Ok so for those of you who maybe haven’t been around here from the start or have maybe missed some weeks lets recap where we are with things. We got ourselves a dog. It turns out that I’m allergic to dogs, or at least I’m allergic to this dog. It makes me very tired and it becomes rather difficult to train when I can’t get off the couch.
Lets go back to the start. It all kicked off a couple of months ago when Cooper came home. Actually, no, it started quite a while before that. Lets go back about two years.
2014: Ais excitedly waves her phone at me squealing isn’t he goooorgeous!! Can we get a dog?? Can we get a dog?
Me: Yes he’s lovely and no.
Ais; but why? he’s so gorgeous and cute and I’d look after him.
Me because dogs poo everywhere, pee everywhere and eat all the stuff and I know who will end up cleaning up the poo. And who will look after it when we’re away? It’s probably also important to point out that you are terrified of dogs.
Ais: Aw but I’d love him!
This conversation went on for months. Another cute pug picture or video on Facebook would elicit another round of doggy love and another round of the poo, dogsitter and terror answer.
After about 18 months of fairly regular dog conversations I started to weaken and lose some resolve. I started to think that maybe Ais was serious, the dog thing had been going on for a long time and showed no sign of wearing off. In fact she liked so many dog pictures and videos on facebook that her feed was now over 50% cute dog stuff. Pugs in dresses, pugs in costumes, pugs in prams and all sorts of other nonsense.
I considered bringing home a puppy. If it was that important to Ais then maybe I should give in. But what if she was was only loving the cute pictures and didn’t really want the pooing, peeing reality any more than I did. If I went with the surprise route then we would be stuck with it needlessly. Maybe if I bought her flowers, or a dress, or some cake she might forget the dog. But it was all to no avail, showering her with gifts made not a whit of difference to the dog obsession.
Then one day it happened. I caved a little and Ais wasted no time going for the jugular. She went straight for the kill. She showed me a picture of a 2 year old Boxer in the animal shelter. I think she had come up with the cunning plan that if she was going to get me onboard with the dog idea it wasn’t any use showing me some rediculous looking fluffy thing in some girls handbag. It would have to be some cool sporty, butch, manly looking dog that could run with us and I would be likely to get excited over.
I always liked Boxers I said.
Should we go and look? Ais asked.
I knew at this suggestion that she had moved past the cute Facebook pictures stage and was heading towards the physical animal living in our house stage. I agreed to go check him out and headed to the pound before Ais came home from work. I knew we were taking him home within about 30 seconds of seeing him and sure enough 3 days later we had him in the van and headed home.
So that’s the first part of the story. The second part is the one that relates to the training diary. I know, I know sometimes I take a while to get to the point. I started to get really tired. To the extent that I actually couldn’t train and even missed some days from work before we realised that I might be allergic to the dog. I had had a similar although much less severe reaction to some of the chemicals used in our swimmimg pool (being allergic to a swimming pool is a sort of ridiculous problem for a triathlete)
After a visit to the local GP I was told the best solution was to get rid of the dog. When I said I didn’t really think that would fly with Ais he said to try some over the counter anti-histamines. So I did and I started to get some relief. At least I could train again.
Jump forward 5 months of up and down weeks, first feeling good then feeling like I’d been driven over by a bus It looked like I wasn’t getting anymore used to the dog and the body wasn’t adapting to it.
We decided to see a doctor again and a friend of mine put me in touch with an allergy specialist. So I did and now the blood tests have been done and I’m booked for some skin patch test stuff in a week or so which will hopefully not only identify the cause but maybe offer a solution.
In the meantime Ais has come up with her own answer to the problem in the shape of a home office style shed. She has said we can even get a heater and a bed into it and couldn’t I get my turbo trainer and treadmill in there too. Sure I’d be made. I could drop back into the house whenever I’m hungry or felt like visiting with the dog who seems to really like chilling out on my favourite armchair in the window in the kitchen.