The boys have been asking (more like begging) for a pet for years. Specifically a dog. I want so badly to let them have some normalcy in their lives. Along with all of Brody's food allergies, he is also allergic to cats and has several seasonal & environmental allergies. Josh tested positive to cats and dogs, along with seasonal & environmental allergens. I myself grew up with lots of pets...cats, dogs, bunnies. I honestly can't even imagine what my life would have been like if I had been told I couldn't have a pet when I was a little girl. They were such a huge part of my life back then. For the boys, we have tried fish and hermit crabs...neither of which give you the warm fuzzy feeling that you get when snuggling with an adorable puppy. We did have a small dog many years ago when we first had the boys tested for allergies and found out Josh was allergic. However, we never saw any evidence of Josh reacting to Sasha whatsoever. This could certainly have a lot to do with the fact that Sasha was a small older dog at the time and the boys didn't interact with her much at all. On the other hand, I have seen Josh get very congested in a short period of time just from being in the same room as a large shedding dog. I asked Josh over the weekend how badly he wants a puppy and if he'd be willing to go through allergy shots if that is what it took for us to have a pet. To my surprise, he said he would "happily take weekly allergy shots for the rest of his life if that is what he needed to do".
So my husband and I have been giving this a great deal of thought lately. Although there is no such thing as a "hypoallergenic dog", there are supposedly certain breeds that seem to create much less symptoms in allergic individuals. A few of these breeds would include Poodle (including cross-breeds such as Labradoodle), Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, and a Portuguese Water Dog. Apparently the latter is what the Obama family has chosen as their family pet since one of their daughters is allergic to dogs. I personally always wanted a toy poodle when I was little because I thought they were cute little puffballs! And since a small dog equals less amount of dander to interfere with allergies, this seems like a smart choice for us. So after we talk with the allergist and get his thoughts on the situation about whether allergy shots would be a good idea for Josh, we are leaning towards possibly bringing some type of a toy poodle mix into our family. I have found there is a breeder about an hour from our home that raises SilkyPoos (Silky Terrier/Toy Poodle mix). Is this not the most adorable face you've ever seen?
Of course my fear is that we will bring a puppy into our home and totally fall in love with it, and then the boys will start having allergy symptoms and we would have to decide whether to or not to give the dog up. I really hate feeling like allergies rule our lives! Between the food allergies, pet allergies, seasonal & environmental allergies, asthma, eczema, and a vision impairment...Is it so much to ask for my children to experience a little normalcy once in a while?