So what makes a Dyson Animal different from other vacuum cleaners? … quite simply it works! True, they’re not cheap, but neither is having to buy a new vacuum every 6-12 months because it just can’t keep up with all that pet hair. A lot of people have said “of course you like your new Dyson Animal… it’s new, so compared to your old vacuum, it’s got to be better — any new vacuum would better. So why did you pay so much for this vacuum cleaner?” So, why did we?… We’ve always had dogs, and have gone through a lot of vacuums, we tried different makes and models, but the dog hair always won. It was late 2004 and once again, our latest vacuum was about ready to give up. We’d heard about Dyson vacuums and at first dismissed them as over priced, weird looking machines that thought they were re-incarnations of the first iMacs! But, when searching for yet another “throw away” vacuum, we kept hearing more about how good the Dyson Animal was with pet hair, and about their new design concepts, but we just couldn’t believe that the price was worth it – after all it’d probably only last a year — if we were lucky. Eventually, getting tired of looking at the same old vacuums, we were introduced to the Dyson Animal by a salesman in a store who said “why don’t you just try it”. So, at this point, we decided, why not? The first thing that impressed us was how easily it moved from tile to carpet without having to lift it, and without it chewing up the edge of the carpet. But what about cleaning? Yes, it seemed to pick up dirt thrown on the floor by the salesman, so we ground it into the carpet with our feet, and yes, it picked up the dirt well — but, they didn’t have any dog hair to really test it, so we were still not sure. In the end we decided, why not try it — we’d tried everything else, hadn’t found any other vacuum that even looked like it might work, and we didn’t want to just keep throwing away more money every year. So we bought a Dysan Animal… all the way home, I kept saying, I can believe we’ve just spent that amount on a vacuum! We first tried the new Dyson Animal on our living room carpet, which had been vacuumed the day before, and looked OK — the dogs hadn’t been in there yet. Then came the big surprise — we were amazed at how much sand and dog hair it picked up from what looked like a clean carpet… that Dyson really sucked!!! One thing that was really impressive was how it’s suction was so powerful, but we were able to vacuum the dog beds just by running the vacuum over them without them getting sucked into and caught in the rollers. I’d sworn I would never get another bagless vacuum after the mess created by other vacuums… but, I also didn’t like to have to keep paying for bags. I was amazed how easy & clean it was dumping the dirt… just hold the canister over the garbage can, press a button and it all dropped out the bottom and was gone! It was well worth the extra trips to empty it the dirt was in the canister, not left in the carpet!! We knew we were onto a winner… but, just wondered how long it would last before it lost the battle and really sucked in other ways! We’re not your average one dog family living in a city with a small landscaped back yard and a local dog park… We are a perfect test case the Dyson Animal! Our dog family is not the small short-haired or non-shedding kind… we have large, medium/long coated dogs who love the outdoors. Our “garden” has a small lawn, but is mostly 2 acres of desert. We have a dog door, so the dogs get to come and go as they please — at least during the day & evening, night time they stay inside. Living in the high desert, we have very hot summers and cold winters, so our dogs grow thick winter coats and manage to shed year round — just the amount varies! To add to that we get strong winds, so no-matter what you do, the sand gets in the house. Deserts are also great for rabbit brush, sage bushes and tumbleweed. So after the dogs have had a great time chasing lizards through the bushes, they come back into the cool bringing bits of bushes and lots of sand with them. Summer brings thunder storms and downpours — the dogs get wet frequently, love rolling in wet sand, then come in to share it with us. Winter brings it’s own kind of fun — digging, running and rolling in the snow. With all of this our Dyson Animal has been winning the battle for the last 7 years! After owning a Dyson Animal DC14 since it first came out, and our dog family increasing from two to four during that time, the Dysan Animal is still picking up their dog hair better than other new, so called “pet vacuums”…. and I’m pleased to say, it still sucks big time!! Conclusion This is the best vacuum cleaner we’ve ever owned and well worth the money. At best, we’d have gone through at least 7 vacuum cleaners in this amount of time… so do the math… the Dyson Animal works out cheaper… and is still working well. The only problem we’ve had in all this time is that the roller clogs up with long dog hair and it’s a real pain to have to get it all out — but with a brush roller, good suction and lots of long dog hair, even Dyson haven’t come up with a way to prevent that… maybe in the next model! The Dyson Animal DC14 is big and a bit heavy and doesn’t maneuver well around or under furniture. But today’s Dyson Animal DC25 Ball model solves both of these problems. Whereas the Dyson Animal DC28 provides the heavier duty performance. So, would we buy another Dyson? If we could afford it, we’d buy both the DC25 and the DC28. The DC28 for big cleanup jobs and the DC25 for every day use. We’d probably also buy the Dyson Animal DC31 Handheld for smaller jobs. When the time comes to replace our DC14, we’ll probably start with the DC28… but, by that time Dyson will probably have a new line of vacuums!