Shana and I have had a long running disagreement about vacuum cleaners. She is a devotee of the upright; I am convinced that a canister is the way to go. Now that we are living on a single floor my arguments for the canister had become less convincing, but no less vehement. This year my beloved Kenmore canister, the last survivor of three consecutive units of the same model, suffered terrible injuries probably at the hands of my vacuuming assistant, who shall remain nameless, although well known to most of my readers as a ruthless (if accidental) destroyer of every kind of household appliance. The power head was actually broken off the wand, necessitating liberal and strategic applications of duct tape before each and every use. While this did render the unit usable with some care it did require much more motivation to begin the job. Shana flatly refused to do it. Obviously this state of affairs could not go on. Just before Christmas Shana wrung a reluctant promise from me that I would buy a new vacuum cleaner. I agreed, but stalled for time, in hopes that the duct tape solution would grow on her with time. It didn't. By the end of the year she was promising to take over the job if only I would replace the existing unit. It was beginning to sound interesting. I started researching options. After identifying the provenance of most of the detritus on our floors (hint: her picture is at the head of this entry) I settled on possibly the only unit that could keep up: the Dyson Animal, otherwise known as the Holy Grail of Vacuum Cleaners for people with hairy and sheddy pets. To be absolutely fair, Shana did not insist on this model. After checking out customer reviews and assessing our particular needs I settled on this one. The spendy price is somewhat offset by the lack of bags, filters or belts needing to be purchased on a special pilgrimage to the home of the Kenmore. It has no bags or belts, and the filters are washable. After assembly, Shana put on the Official Vacuuming Uniform and proceeded to take it for a spin. We were very happy with its performance. Not only does it suck like crazy, but also you get to enjoy the sight of the offending dirt building up in the collection chamber. I had no idea how much dog hair we had on the floor. That's really saying something, because except for the bedrooms we have hardwood and tile floors, where dog hair collects in the corners in drifts where it can be plainly seen. I thought I had seen all of the dog hair. But NO. This container full of dog hair is not a loose collection of hair pressed against the sides. This is a tightly packed mass of hair that was removed with some effort from the container in layers and clumps closely resembling felt. I really believe we could have assembled an entire additional dog from the hair we dumped in the trash. It was thrilling. We are easily amused, and lead riveting lives.