Jack started picking at his feet and scratching yesterday and around our house that’s a sure sign of spring. It means that the gray grass is getting ready to turn green and Jack’s allergies have flared up. I called the vet and we’ve started the boy’s allergy tablets (Vanectyl-P) and he’ll be taking one a day until the snow flies. The scratching isn’t all due to allergies, though. Jack’s annual spring shed has kicked into high gear and the amount of hair he loses is astonishing. It comes out in clumps when you brush him and your arm can go numb and still there’s more hair to brush out. When he walks you can see hair just floating off and it’s almost impossible to keep up with the hair bunnies that collect in the corners of the house. The boy starts to look a bit shabby, too, with light patches of fur that stick out at odd angles. So he scratches and turns into a little bear who rubs himself on anything handy; trees, telephone poles, the sofa, people. You have to watch out for that last one, people. Jack loves to talk to strangers and he’ll walk right up to anyone and ask for a scratch. If it isn’t offered quickly enough he’ll take his bowling ball of a head and butt you with it and then start rubbing himself around you in circles. Unsurprisingly, not everyone appreciates this. It will be a few more weeks before my little hair machine finishes his shed and until then it’s brush, scratch, rub, repeat around here.