Thursday, January 22, 2009

My killer ex-boxer/Lab mix mutt

When M and I first bought our house in late 2002, we were so anxious to make it a home that a month after settling in, we adopted a dog named Oreo. She was so called because she was black and white, a mix of boxer and Lab. She had a black body with sandy fur interspersed and a big, square boxer jaw. She was pretty and smart, and we (especially M) adored her.

About three days after we got her, I went to visit M's grandmother, whose house has never seen the likes of a dog. Immediately, my nose cleared, and I felt like a million bucks. I realized something awful that day: I was allergic to my dog. I cried all the way home, because when I was a kid I had a cat that needed to be rehomed thanks to my rotten, super-powerful allergies. But this time was going to be different. I could manage.

I went to an allergist, who immediately told me my allergies were bad (duh) and that I needed to get rid of "it," my dog. I decided to start with allergy shots instead. Well, after two, I started getting chest tightening and difficulty breathing. The nurse told me there was no way I could be allergic to the teeny little bit of allergens she'd given me and that she'd lower the dose. I took another shot; I had another reaction. So we discontinued the shots.

I tried to make it work with my dog. I did. My house is almost totally carpeted, so I was constantly vacuuming and dusting. And I still felt like shit. Then I started wheezing, and I knew we couldn't keep her. M was devastated. I was devastated. But I knew that day at M's grandma's how things were going to play out, and unfortunately they did.

We were upset for awhile, but we soon figured out that a lot of what we were going through was our displaced want and need for a child. We started on the fertility train, but guess what? I was allergic to the IVF shots. We had to discontinue the cycle, and I was scheduled to go to an allergist to be tested with the bazillion meds you need to take in an IVF cycle.

Then I got pregnant. You know, the old-fashioned and fun way.

My son is a miracle. And honestly, because of him, I don't think much about the dog anymore. But yesterday, I was talking to my brother, who used to work with the guy who we gave Oreo to. Apparently, someone tried to break into the house, and the dog attacked them. They found a broken window and blood and flesh on the ground.

Now, that's all well and good, but I have a one-year-old who's into everything. I adore animals, but seriously, if that had happened on my watch, I would be afraid for the Boo. So things work out the way they are supposed to. Still, Oreo was a good girl.

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