Meet Larry… OK, so he is not a dog, but I have always wanted a Larry…

Isn’t Larry a great name?  I have been longing for a Larry forever, but ‘he’ has not darkened my doorway.  Willy looked like he could be a Larry in his picture, but what came out of the crate at Sky Harbor airport was definitely not a Larry.  Morty could have been a Larry.  He looks like he could pass as one.  But, apropos of nothing, on the way to the vet to see if Morty had a micro chip, The Crabby Man said he looked like  a Morty.   Kid you not, earlier, when I was coaxing that scared, skinny stray into the collar, I called him Morty, but I never mentioned it to The Crabby Man.  So, as Fate would have it, Morty will forever be Morty and not Larry.

Morty makes 12. (Insert extreme, heavy sigh here).  So what about my Larry?  I am already The Crazy Dog Lady.  K9 #13 just to have my Larry would make me Seriously In Need of Medication Lady.  In other words, there is no Larry in the forseeable future, or so I thought.  Turns out, Larry has been with us for a couple of years…

Meet Larry!  The Roomba Formerly Known as Dusty (He is the little round guy in the video).

Larry is a Series 500 Roomba, by I-Robot.  He is also my first Product Review for the Multiple Dog Household.

You may find this hard to believe, but multiple dogs means a lot of dog hair on the floor.  A lot of dog hair on the floor means a lot of vacuuming.

We actually got Larry a couple of years ago, after we ripped out the carpet.  Fact of life:  Multiple dogs and carpets do not mix.   What was left was the exposed plywood.  Didn’t matter how many times we vacuumed, we were always pulling up grit and dog hair.  The purpose of Larry was not to clean the house for us, but to reduce the need to vacuum so frequently.

Within a couple of months after putting Larry into commission, we began getting “Clean Brushes” errors that couldn’t be cleared.  A call to I-Robot Customer Service yielded the response that Larry’s particular model was never intended to be used on rough plywood.  So, with great sadness, Larry was relegated to dust collection in the closet.  I believe it was Sarah who came in during that time, and, well, vet bills took priority over the new floor.

The Blessed Day did arrive, however, when we finally did get our new laminate floor!  Actually, it is more a case of the ship was already sinking and there was credit available on a certain card, so, let’s just do it.  Our videos were pretty embarrassing with the plywood and there were many more videos to be made.  Any who, after installation of the new floor, I eagerly dusted off Larry and tried to put him back into commission.  Alas, the same “Clean Brushes” error prevented his use.

Another call to Customer Service yielded the recommendation, given the insane number of dogs on the premises, that we get the Aerovac upgrade.  We found the upgrade available at Bed Bath and Beyond, and Larry was properly outfitted.  What a difference!

We have to be reasonable people here.  Larry is being asked to do a lot more than I-Robot ever intended.  For our house, even without the dogs, the recommendation was for at least 3 Roombas.  But we only have Larry.

Before Larry, I would vacuum in the morning before I left for work, and again after work, at least.  I am reasonably sure The Crabby Man also vacuumed before he left for work too.  On weekends, I might vacuum 3 or 4 times, depending on what the kids tracked in.  Each time, we filled a goodly portion of the vacuum canister.  If that load, which ultimately lead to the euthanasia of a Dyson, is pulled off our floors on a daily basis, what can we reasonably expect from little Larry?  Well, we can reasonably expect that Larry will help control the build up.  And that is exactly what he does.

Larry is turned loose 3 times a day.  He spends the morning in the office.   After work, I turn him loose in the bedroom, and after a charge, to the livingroom/kitchen.  Do I have to empty the collection compartment a lot? Yes, but it takes seconds.  Does Larry get every bit of grit and hair?  No, but get this:  if he can’t suck up the hair, he accumulates it and pushes it in front of him.  As I am walking about, I need simply lean down and pick up a sizeable hairball left in Larry’s wake.   This is the same sizeable hairball that we would pick up in the vacuum, but physically have to cover the entire floor to get.  This little Larry favor is more than likely not what I-Robot had in mind for a selling point, but anyone fighting a battle with dog hair will understand the sheer joy of picking up occasional chunks over the time-consuming hunting of stray hairs.

The end result of Larry’s inclusion into the family:  We vacuum less, check this out:  once a day, and we are not walking on grit and watching hairballs flow in the breeze when the kids decide it is time for a K9 Flash Mob.  In short, more time to spend with the kids without letting your house turn into a pigsty.  Yup, we still fill a serious chunk of canister on the vacuum, but in between we can walk barefoot on the floors and they feel clean.  Perfect, no, but clean just the same.  There are times when the kids track in so much that we go straight to vacuum, but for all the other times, Larry is our boy.

Here is another bonus:  Multi Dog People, well, anyone for that matter, go look under your bed.  Go ahead, we’ll wait.   See all those dust bunnies and hairballs you can’t reach?  Larry can.  In our case, there were times we could stuff a dog bed with what got caught under there.  No more.  And if Larry can’t pick it up, he accumulates it and pushes it out in the open where we can get it.

Let’s face it, if you are going to have multiple dogs, and don’t want to look like one of those homes you see in Cops, you will have to clean, a lot.  Smart people with multiple dogs will realize that multiple dogs and carpets do not mix. So if you have laminate, hardwood, linoleum or other relatively smooth surfaced floors, Roomba is definitely the way to go to help control (not completely avoid) the messes.  More particularly, Roomba 500 Series with the Aerovac upgrade.

Now is the time for the disclaimer:  I will be, when I get enough followers, approaching I-Robot with an offer to advertise on this page in exchange for new batteries, replacement parts, …ahem, maybe another Roomba.  With 12 dogs, the ability to get another one is slim to none.  Larry would appreciate the help and you beg where you can.  Just know this:  Neither The Crazy Dog Lady,  nor The Crabby Man can be bought.  If we weren’t absolutely pleased with Larry, you would not be seeing this post.

Roomba is a great product and I would recommend it to any dog home, with non-carpeted floors.

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4 thoughts on “Meet Larry… OK, so he is not a dog, but I have always wanted a Larry…

  1. In a rental… is there one as good for carpet? I cannot vacuum that much, and sadly, my house likely does look like one you’d see on Cops. It’s the FUR that gets me, not the tracking though.

  2. Hello Melissa,

    I went over to the I-Robot website

    (http://www.irobot.com/en/us/robots/home/roomba.aspx)

    and saw some pictures of rooms with very low pile carpet. I could not give an honest answer as to how well it works.

    I did send a link to this blog entry to I-Robot and, if someone from that company were to actually end up here, I would invite them to answer your question as to whether one of these robots would work on carpet.

    Just know, I feel your pain! At least for us we were able to conceed defeat and rip up the carpets.

  3. Hi,
    Yes, the iRobot Roomba works just as well on carpet. We wouldn’t recommend it for shag carpeting, but for most other types of carpet you will find that it can pick up and control the debris, dog hair, etc.

    You might want to look at one of the Pet Series models, such as the Roomba 552, 562, or 564 available on the iRobot web site. The 700 Series are all excellent with pet hair pickup as well.

    –irobottexter,
    iRobot Customer Care team

  4. Thank you for responding irobottexter!

    Would you have any videos that I can link to?

    Also, the Model I have is not a Pet Series. If it had been, would the Aerovac upgrade have been necessary?

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