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?"


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.