Recently, my husband and I finally made the decision to cave in to my son’s numerous requests for a dog. Yes, we tried to distract him with fish, frogs, hamsters and other ‘low maintenance’ pets… We even tried to take his mind off of it with fun family getaways – how can a mere dog compete with the happiest place on Earth?? Unfortunately, my son is not only a fun-loving 7 year old – he is also an elephant. He never forgets. And when it comes to this particular issue, he’s like a dog with a bone (pun intended!).
So we researched, planned, analyzed, deliberated, organized… and eventually welcomed Gryffindor Sokz to our family - A.K.A. "Gryffin" (deliberate ‘tip of the hat’ to my son’s other obsession, Harry Potter!).
The house was in chaos, the carpets were a disaster, but the kid was elated and Mommy had a chance to earn back a few of those long-gone “Mommy-of-the-Year” brownie points. Sounds like a perfect Hollywood ending, right? Insert image here of the boy & his dog frolicking off through the sunshine-filled fields as the credits start to roll… (I realize its January and the sunshine-filled moments are few & far between, but work with me here!)
And then it started.
A few eye rubs here & there…. A persistent tickle in that space where your ears & throat meet that you can never quite reach… Then full-on itchy, puffy, watery swollen eyes – the kind you get from the funeral scene in Steel Magnolias. A cold? No… feels a bit different. Could it be…? No… there’s no way…. It couldn’t be…. Oh no.
I think I’m allergic to the dog.
Now I’ve been around dogs on & off throughout my lifetime with absolutely no issues (barking, biting & pooping aside). I have absolutely no allergies, other than a self-diagnosed allergy to housework, but I don’t seem to get much sympathy for that one…
To say I feel absolutely sick about this is an understatement! “Here you go, little boy – here’s the gift you’ve wanted every day for your entire life. Enjoy! Now, just kidding!” Seriously, I have no idea how I’ll be able to afford the life-long therapy! And any chance of recouping those long-lost “Mom of the Year” points is obviously shot to hell.
I know what you’re all thinking (other than “Sucks to be you!”) – don’t put the cart before the horse (Lord, don’t introduce a horse to the equation, too!) – figure out if you’re truly allergic to the dog before you figure out the best way to crush your son’s hopes & dreams and scar him for life. Check. The appointment with the allergist is booked & I’m crossing my fingers that it isn’t the dog but is in fact my long pleaded for symptoms to that housework allergy...
In the interim, however, as each day passes and more balls are thrown, walks are taken and hugs are shared, the situation stresses me out more and more. Seriously, could you disappoint this face?