Bud’s Coat

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My regular readers are all familiar with Bud, the abandoned dog that I rescued from a park more than ten months ago.

But something that hardly anyone knows is that Bud’s coat has been slowly changing color for the past several months.

He was completely black when I found him.

But his coat has been turning brown.

It started back on his haunches, then slowly crept onto the lower part of his sides; in the past month or so, it has crept up his sides.

So, instead of being a black dog, Bud has been a two-tone dog; his head, neck and chest have remained black, and he’s had a black mohawk running down his spine, while his haunches, the scruff behind his ears, and sides have been light brown.

To try to figure out why, I did a bunch of research on the Internet.

He had complete physical exam with blood tests, so I know that his health is excellent.

For awhile, I suspected that maybe the brownish color might be caused by the fish oil that I put on his food every day.

But Max gets even more fish oil than Bud does, and his coat is still jet black.

It’s been a mystery for quite awhile, but yesterday, I noticed something that gave me an idea.

Bud had developed “stripes” of brownish color, right where the straps of his walking harness rub against his coat.

That made me suspect that maybe his winter undercoat is brownish, and it’s coming to the surface because he’s shedding it for the summer.

So, today, I went to Petsmart, to buy an undercoat rake — they sell them for less than $4.

But, when I got there, they had a new type of undercoat brush on sale — the Furminator.

The one that I bought was on sale for about $36 plus tax, but it’s supposed to work much, much better than the old-style undercoat rake. And it’s got a button that quickly and easily releases all of the fur that it collects.

And I can always return it if it turns out that I don’t like it.

When I got home, I started to brush Bud with the Furminator.

And it immediately started removing clump after clump of gray undercoat. Somehow, all of that gray undercoat had been making his black top coat look brown.

But, in just one day of brushing him several different times, his coat is already back to being almost completely black.

I’ll brush him a few more times in the next few days, to remove the rest of his undercoat and finish the process.

Here’s a photo of how much gray undercoat I removed from Bud today. The little black pile of fur is what I removed from Max; apparently his undercoat is just as black as his top coat. The little pile in the back-left is what I removed from our black cat, Petey, with less than ten brushes of the Furminator.

That's a lot of undercoat!

Update: May 12, 2012: I was so impressed with how well the Furminator worked that, after work today, I stopped at Petsmart and returned it — for a bigger-sized Furminator (the one with the orange handle). When I got home, I brushed Bud with it, and this time, it removed bunches of light-tan-colored undercoat.

Update, May 29, 2012: The Furminator worked great, but several days later, at Walmart, I found a brand new item: the FurGOpet deshedder. The FurGOpet is exactly the same as the Furminator, but without an “ejection” button. And the FurGOpet costs significantly less than the Furminator. So I returned the Furminator to Petsmart for a $46 refund, and bought the FurGOpet at Walmart for only $20.

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