Thursday, April 23, 2009


I spent a few moments outside this morning plucking loose coat from my shepherd/ lab mix, Hoffa. She has a lovely, soft blonde coat and sheds minimally throughout the year. Twice a year, however, she sheds with a vengeance. Of course this is spring shed and her downy white undercoat is releasing in preparation for the warm weather ahead. Her peak shedding lasts a week or two and everything she walks past turns white with hair. She's like my personal shedding barometer. When Hoffa's shedding, everyone is shedding. The phones light up and life gets very busy at the grooming shop.

But I digress! There's nothing particularly inspirational about shedding dog hair. Unless, that is, you're a sparrow. I left a good pile of plucked fuzz on the driveway this morning before I left for work and indulged for a few minutes in the car, before pulling out and getting on my way, in watching the sparrows come to collect. It didn't take long before there were three or four of them picking through the fluff, testing it like ladies squeezing melons at the grocery store. And the best part, it was all good! They were grabbing up beak-fulls and then greedily hopping around, pecking and picking, and trying to grab just a little bit more before they wandered off to whatever project the fluff was for. Their joy was palpable and they seemed to dance as they contemplated and collected their perfect, fuzzy, warm, cozy dog-hair nest lining. I can't remember the last time I had such a successful shopping day.

That's the glory of spring, really. It's trash to treasure time. Spring is for garage sales and flowers breaking through, joggers and bikers making spandex useful (if not always aesthetically pleasing), the kind of warm rain that renews, baby animals everywhere, food popping up out of the ground and growing on trees, blue sky and sunlight that genuinely warms. I sometimes wonder why we don't move our New Year's resolution-making tradition to this magical yearly time of slough and renewal. Truly it is a new year.

1 comment:

  1. I used to brush Hobie, my first blue heeler, outdoors, putting him up on the central air unit for a table. (Stony, my second one, likes to be vacuumed so he hardly sheds at all.) To my delight I found a nest lined with Hobie-hair more than six months after he died. Still performing a service to bird-kind. : )

    Mary Anne in Kentucky