cleaning with a pack of dogs…let someone (or something) else do it

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i have a lot of thoughts on cleaning and none of them are worth writing about…it’s just one of those facts of life that has no good way around it.

so yeah…cleaning, a battle that we should be fighting daily but rarely do – heck lately i’ve been having trouble fighting it weekly. i don’t know if this happens in other houses but in our house it always holds true that once things start to go really sideways and we are clearly not respecting our space the dogs follow suit threefold.

a while back we finally invested in a roomba. i’m not sure what took us so long to get on the bandwagon with this one except that i was fairly certain it would meet an untimely death by overwork…it wouldn’t have a chance of keeping up. i will say i was vindicated in my beliefs on the first day when i went to find “rosie” (i came of age in the seventies so obviously any robot that cleans earns that moniker) and couldn’t find her* anywhere. i texted dave (many times the best way of communicating in this sprawling ranch house) asking if he had seen her and we joked that she had probably run away. i literally looked everywhere – even on the front porch as the front door had been open at the time she was running. it wasn’t until i actually ventured further out that i found her:


yeah, she was making a break for it when her battery (fortunately) ran out.

first day jitters aside, she has performed amazingly well for the year that we’ve been using her. because 16 dogs produce an unending amount of hair we went for a middle tier model. in our situation it definitely doesn’t substitute for weekly vacuuming but it makes the house much more acceptable with only weekly (and if i’m being honest sometimes biweekly) human vacuuming. the only downsides are the basket has to be emptied fairly frequently and the rollers need some upkeep if you have the unfortunate scenario of a lot of hair along with a lot of carpet. dave is forever clipping hair off the rollers to keep them from seizing up.

i also assumed the idea of a robot running around the house would be a no go with the dogs. i imagined at least half of them barking incessantly at it but like they do, it seems at least once a day, they surprised me. once we introduced zig to her (a daily occurrence with zig…”that’s just a box, zig, it won’t hurt you.”) no one batted an eye…at all. i’ve been more taken aback by it than any of them have…i mean come on, a machine is rolling around my house of its own volition performing a task i hate to do…that’s voodoo shit people.

when writing this i looked up when we bought her and was shocked that it has been exactly a year. very few vacuums have made it that long in this house much less one with a brain and i really had no expectation when we first bought her that (a) it would be a worthwhile investment or (b) that she would last more than a few months. they definitely are an investment but if you’re on the fence think of it as an investment in your free time.

we’ve been really happy with the roomba brand and i highly recommend it, although it is the only brand we’ve tried. i have lusted over the dyson one but the expense is a bridge too far.

if you’re thinking about a robot vacuum here are my two pieces of advice gleaned from (very unpleasant) personal experience:

  1. do not under any circumstances allow it to run through poop...i cannot stress this enough...just don't.
  2. do not google “roomba poop”

i’d love to hear if you currently use a robot or if you’re interested in trying one…i’d also be happy to answer any questions you might have.

*i think i’ve written before about a friend who once insightfully stated “there are no inanimate objects to kym” so just accept that all objects written about on this blog will be referred to with personal pronouns....i am what i am.

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