I have dry skin. Always have. This was a blessing in the acne-prone teenage years. Rarely a zit. It made my some of my friends a bit envious that I was mostly clear as they were regularly having their faces blasted with dry ice. I waited for the inevitable pubescent oil to appear but it never did. Instead I bought facial moisturizer and Alpha Keri lotion by the gallon in an attempt to avoid alligator skin. Eventually someone invented Bath and Body Works. I should have bought stock.
In the summer I go through twice as much sunscreen as most people. Even in the good old fry-yourself-with-baby-oil days my skin soaked up the stuff like a sponge. In the snow skiing winters, I kept a bottle of lotion by the bed along with the Chapstick so if I woke in the night I could rub some on to keep the cracking skin at bay. During chemo, when scaly skin gave way to skin that looked like a desert during a drought, I discovered body butter. It is a luxury item that most people use on occasion…I used it daily…meaning I went through a truck load of the stuff. The fragrances smell good enough to eat and smearing it all over my body made me feel less like a patient and more like a dessert. I am a creature of habit and so two times a day I cover myself in fragrant moisture. The thicker I put it on, the longer it lasts. So why am I telling you all this? (You know there has to be a story, so keep reading.) Just before bed…and I mean as I am getting between the sheets…I rub down with thick cream. I also put moisturizer on my face, heel cream on my feet, and Vasoline on my lips. It is a plethora of smells let me just tell you.
Recently, however, I have noticed an unusual occurrence. In the night I wake up…furry. My lips feel as if they are growing hair and when I lick them in my sleep, I end up with a mouthful of fur. You see Bella, our lovely Husky, loves to curl up on my bed. She sleeps on the floor at night but during the day she feels the bed belongs to her. This time of year her fur is shedding…and I mean every single piece. There are tumbleweeds of Bella hair rolling across the kitchen, piles of it on the bookshelves, and handfuls that just float through the air as if someone is using it for confetti. If you walk through my house in a dark color you will need a lint roller. If you sit on my furniture you will feel as if you are part Husky when you get up. You do not even have to come near the dog to be christened, but if she does rub against you, you might as well strip down and change clothes.
The vacuum cleaner, broom, and mop cannot keep up with the flow of Bella beauty that is floating in the atmosphere. When she is losing so much, I brush her a couple of times a day. Each time I get enough hair to spin yarn for a sweater. So the fact that her favorite place is on my bed means that there is a constant blizzard of fur. This does not mix well with my skin-drenching habit. I have tried to increase the speed with which I apply the miracle working lotions, thinking that if I can get under the covers quickly the fur is less likely to get stuck. The problem is that when I throw back the covers, it raises a cloud all around me. I have tried to move slowly…thinking maybe I can sneak into the bed without the fur noticing me. I have decided to brush Bella just before bed (outside on the porch) to reduce the coat so it will not transfer to me while I sleep. I lint roll and vacuum the bed. But in the morning the Abominable Snowman greets me in the mirror. I have resigned myself that the next month or so of shedding I will just have to be okay with my new morning look…it is Christmas time after all. The things we put up with for the love of our dogs!