Vacuum of a Pet Owner’s Dreams


So, two days before my birthday, a large box, addressed to me (not The Whole Dog Journal) is delivered to my front door. It’s been sent from an “expediting” company; there is no return address or name of the person who sent it to me. It’s a vacuum – actually, it’s THE vacuum, the one that’s been lurking on my internet searches and wish list: The Dyson Animal DC 23.

I ask my husband. “Aw, honey, did you buy me a vacuum for my birthday?”

“Are you crazy?” he responds. “You can’t buy a wife a vacuum for her birthday! I’d never live it down!”

He had a point – but I was conflicted. This was the vacuum of my DREAMS! My sister (the one with three little dogs) has had a Dyson Animal upright model for years, and she raves about it. She’s talked several of her friends into buying one, and they’ve raved, too. But ouch! They are expensive!

I didn’t know where the Dyson came from, but I couldn’t take the suspense any longer. I opened the box, and assembled the pieces, including the “turbine head.” I took it right to my living room, the room with the patterned Berber carpet, mildly woven with Otto hair, the hair/rug combination that has previously resisted every other vacuum’s suction. My husband said, “What if it was a mistake? What if it’s not really for you?” I couldn’t be stopped. I turned the Dyson on and started vacuuming. And it was like a miracle.

The amount of hair (and dust) that the Dyson was able to get off the rug was incredible – and a little embarrassing. I had just vacuumed a few days before. Otto hangs out with us in the living room only in the evenings for a few hours, as my husband plays guitar or we watch a movie. But a look at the transparent canister told the tale: There was a TON of hair in there. I couldn’t believe how much. It made me want to vacuum our tweedy fabric couches, immediately. And so I did, with the “mini turbine head” attachment. And I almost fainted when I saw the debris and hair I’d recently been lounging on, concentrated in the vacuum’s canister.

Please don’t get me wrong: I keep a pretty clean house. My dog is not allowed on my couch, though our ancient cat is permitted to be anywhere she’s comfortable. If I see a dust bunny floating down the hall, I whip out a vacuum, a broom, a mop – whatever it takes to get the floors looking clean again. But the Dyson was able to clean our rug and sofa to a level no other vacuum has been able to.

Long story short: It was no mistake. The birthday connection was just a coincidence. The Dyson company sent me (and, probably, many other pet publications) the Animal DC 23 to review, no strings attached. (In fact, it took them a week to send me an email that explained the arrival of the vacuum.)

In a normal Whole Dog Journal product review, we’d take several products of a similar type and compare them to each other. But I don’t see any other vacuum coming into this house or my office for a long time. They will have to pry the vacuum wand out of my cold, dead fingers. I love this vacuum.

Look for a less passionate, calmer review in an upcoming issue of Whole Dog Journal. In the meantime, you can find more detail about the DC 23 at


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