Let me introduce…Brian!
Our honorary guest this week.
Brian is a 7 month old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier…basically a big soft ball of fluff…with loads of energy!
My boys are in heaven! They are just loving having a dog in the house again! They take him for walks, play catch, feed him, yes, even clean up after him and basically entertain one another.
Whose taking who for a walk!
Brian is in love with the boys…following them around wherever they go…whining when they go upstairs, off to school or out to deliver their papers.
Our family is well versed in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers…meet Chester!
Chester was our beloved first dog.
Andy and I welcomed Chester into our lives the first year after we purchased our first home.
One of the reasons we purchased a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was their hypo allergenic qualities: non-shedding. I am highly allergic to many types of dogs…I was fine with Chester.
Over the years, my husband and I questioned our eldest son’s eczema and both boys’ asthma in relationship with our dog. Every doctor we visited recommended that we find a new home for him. One allergist, in particular, would not perform a skin test on our son until we no longer owned a dog. She said it would take 3 years to fully rid our home of a dog’s allergens.
This was not easy to digest. In the end, Chester lived his full life with us to the age of 12.
This was taken days before Chester died. Notice the redness and dark circles under Michael’s eyes.
I have this photo blown up and framed at home. A few years after Chester died, a young friend of the boys was visiting. After looking at the photo he exclaimed, “What is wrong with Michael?”
Coincidentally, 3 years after Chester’s death, Michael’s eczema took a turn for the better. In the last few years, he has been puffer and antihistamine free. Matthew is in the process of weaning himself off puffers.
Could it have been Chester?
Also, in and around the 3 year mark, Michael started light therapy under the care of his dermatologist. Puberty also set in.
Could the combination of variables have made the positive difference?
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are considered to be hypo allergenic…unfortunately, I believe my boys definitely showed signs of being sensitive to Brian. So much easier to notice when you have something to compare it with.
Brian arrived last Saturday. I was away and arrived home Sunday evening. It took only one look at Michael and Matthew to realize they were suffering from allergies.
Michael was all red in the neck, sniffling, sneezing, coughing and his breathing was strained. Matthew was also sniffling, sneezing and coughing with laboured breathing. I immediately got them on their puffers and Michael on his antihistamine.
I banned the dog from the basement, had the boys vacuum it and removed Brian’s bed from the basement to the kitchen. (Figured that was a good spot as it is where I spend most of my days. lol) He was already banned from the upstairs…thank goodness that was already in place. The boys needed places of refuge.
Since the boys have gone back on their puffers, Airomir and Alvesco both in the morning and night, their breathing is back under control.
Michael’s antihistamine seems to be helping with the sneezing and headaches.
On one of Brian’s walks, I happened to bump into my neighbour/friend…a friend who knew only too well the journey I have been on. Her first words to me went something like this, “Are you crazy…of all people to be looking after a dog…with all your allergies!”
Yes, I realize it seems absurd that we should be dog sitting. It certainly has made me realize that the boys are definitely sensitive to dogs.
I don’t know about you, but I have a ‘backpack of guilt’ that follows me wherever I go. Over the years, I have tried to empty it with the philosophy of learning from my mistakes and moving forward without looking back with regret.
Chester is in my ‘backpack of guilt’. Little did we know when he became part of our family, that he would become part of our allergy problems.
Brian’s stay with us has confirmed all the doctors claims. Rather than feel guilt, I am going to remind myself that we did the best that we could at the time…Chester was family…it was not an easy decision to make.
Moving forward, we know for sure that we will not be able to own another dog.
In the meantime, as a family, we will all enjoy the last couple days with Brian.
I sure had lots of fun taking Brian for his daily walks.
I think we bonded…best buddies now!
We enjoyed three daily walks …one in the morning, one in the afternoon to meet Matthew after school and one in the evening.
A romantic walk in the moonlight with my two sweethearts.
We will live vicariously through our friends’ dogs…making sure we are all on our medications…so we can enjoy every snuggly moment!
Thinking of owning a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and have dog allergies?
Check out Best Allergy Sites here and here. Ruth describes her decision-making process in researching a dog for her son who is allergic to dogs and her positive experience owning a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Have you owned an animal and then were faced with the decision to find a new home due to allergies in the family? What did you do? Please share.