Saturday, February 19, 2011

Murphy vs. the Vacuum Cleaner

In this corner, weighing in at 68 lbs...Murphy!
In that corner, wearing the red tank and black hose...the Shop Vac!

These two have been going at it all afternoon. I just wanted to vacuum up the dog hair that's all over the place thanks to you-know-who, but as soon as I switch the vacuum on, he goes bonkers, barking and leaping at the floor wand, repeatedly trying to wrench it out of my hand.

So he wants attention, does he? OK. As he lunges in again, I raise the wand and start to vacuum him with it, figuring that maybe I can cut out the middleman if I just suck the dog hair right off the dog instead of waiting for it to clump up on the floor. Naturally he freaks, shrieking and running out of the room and then turning to bark defiantly from the other side of the doorway. He then runs back in and commences chasing the vacuum around some more, barking loudly as he jumps at it.

OK, fine. I turn the vacuum off and walk away from it, figuring that maybe if I let Murphy wind down, I can actually finish this job. Maybe he just needs a bit of time to get used to the vacuum in it's static state. But no. No sooner do I walk away from the vacuum than Murphy runs up on it, grabs the hose, and begins shaking it, treacherously renewing his attack now that he's managed to take the vacuum by surprise. Clearly there will be no truce between dog and machine today.

I put Murphy outside on the deck so I could finish, but once he was (safely) on the other side of the glass, he began furiously barking and jumping up against the windows, just daring that vacuum to step outside for Round #3.

Finally I brought him back inside and sent him upstairs while I finished up. This actually worked. Once he was upstairs, he took up a position where he could keep an eye on his new nemesis and from then on, he was pretty quiet and I was able to complete my chore.

"I don't know what that thing is, but so long as it stays down there, we won't have a problem."


  1. He is such a handsome lad! And so brave, too!!!

  2. That dog is dangerously smart!

  3. My Husky had a very similar reaction as a puppy to the housekeeper's upright. Dislike at first sight/sound. Now that he's three he's not quite so spooked but still is not friends with the noisy green monster. We got a new household vac last week and I was cleaning up around the office. Once again, sincere displeasure with the machine.

    My conclusion is that the noise is what incites. It's a frequency thing and the guys with big ears are somewhat sensitive to the range in play.

    Since shop-vacs are notoriously loud (a bar I used to frequent would occasionally run one behind the bar that was so loud it made the beer go flat!) maybe Murph needs ear protection.

  4. LOL- That is a classic attack... Mine did the same thing his entire life!

  5. Our dogs have always run for the farthest corner of the house, hidden under a bad and trembled in horror.