Some tips, tricks and a Roomba to care for pets


“Would you please stop shedding?” I beg Luke, our 55-pound hound mix. “Please keep your prodigious fur to yourself.”

Luke and I have this conversation often as I deal daily with the puffy apricot fur balls that billow around the house. “I know you can’t help it,” I add, “but geeze!”

“He only blows his coat twice a year,” my husband, DC, says, trying to put a bright spin on the situation.

“Yeah,” I say, “Once from January to June, and again from July to December.”

“How do you deal with it?” I asked my dog-owning friend Paula, recently, during a visit to her home.

“With Marvin the Martian,” she said, referring to her robotic Roomba vacuum cleaner.

I’ve known about these hi-tech vacuum cleaners, but never wanted one. The idea of a robot randomly roaming the house seems even less attractive than having dog fur everywhere.

“He only cleans when I tell him to,” she said. “I program his active times from my phone.”

Back home, I tell DC about Marvin. The next day,…

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