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Let’s Keep It Clean

GPF rating = 3 paws

Okay, let’s just say it … if we had known we were going to be living in a Winnebago, we may not have chosen a Shar-Pei and German Shepherd as our furry travel companions. Why, you ask? Well … Because. Of. The. FUR.

I mean, Amy and I are two (recovering) accountants, after all. We’re anal. We’re organized. We’re fussy about keeping things clean. Our dogs – not so much.

Buster is in the middle of blowing his coat for the summer. I HAD NO IDEA how accurate the phrase “blowing coat” was until Buster came to live with us. There are gobs of long black fur everywhere. Inside the refrigerator – check! Between the bed sheets – check! On my toothbrush – f**k!

How did THAT happen?

And Ty is not any better. His fur is shorter, but it’s insidious – weaving itself into fabrics and refusing to be dislodged by just any ordinary vacuum cleaner.

Those of you living with your pets – imagine taking all the fur they shed and concentrating it into a 24 by 8 foot space. That’s what we’re talking about!

You might think we’d just surrender, but our German heritage will not allow it. We choose to battle the fur, and we’ve selected our weapons and counter-measures wisely. First, we ordered the Winnebago with faux-leather furniture so it can easily be vacuumed off. Then, we use our FURminator on a regular basis, as in daily right now. Last, we purchased the Oreck Little Helper Vac.

We had problems finding a vacuum for the RV. We needed something small – the Dyson pet vacuum was never going to fit! We didn’t want a rechargeable unit because we only have one working outlet when we’re driving and that is usually charging a laptop, phone, camera, or wireless Internet card. We obviously needed something with a lot of power to suck up the dog hair, and we wanted a model that didn’t require us to crawl around on our hands and knees to clean the floor. Seems reasonable, right? Yeah … right.

After a couple of months of looking around we stopped in an Oreck store at the suggestion of Amy’s mother. And there it was … cue spotlight and angelic music … the Model CC1000. It was compact, had an optional turbo brush attachment (turbo?! Oh yes, please!), and it was blue.

And it's blue!

Sidebar: The color is an inside joke. When Amy and I got our first place together we needed a vacuum. One day, I just happened to be at Target.

Rod: Amy, I got us a brand new vacuum cleaner!

Amy: That’s great, hon!

Rod: You’re going to love it!

Amy: How many amps does it have?

Rod: Amps? I don’t know, but it’s blue!

We tried the Little Helper out and it handily vacuumed up specks off the carpet in the store, but would it pass the true test of an Oreck? Would it pick up a 16-pound bowling ball? We were surprised to find that the store does, in fact, keep a bowling ball on hand for testing purposes. And they have fabricated a large rubbery funnel that attaches to a standard vacuum extension wand. Click, zip, suck! Our sweet Little Helper picked up the bowling ball without a hitch.

We’ve been using the Little Helper for a couple of months now and, overall, we are pleased. It’s the perfect size, we’re happy with the sucking power (Rod: Amps?), and the price was right – $99.95 plus $49.99 for the turbo brush attachment (turbo?! Oh yes, please!).

There are a couple of things we want Oreck to change – like it would be great to have a retractable power cord, and emptying the dust container is cumbersome and sometimes dirty. But, it was the best option we’ve seen. Thanks to Oreck, we’ll be keeping the dogs!

PS – This post started out hoping to convey one aspect of our life on the road, but then morphed into a product review. Please note that we purchased the vacuum cleaner, and we were not solicited by Oreck to perform a review. To read GoPetFriendly’s product disclosure statement, click here.


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  • […] Rod’s GoPetFriendly post earlier this week  gave me food for thought. Go read it if you want a good hardy chuckle. He wrote […]

  • I'm glad you found a tool that works for your unique housekeeping / dogkeeping situation.

  • Cate says:

    It's amazing how much you can get from using the Furminator. We do the cats daily and have been able to make some huge fur balls by just rolling it all together.
    Cute picture, Buster looks very happy with himself ;)

    • The situation would be funny if I didn't hate dog hair so much. Seriously, we never had pets as a kid because my mom was a neat freak – and she never would have put up with it. For better or worse, I've lived more of my life without pets (and fur) than I have with – so I am STILL adjusting.

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