Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I think I have figured out why I keep getting viruses and it is so obvious that I’m almost embarrassed to say. I went to teach yesterday even though I have this cold (I only teach once a week and there was a strike a few weeks back that put everyone behind so I felt I really had to go). I was talking at the break with some students about this cold and how I have had three since January. I said I knew that it was somehow connected to having Rockwell because I have had about 6 or 7 viruses since last September, when he came into our lives. I even said that I was slightly allergic to dogs and that was when one of the students said that her son starts getting colds at the start of allergy season.

Kajing! A bell went off in my head so loud I wondered if they could hear it too. I am allergic to dogs - that was tested about 10 years ago. I had Uma for 14 years but I believe I got used to her dander. Rockwell is a different dog and has his own set of allergens. When he came to live with us, my body started reacting to his dander. Since my immune system was busy fighting this imaginary enemy, it was too busy to fight a real enemy - cold viruses. I would succumb to a cold virus and it would live its (thankfully short) life span and then go away. I know when you have a cold, your body develops antibodies specific to that virus and so you have immunity for about a month afterwards. And then sure enough, about a month later, I would get another cold. This has gone on like clockwork since he got here.

So now what? I think I’ll talk to my doctor about allergy shots or do a little research into the efficacy of them anyway. Now that I know this and I am not giving the dog back (until he is ready to go in the Fall some time), what can I do to avoid succumbing to viruses? My immune system is already over-reacting to the dander - do I want to boost it? I’m thinking that’s the way to go, even though it may seem a little counter-intuitive. The more white cells, the merrier. Anyway, I’m glad to finally make the connexion.

And now for your viewing pleasure, some photos taken by Peter this morning at breakfast ... “Rockwell and his Bones!”
A surfeit of bones.
Two bones!
Them bones.


At 3:06 p.m., April 14, 2006, Blogger Natalie said...

I'm also slightly allergic to dogs, plus I have asthma-when Petey came, I used to start wheezing right before going to bed-about a month or two in, it stopped.
Now it only happens occassionally, but like you, I've started to sometimes for no reason have a really bad cold come on for no reason except mine only lasts a couple of days.

Hope you find something that will cure your allergies soon!

Nat and Petey

At 8:51 p.m., April 14, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Thanks Nat, I certainly know whereof you speak. The cold I have is on its fourth night and I am already feeling that it is leaving so I hope to be able to do something before the next one hits!

At 10:04 p.m., April 17, 2006, Blogger HanktheDog said...

I know this may not fit your theory, but Molly takes Zyrtec and it does wonders in terms of alleviating allergic reactions.

At 11:23 a.m., April 18, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Thanks Hank (Molly). I actually don’t have many allergy symptoms - a bit of sneezing, itchy eyes if I forget to wash my hands, that’s all. It’s the whole immune system that has become compromised and is letting in cold viruses. I think I have to look at something to strengthen my immune system but I’m thinking something holistic like vitamins or something.


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