My life has a shocking amount of dog hair in it. When at yoga this morning, I creaked into downward dog, and there on my mat were clumps of Eleanor. And Beatrice. Beatrice is still somewhat small (or at least small for a German Shepherd) but I’ve noticed the telltale gatherings in the corners and along the baseboards. German Shepherds can generate a shocking number of dust gerbils.

My problems are nothing compared to trying to keep the vet clinic clean, however. A lot of people work shockingly hard to keep that place presentable and not smelling like a herd of cattle went through there, especially since a herd of cattle likely did just go through there. By the time you add in huge amounts of snow and dirt, some blood, wads of dog hair, cat hair, goat hair, and cattle, you can begin to understand the Sisyphean task we have. There are days that I swear that we should call Dyson, those nice Swedish vacuum people, and tell them that they need to develop a vacuum that can handle a busy veterinary clinic.

I was up last February, manning a hectic Saturday afternoon with Megan. Technically, the clinic was closed for the day, but the parking lot was full, the phone was ringing off the hook, and people kept coming in the door. Business was strong, which is a good thing, but it does make it difficult to do any of the heavier cleaning. Meanwhile, I was “helping” the only way I could: by trying to clean. I pulled the mats from the reception area, wiped counters ran the vacuum, and then thought I’d move on to mopping. Of all of the stupid ideas I have ever had (and trust me–that list is infinite), this ranks up near the top. Instead of being smart and just waiting until everyone had gone, I was trying to mop even as more snow and mud made its way in.

After a while, Megan gave up, moved the mats back in, and we just kept going. It was the only sensible solution. Megan is very, very good at being sensible, but as she is the mother of three boys, she pretty much has to be. I should take sensible lessons from Megan.

Should you ever be the first appointment in the morning, take a moment to marvel at what the clinic looks like before the day gets going. This is likely your only chance to see it as we intended: mostly clean, smelling slightly of Pine-Sol, and no muddy paw prints in the waiting room. But don’t blink–if you do, you’ll miss it!