Jake is a yellow Lab. The operant word is “yellow.” In our living room is a red velvet love seat. The operant words are “red” and “velvet.” An equation you might not have learned in math class: Velvet = Velcro. So when Jake sneaks onto the love seat, his yellow fur becomes one with the red. On bad shedding days, it can look positively orange.
We have a wonderful old Miele vacuum, and with a lot of effort, it eventually sucks up most of the fur. So when the good people at Eureka sent us a “Pet Expert” bagless upright vacuum system, I thought it would be another exercise in, well, exercise. It takes a lot of effort to unvelcro fur from this piece of furniture. (And this, my friends, is your etymology lesson for the day. Without looking it up, I can tell you that the root word of “furniture” is “fur.” The word undoubtedly originated in an ancient Roman village with lots of dogs and velvet couches.)
The Eureka Pet Expert vacuum is not as light and aerodynamic as my bullet-like Miele, but part of the weight is because of all its features. As my daughter exclaimed when we were figuring out the functions of all the various doohickeys on it, “This is like a Wallace & Gromit invention!” Every part of this machine is designed with a hairy pet in mind. There’s a Hair Raiser, a Power Paw, and some other stuff I have yet to use. It’s kind of cool to see your pet’s fur flying through its Whirlwind Cyclonic Technology, too. If you get bored — as I always do when vacuuming — you can pour some Cheerios on the floor and watch them swirl around inside the transparent sucky thing, which I’m sure has a name, but I’m too tired to walk across the the room and get out the product information sheet. (I think it was all the excitement of watching a tornado of Cheerios.)
I put the Pet Expert to the love-seat test by first brushing it with the Hair Raiser. It was like a magic wand! All the fur stuck to it, and when I popped it inside its tight holster, the fur flew into the vacuum, and the Hair Raiser was good as new. Then I used a small attachment and sucked up the little bits of Jake dirt and crumbs that remained.
The vacuum worked equally well on our hardwood floors, although I prefer my canister vacuum for getting under furniture with ease. (The Pet Expert has a hose and attachment for this, but it’s an additional step, and I’m not used to it putting an upright vacuum through its paces.) We have no carpets to test it on, but it was so powerful that it sucked a braided rug partway up its gullet. I convinced it to spit the rug out, and then turned the settings to a more optimal power for rugs, and all was well.
With all these features and a HEPA charcoal filter, the Pet Expert is a steal at $99.99 at Target.com. But you might be able to nab one for free if you enter a brand-new Eureka contest entitled, “My Messy, Smelly, Dirty, Hairy Best Friend.” Log onto the contest page to submit a photo ofyour dog along with a cleaning tip on how you keep a clean home despite your dog (or cat). Four finalists will receive a $100 Target gift card and the Eureka Pet Expert vacuum. The Best in Show will receive a $250 Target gift card in addition to a Pet Expert vacuum cleaner. Details are on the contest site. Contest ends August 27.
Good luck, Dogsters!