So I came accross an article in CNN about dogs, today. Specifically, dogs in the workplace. Office dogs, if you will. It's one of the many articles I see pretty often about dogs and how they reduce stress, and how having them around makes people more relaxed, ect. People I know with dogs love them. I understand, because up until I moved out of my parents' house, I owned a dog. Specifically, we had cocker spaniels. My whole family loved them. They're small, they're cute, they're protective (important, in our neighborhood) and fairly low maintenance. We had two of them and both lived to be around 10 years old. Here's the problem.
I'm terribly allergic to dogs.
I think it might have started when I was a kid, and we never noticed it. I was always kinda sick for some reason. We mostly kept the dogs outside, so it wasn't a big deal. Around my teen years however, I noticed that whenever I came in contact with the dog (Cocoa), I'd get sick. I had asthma, but it was mostly untreated and I just had an emergency inhaler. By the time I was in college, I knew what was going on. I was always sick, especially in my parents' home. My allergies got to a point where I felt like I had a flu whenever I was home. I woke up and went to bed sick. The only medicine that helped was Benadryl. Because we didn't have health insurance, I never took an allergy test, and I couldn't take anything perscription based. I suffered through my time at home and left whenever I could. I never asked to give away our dog, I loved him. He was a member of our family. I just waited until I could get a job and moved out a bit before college.
Those first few months with my roommate in Virginia were amazing. I never knew what it was like to always feel normal. Now, any time I visited home, I got sick. It's been two years since Cocoa passed away and I still get sick at their house. Now that I've had an allergy test, I know what I'm allergic to dogs, cats, and dust mites. Well, cats don't screw with me. I have one. I've had him for 5 years, now. Odin never hurts me, but dogs? I can't be around them. So many of my friends have dogs, and being at their home means either I need to be drugged up on Benadryl or extremely sick. The allergies are painful. My eyes itch, my nose runs, my throat gets raw, and my asthma kicks in. It's terrible. So I try to avoid dogs as much as I can, if only because I'm afraid that someday the Benadryl won't do anything but make me fall asleep. I've spoken to my doctor about a solution to this, a combination of medicine, but he says it's likely that a perscription will only give me minimal relief and I'm better off staying away from dogs altogether.
Well, that makes me a little sad. My husband loves dogs, and I'd like to have one, but I can live with it. It's not that big a deal. The problem comes from other people who think it's their job to tell me that I need to get medicine because dogs are so wonderful. Guys, I like dogs too, but please cut the shit. I'm tired of defending myself to people who care more about me seeing their dog than my health. Really, I have nothing against you or your dog, but your wonderful pet makes me sick. So kindly stop trying to get me to take medicine, or "just live with the pain" as some have suggested. It sucks. It makes you look like an asshole, and you're starting to make me hate dogs on principle. Seriously, if I get one more person say I need to get over my allergies so I can see their precious bundle of barks and poop, I will tell them that not only am I allergic, but I hate dogs.
People are bringing me to hate dogs! Can you imagine? But seriously dog lovers, it's your fault. Get out of my face with those things. Don't bring them to work, I get sick! Don't let them run free without a leash, we almost ran over a whippet in the middle of the street this weekend! Don't assume everyone needs to see your stupid dog! You don't see me dragging my cat everywhere, do you? Do me the same courtesy. Get your stupid dog out of my face, and quit trying to tell me how to live. Office dogs that reduce stress? Not for everyone, and definitely not for me.
Barking mad: Can office dogs reduce stress?