brushing her. I was gentle and never held her down. I even rewarded her with treats afterward. Plus, puppies are difficult anyway, right? It must be a phase. Surely, now that Jelly is a mature adult dog, she would accept grooming with more grace.


How in the World Do I Brush Her?

After doing a “power sweep” of my house and finding fluff under every piece of furniture and in every corner, I decided that I needed to set up a brushing routine. My house was 30% fluff, and while that may not seem that bad, having a third of your living space be full of dog hair is not pleasant.

One afternoon, I grabbed the fine-toothed comb and took Jelly outside. From previous grooming experiences, I learned to brush her away from the front door; otherwise, the wind would blow the fur I tried desperately to remove from Jelly back into the living room.

“Come here, my sweet Jellybean,” I cooed, hoping she would not suspect what was about to happen.

Once in a decent spot away from the door, I knelt down and let her smell the brush. I did that to let her know what was coming. Then, I gently put my hand on her side and started brushing her hind legs and hip area, where I saw little tufts of fur sticking out. After about six seconds, Jelly started to back away, but I had barely begun. I needed at least five minutes to get the loose fur off her.

Jelly does not wear a collar as our property is fenced in, so there was nothing I could gently hold on to in order to keep her close. So, I quickly maneuvered in front of her and continued to brush her legs. Jelly was not having it. She ducked down and scurried a few feet away from me again.

“Jelly, c’mon!” I moaned.

I started walking toward her, but she started trotting away. She whirled around and looked me in the eye as if daring me to try this again. I avoided eye contact with her and pretended to walk past her back toward the house. She started to follow me.

Then I spun around and gently put my arm across her chest so I could get a few more brushes in before she ran off to the other end of the yard.

I aimed to get 15 strokes in. 12…13…14…

Nope. Just one brush shy of 15 strokes, Jelly broke free and took off down the hill. This is where I stopped. She had enough. I looked down at the brush and pulled out the removed fluff. It was practically a handful. If I was actually successful, I could probably have filled a throw pillow with the removed fur.

Jelly's fur!Jelly's fur!

The Battle Was a Partial Success, But the War Continues

I don’t want to force Jelly to be brushed. I hate that she dislikes it, but my old girl is a shedder. She needs to get brushed for her health and the state of our home. I am thankful my other two dogs like being brushed. Of course, they are not the ones that shed that much.

I figured that if I just gave her a quick brush every day for a few seconds, this would be better than trying to do a full five-minute grooming session. At least I would get some of the stray fluff.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to sweep my floor for the third time today.


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