Silent Nature    
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Shedding Hair
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Not Scientifically Possible
I laugh when people complain about how much hair their labs or their their beagles shed. They might want to avoid owning a dog that was bred to live in the arctic where temperatures can drop to minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit. These dogs pull sleds in the Alaskan winter and sleep out in the snow while they are on the trail. Come to think of it, they usually sleep out in the snow even when they are home, bearing howling winds and the worst of artic storms. You've heard of clothes that are 50% polyester, 80% nylon, or 70% wool.  I wasn't even joking when I told people that everything I owned was 50% Malamute. Every morning before I left for work I took one of those velcro brushes and  combed all the dog hair off of my pants. I kept another brush at work and the first thing I did when I got into the office was to clean off what hair I may have missed at home. Yet to this day my boss is kind enough to remind me that there was always dog hair on my pants. And it wasn't just my pants, Tecumseh's hair was everywhere. I will share  a story with you that is not even scientifically possilble. In my photography I used several different films and each film created a different appeal. At times Kodachrome 64 rendered incredible images, and some of those Kodachrome photograhs you can see right here on this website, but as the years progressed Kodachrome's popularity decreased to the point that it could no longer be developed in Salt Lake City. Their little light proof cannister had to be sent all the way to California where it was not opened until it arrived inside the darkroom, after which it was run through about five or six tanks of fluid including among others water, a developer, a stop bath, and a fixer. It was then hung to dry and eventually cut into pieces and run through a machine that inserts the film into little frames. These color transparencies were then packed into a little cardboard slide box and shipped back to me. One of these boxes arrived back from California, I opened it up, and began flipping through the slides. I was completely flabbergasted when about 10 slides deep, right in the middle of the box between two of the slides, I uncovered one of Tecumseh's hairs. And, no, it was not a human hair, it was not another dog's hair, it was distinctly Tecumseh's hair with his specific color markings. To this day I still can't understand how it is possilbe that one of his hairs could get inside the camera, inside the film cannister, go all the way to California, survive a half a dozen deep sea dives, film drying and cutting, and come all the way back to me in Salt Lake City, not even stuck to the film, but just resting peacefully between two of my slides. That's just how inescapable his hair was. It took him about 5 months to change out for summer and then about 5 months again to change back for winter. I had a brief repreive in August which seemed to be the only month during the entire year he wasn't exploding hair all over the place. The photo above illustrates just how much fur I brushed out of him in only one of many sessions during the course of a year. I have always thought that if I were to make a sweater out of Malamute undercoat it would be much warmer than wool. A few of the people that I have shared this concept with have countered, "Oh, I don't know, wool is pretty warm." But what do they know? Have sheep ever slept out in howling winds in the coldest place in the world?
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