Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why we can't have a dog


A few years ago, we got a dog and named her Casey. We had her for a grand total of three days and had to send her back. You see, McKay is extremely allergic to dogs, and within an hour of the dog being in our home, he had hives all over his face, and his eyes were nearly swollen shut. We were told by the "breeder" that she was a goldendoodle. Come to find out, she was only about a quarter poodle, which was just not nearly enough to make her hypoallergenic.

I remember the morning that I told the kids we had to give her back. Simultaneously, they all three broke out into tears. I didn't want McKay to shoulder the burden of our not being able to keep the puppy, so I told the kids that I was allergic to Casey, and that she was making me sick. Chase looked at me for a minute and then said, "Well, couldn't you just sleep out on the porch?"

Nice.

Through his red, weepy eyes, McKay scratched a hive, sniffed, and said, "I think I might be allergic, too."

Ya think?

We spent the morning crying, hugging our beloved Casey, then drove two hours to Maine to return her to the excellent "breeder". It was horrible. Probably one of the worst days I've ever had as a mother. I mean, who gives their kids a puppy and then takes it away?

Well, I've had the tug on my heartstrings for a dog ever since our Thanksgiving weekend with Tango and Little Dog. For some unknown reason, I just ache for a puppy. I know they're a lot of work. I know they pee and poo all over everything. I know they eat shoes.

But still.

I. CAN'T. HELP. MYSELF. I love them.

So I get it all in my head that if we had a "real" goldendoodle, maybe McKay would be all right. After five hours on the internet (that resulted in my not showering until after the husband came home from work - gross!), and discussions with several reputable breeders, I have come to one simple conclusion:

We just can't have a dog.

The goldendoodles and labradoodles go through about 12 to 15 coat changes in the first year alone. There is no guarantee when they get their permanent coat that it will be hypoallergenic. McKay could react two days into it, two months into it, or a year into it. The hypoallergenic-ness really only has been effective for people with mild allergies. Which he is not.

I cannot bear the thought of sending another dog back, and so I am trying really hard to make peace with our fate.

But honestly, is this not a face you just want to hug and kiss, all day long?

Sniff. Me, too.

36 comments:

momy4him said...

awww, that is a shame cuz that little face is too adorable! this may be a stupid question, but any chance that mckay will outgrow this allergy?
casey cracks me up-ready to kick you out to the porch!

Amber said...

At least it wasn't your new couch. Yes, my friend, I was allergic to our new couches as a lassie.

I was grateful my parents traded it in and not me. Though I am sure they hesitated for just a moment....:-)

Melain said...

OH THAT IS SAD! We have the same problem at our place. I think about giving my daughter a dog and it makes me SO HAPPY. But my husband is horribly allergic. *sniff, sniff*

Tiffanie said...

Aren't Bichon Frise dogs hypoallergenic?

DanandCindy said...

I'm sorry to disappoint, but I can't think of anything rude to say at this time.

Lisa @ Take90West said...

That is such a sad story. I feel guilty for the pictures I posted on my blog today.
You are a good mom for taking the 'allergy' blame! Poor McKay.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Dan, I am speechless at your speechlessness. May this day live in history as the one day you couldn't think of anything rude to say to me. God bless America.

katie said...

i'm sorry. You can live vicariously through my new puppy - hey, come by whenever you want and help potty train... woo hoo.

See, the no dog thing isn't all that bad!

Diane said...

That's a really sad story! Any dog with any kind of lab in it is totally hard to resist. Maybe it was something like the soap they washed the dog in or something like that that caused the allergy. It could happen....it did once on the Brady Bunch!

In the meantime...just one more thing about you that makes us love you!

girlymama said...

just think of the good points. like no one will be peeing or pooping on your new carpets. (hopefully)

Walker Family said...

We have a lab because I couldn't resist the puppy face! Maybe you could find a hairless dog (like a hairless cat from "friends")

Mique said...

Stie,
We really need to work on this trading places thing. I read your post and will replace Dan for a minute as "rude girl"-
no, that is not a face that I would like to hug and kiss all day long.
I prefer human communication. I already have a couple of kids (my boys) who poop, pee and don't speak. It's no fun (that doesn't sound right- I love my boys but the fact that they don't have their bodily functions under control and that they are speech limited stinks). Why would I want another hairier version of that?

gab said...

I KNEW that you loved Tango.

You are a dog person...I want to be a dog person. Isn't life rich with irony?

Bridget said...

What a sad story! I wish someone in our family were allergic so I had an excuse to never get one though.

Kimberly and Devon said...

Too bad, now you really won't have anyone to blame the cookie dough on. Oh, but that face is sooo cute! I feel for you!

RobynandJoe said...

Poor McKay...you really are a good mom for taking the blame! Maybe you should have another baby instead! :)

Family Adventure said...

I'm laughing at robyandjoe's comments...but I feel your pain! Those picture are heartbreaking. I wouldn't want to run the risk of a repeat, either. :(

Heidi

themegamama said...

We've got a Bichon Frise--had him for seven years. They are great with kids and most people who are allergic to dogs aren't allergic to them. Check 'em out.

-Megan

Honey B said...

We own a Labradoodle and they do go through soooo many coat changes. We were told he wouldn't shed, too and hoped it was true. Um, no. Not even close. We aren't allergic but that would be hard. You should get a cool fishtank for the kids. Fish are fun and I have never heard about anyone who was allergic...

Stacie said...

awe that is a cute little puppy.

have you searched these...
http://www.pwdca.org/breed/FAQs.html

not that you want to spend another 5 hours, but it might be worth it...

DanandCindy said...

Nevermind, I just thought of something. Here it comes...

I thought there already was a dog in your family?

My name is Ali... said...

That stinks!!...

Have you looked at soft coated wheaten terriers? They look like little teddy bears when they're puppies, but they're hair can get kind of long, so grooming is necessary... two of my former students who suffered from really bad dog allergies had these dogs and it didn't bother them...

crystal said...

I would rather hug & kiss the puppy on the screen than the real thing. Blech.

The "couldn't you just sleep on the porch" comment is a hall-of-famer! Never, ever let that boy live that down.

Holly said...

I just crawled out from under my rock today. I never heard of a goldendoodle.

Have-you thought about Bichon Frise? They're more of a small accessory dog, but are supposed to be non-shedding and maybe non-allergic.

That is a cute pup though. Porches are just an extension of the home, hmmm...

Paige said...

Sad story. I told my kids I'm allergic to dogs too, so now we never have to get one. I still say jump on the one more baby train.

Becky said...

Now you have even made ME want a dog. My kids would just love to have one. But, it's gonna be a while. Besides, we just don't know if Landon is allergic to dogs. Cute cute puppy.

Marty said...

We had a fish tank for a while and I hated it. It smelled terrible, and fish don't do anything cute or fun. One of them ate some of the others. And there were a couple who just floated upside down to the top. Plus, their tails don't wag when they're happy.

Denae said...

I wish you could get a dog since you want one so much! That must be so sad. But you're doing the right thing cause getting one and sending it back again would be the worst. I am not a dog lover... if it helps you could imagine when the dog is all old and sickly and having to take care of it then... that's no fun. My parents dog is living way too long and is not happy and it is hard on everyone.

J-Dude's Blog said...

Okay, I didn't even read what anyone else said because I really hate dogs and don't care what anyone else says. Yeah, they can be kind of cute but I'm convinced that that dog in your blog picture has poop all over his feet and he's about to walk in your house ON your carpet and there goes eating anything off the floor ever again!!! Just don't get me started. Don't get me started. Kristine M just got a dog and yesterday I'm talking to her on the phone and she starts lamenting that there is dog poop on her shirt. Ok. Throw. Up. I told her I didn't feel sorry for her - that's what you get when you are dumb enough to have a dog. You are better off, girlfriend! Have a baby. Go to the Zoo. Do something else - dog SIT for heaven's sake but don't do dogs.

katie said...

what about a cat?

also, my husband, eyebrow wax, I don't have to do any convincing at all, he just goes. Always nice. Oh, and he also gets my pedicures with me too :) We lived in Hawaii for a bit, he knows the value of good looking feet... and umm how bad some some look. ha.

Anonymous said...

Geez marty, really being optimistic arent you! You probably ruined any chande of them getitng any pet.. you sure are GREAT!!
shame shame

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

That is a sad sad sad.

Maybe a miracle will happen and he will overcome his allergy. Can't you just dope him up on medicine to fufill your need?

Anonymous said...

Holly,
ARE YOU SERIOUS??? HES JUST A KIDS! DOPE HIM UP ON DRUGS? i hope you treat your kids better!

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

No, ANONYMOUS. I'm NOT serious. Of Course I wouldn't dope my (nor do I think Stie should) kid on drugs.

Sheesh! CHILL.

Celia Fae said...

You know what I love? I love it when anonymous people are too chicken to say who they really are. I also love it when they have more than one typo so they seem stupid.

Charlie Sue said...

Why not just get a pure bred poodle? Then there is no chance it will have to go back again. Miniature poodles are super clever, easy to train and great with kids.

The "breeder" of your cross bred dog was extremely irresponsible giving you the dog when they would have known that there is no certainty what sort of coat it would have. It's like saying you want to have a brown haired baby.

So sorry you guys had to give your dog up. Must have been hard on your little ones.