Yesterday morning, I woke up to this:

It was wet. It was heavy, and the dogs loved it.

shouldn’t have been surprised. Colorado’s complex geography of mountains, canyons, plains and valleys leads to complex climate, and residents have been known to experience a 75 degree day and a bitter snowstorm all in the same 24 hours. Put another way, there’s reason the state slogan is, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”  

That said, the weather can’t get warmer fast enough for me. It’s been a dreary winter and I’ve been ready for a tulip-sprouting spring. This wasn’t it. 

Normally,  Colorado snow is light and fluffy, stuff we skiers call “champagne powder.” Ten inches of champagne powder is so light, it can be blown off a deck with a good Metro Dryer, but that’s not what fell last night. What fell last night was white cement: Heavy, wet, and “sticky.”

This isn’t a bad picture – honest. It’s the best one can do with a really black Puli against really white snow. Well, maybe it’s a sort of bad picture.

It was the kind of “sticky”snow that forms tiny little snow balls in a dog’s coat and never lets go.

No joke, this picture was taken 45 minutes after the dog came in!

It’s no mystery, then, that after a spring snowstorm, my floors look like this…………………..

……………….or this:

……………or that this common household item becomes as much a part of the decor as the furniture:

I know what you're thinking here. Don't. Even. Say. It.

I know what you’re thinking here. Don’t. Even. Go. There.

I’ve long suspected that my dogs have made sport out of this time of year by holding competitions: Which of them can attract the most amount of snow to their cords, track it into the house, shake it off, and cause me to skid across a wet floor at the greatest velocity before hitting drywall and leaving a cut-out shape of my body? One day, I fully expect them to whip out score cards from underneath their cords to assess me on style and grace.

All kidding aside, I saw opportunity with this snowstorm. I’ve been wanting to “test drive” the “Dirty Dog Doormat” made by Dog Gone Smart for some time, and the conditions yesterday were ideal.

The "Dirty Dog Doormat"

The “Dirty Dog Doormat”

The “Dirty Dog Doormat” touts itself as a mat made of “magical Microfiber Technology” that magically (and instantly) soaks up to seven times its weight in water, mud and dirt through millions of microfiber strands, but as far as I’m concerned, the real experts of “magical” and “instantly” are the owners of corded dogs.  If the mat passed the “wet Puli test,” I could recommend it.


The darker areas are quite wet just from a quick stroll  by a wet dog

I played with the exposure in this photograph to better show contrast. The darker areas are quite damp just from a Puli walking over it (the white is a decorative paw print design)

I was impressed.  The longer the dog stood on the mat, the greater the amount of water the mat absorbed, and even a simple stroll over it soaked up an impressive amount of moisture.

The details: The mats come in brown, maroon and khaki, and two sizes: Medium:  31″ x 20″ and large: 35″ x 26.”  They’re also available as dog runners: 60″ x 30″ (which will be my next acquisition). The mats can be used in cars, crates, and under food and water bowls, but I can’t wait to try the mat out on a grooming table while splitting down the coat of a wet Puli.

The mats can be machined washed (but don’t use fabric softener) and should be line-dried.  They retail for $49.99, but Pet Flow has them listed at 19.99. I’m sorry to say that the mats are made in China.

This is the official video for the Dirty Dog Mat:

The Dirty Dog Doormat gets a resounding two thumbs up from me.


Shorthand to the Loss of Knowledge and Power

March 25, 2014

On my first day of school as a seven year old, I made a momentous decision to flunk out of the second grade.  I hadn’t been at my new desk five minutes before I warily surveyed the scary cursive alphabet chart above the chalkboard, knew I’d be expected to learn it, and never would. With […]

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Mike Rowe, Walmart, and Us

March 13, 2014

Early in February, television personality, Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) did something a little gutsy. He provided the voiceover for a television commercial that announced Wal-Mart’s commitment to purchase $250 billion of American-made goods for their stores. After the “I Am a Factory” commercial aired during the Olympics, people started talking about it, and much of […]

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do

February 25, 2014
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Every four years, the Winter Olympics and Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show occur in the same month as it did just recently, and the juxtaposition of these two events reveals a curious hypocrisy on display by critics of dog shows. Vociferous in their disgust with competitions that reward beauty and soundness in purebred dogs, these […]

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It’s a Mixed Up (Mixed Breed) World

January 31, 2014
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This piece was unsatisfying to write, and may well be unsatisfying to read, as well, because it poses questions for which I have no answers. Sorry about that. Everyone probably has an opinion on the subject, however, and I blame Google Alerts for having reminded me of it. “Google Alerts” is a content detection service […]

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We Are a Tribe

January 21, 2014

The town in which I live had never before seen such unity among strangers and neighbors alike. In the face of utter tragedy, we hugged and comforted each other, the thought bubble over our heads the same. We are Columbine. Throughout the state, school assemblies, prayer vigils and pep rallies ended the same way: A […]

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The Elevator Speech Part II

January 11, 2014
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For a long time now, purebred dog owners have hungered for guidance on how to push back against opposition to own and ethically breed their dogs. It is for this reason, I suspect, that an e-mail I wrote and posted on the National Purebred Dog Day Facebook page was shared over 220 times within hours.  […]

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The Elevator Speech: Part I

December 30, 2013
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Last week, a curious thing happened on a Facebook page I started back in October. A casual post I’d written was shared over 222 times within a few hours, and this astounded me.  In the post, I included an e-mail I’d written to an artist who had declined my offer to highlight her artwork on […]

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The Pinkie Story

December 18, 2013
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This past Thanksgiving morning, we were still asleep when the phone rang in the wee hours. Our son had been assaulted the night before while acting as a Good Samaritan. An ambulance had taken him to the hospital, could we come? I’m fairly certain we broke the land speed record as we navigated our way […]

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