I have somewhat of a problem in my house. While I’ll freely admit to having too any animals (really, I think we’re borderline qualifying for an episode of animal hoarders but if you repeat that, I’ll deny it), I will not allow that there does not exist a vacuum that can handle the fur load. And yet, the miracle vacuum that sucks, truly sucks the right way (man there is a dirty novella in there somewhere) eludes me.

This is the definition of a perfect vacuum:

Light weight

Sucks up everything from playdoh to pens to hair balls the size of chihuahua.

Capacity: with 3 dogs, 3 cats, a hamster, 2 kids who don’t seem to know where a trash can is, the simple fact is it needs to be able to pick up a lot, no matter how often I clean

Bare floors & cat litter: apparently I’m the only person in America who does not want a vacuum based on how it does in carpets. Bare floors, you’d think, would be easy enough to clean however, my perennial problem is the brushes kicking debris out the back side and really, just spreading the mess as opposed to sucking it up.

 What I’ve tried

We had a Roomba. I loved it. There was nothing more gratifying than seeing that little robot zipping around the house, chasing the cats and eating up the fur carpet on top of the carpet. Sadly, it didn’t survive the transition to bare floors and I found it stuck under the bed attempting to eat socks more often than not.


I tried the little green Optima (or something) with the round handle.  It worked great for a while and then, no matter how many filters I’d change, it would slowly start to not suck. And while it was cheap, it drove me batty to have to replace it every few months.

The latest vacuum is the Hoover pet hair model. Supposed to be every big as good as the Dyson Animal on pet hair, according to Consumer Reports. Except at its heavy, it doesn’t suck nearly as good as I’d hoped and it kicks more debris around than it picks up. Plus, it’s not good at picking up random things, either. Oh and it hates kitty litter, the other bane of my existence.

So what’s a girl to do? Darling husband keeps talking about how his sister loves her Dyson Animal. Dude, that’s a 600$ vacuum. I’ll drop that kind of cash on a computer but on a vacuum that I don’t how long or how well it will really work? I’m not that brave.

Does the perfect vacuum exist? Is it possible to find a vacuum that can tackle the massive hair load from shedding Labradors, German shepherd mixes and Aussie shepherd mixes?

Folks, it does. And it doesn’t cost $600. Th solution is actually remarkably simple and I feel somewhat stupid that I didn’t think of it sooner.


It probably says something about the state of my home that it requires a shopvac to clean it and yet, it is as close to perfect as I’ve seen yet. Hairballs magically float across the floor to it’s gaping maw. I can feel pennies and old playdoh and all manner of unknown trinkets being belted down the massive hose. So no, I’m not ashamed that I need a Shopvac to clean my house. We have pets. I’d rather use a Shopvac and keep it under control than keep dropping money on a vacuum that won’t work after two weeks.

We have the long attachment that basically acts like a canister vacuum broom. Add an extension cord bc the actual cord is a little too short and Went. To. Town.

This thing is awesome. And we’ve had it for years and it never dawned on me to use it in the house. I’m happy to report that not only was dragging it around the house was lightweight, easy to maneuver, and it sucked up EVERYTHING. I think all I need is a new filter and we’re good to go.

We’ll see how this works out. But right now, Mommy is happy…