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Summer is officially here in the U.K and any double coated dog owner knows that along with the hot weather comes shedding season. Double coated dogs, such as Snowdogs, go through two casting off (blowing) episodes per year. This is where, in response to season shifts in temperature, the undercoat of the fur falls out over a course of a few weeks to enable a new coat more suited for the new season to form. This is the necessary shedding process to keep your double coated dogs cool in the summer.
This fur is usually thrown away, or strewn onto grass for the birds to insulate their nests with. Some owners however get a little more creative.
One dogs trash is another dogs treasure
I spoke to Lilith Hammond who does something extraordinary with the undercoat fur. “I started making fur coats when I helped find a home for a foster dog, a springer spaniel, who was completely bald due to alopecia. I started thinking that maybe there were other dogs with no fur for whatever reason be it burns, alopecia or skin conditions. I thought they deserved to have fur too and what better coat than one made of real dog fur.”
Lileth collects unwanted undercoat fur from owners and turns it into fur coats for less fortunate dogs who have no fur. Yes, that was the sound of my heart cracking.
She explains that the fur is washed twice, dried, combed then spun. “It is sometimes blended with a small amount of wool for added strength depending on how long the fur is.”
It’s not just dogs she helps
There is only so much fur her own dogs can shed, so Hammond puts wanted adverts on social media in hopes that some owners will part with their fur and help dogs in need. It was only a short while after posting her advert that someone contacted her with an enquiry about coats for a different animal entirely. “I had a lady contact me about her cat who also didn’t have any fur and she wanted to know if cat fur could be spun as well.”
These are fur yarn made from Newfoundland/white German Shepherd undercoat and a fur yarn from Samoyed undercoat.
Donations and raising money
Lileth accepts donations from you via contacting her by her Facebook or by her Preloved advert. Lileth also accepts donations to charities and rescues of her choice in exchange for a coat for your dog. She asks that any potential coat buyers to be patient, as making these takes a lot of time out of her already busy schedule.
If you or anybody you know owns dogs who have conditions where hair loss if prevalent, I think this is a brilliant idea. Whilst summer is already underway, up next comes the colder months and all I can think of is those shivering doggies who could otherwise enjoy the snow. We need more people like Lileth in this world. Here below is a photo of one of Lileth’s dogs Miya modelling a basic fur coat.
You can contact Lileth via her Facebook page here