While my wife and son are living it up in a retirement community in Lakeland, I had to stay behind and work, go to birthday and work parties, and keep the house in a somewhat normal order until Colleen got back in town. I was given a list of chores to do around the house as well as one item from "The List", which I agreed to do only if I could do the post as well. My mission was to brush the dogs outside every day for a week and see if it made any difference in the amount of dog hair that was vacuumed up every day.
There are some things on Colleen's list that I didn't know were items that caused her stress (see: Wedding Album, Home Improvement Binder, and Key Reorganization), but I completely agree about our dog hair situation. Our three dogs do nothing all day but sleep, eat, poop, and shed hair. We have this mini Shark vacuum with a clear canister that shows all of the hair being picked up. We use the Shark downstairs on the hardwoods and I can finish that in about 5 minutes. Before starting this experiment, the canister would be consistently 3/4 full (the canister being roughly the size of a Foster's Oil Can beer).
For my experiment I used the furminator (www.furminator.com) deshedding tool. It costs about $40, but we've bought the cheaper ones and they don't work nearly as well as this one. Each dog received 50 strokes with the furminator and I ended up on average with roughly a ziploc freezer bag's worth of dog hair every day.
I noticed a difference during vacuuming immediately. What used to result in 3/4 of a canister every day was now less than half a canister! That doesn't sound like much, but when you have a 16 month old running around the less hair sticking to them the better!
So, I will call the Pre-Emptive Dog Hair Collection Project of 2010 a success. While I probably won't de-shed them every day from now on, maybe it's something Colleen and I could split doing during the week :)