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I got Essex back in January.  The prettiest chihuahua I had ever seen.  I was still pretty weak, and looking for a com

Posted Sep 17 2009 12:00am

I got Essex back in January.  The prettiest chihuahua I had ever seen.  I was still pretty weak, and looking for a companion.  I never felt the urge to have a dog before.  But I was aching for company.  Aching for a puppy. I loved taking care of her.  It was the only thing that could get me out of my head.  I was forced to stop worrying about my health, forced to give up the paranoia and the fear because now I was responsible for this little creature that depended on me for everything.  I happily fed her, cleaned up endless poop, pee, and gave her medicine when she had kennel cough.  I would give her meds and then sit down to take my morning doses.  Only I didn’t mind so much anymore.  I was slowly getting happier.  Not to sound cheesy but watching her filled me with so much joy.

I knew back then I was a little allergic. My nose itched, I couldn’t keep her in bed with me.  I blamed my choking cough on the heat in my apartment.  I kept cuddling with her anyway.

I continued to become a “dog person” because Essex brought me so many laughs.  She forced me out of the house when I was scared to go by myself, she laid next to me knowingly on the couch during the bad days when I ached so bad I would cry.  She knew when I wasn’t feeling well and she just sat with me, stared, and wagged her tail.

I was away from her for a few months this summer when I left NYC for some much needed time away from my routine of doctors, healers, and diets.  She stayed with my parents.

When I got back recently she came home immediately to us.  I missed her a lot but I was not prepared for what came next.

Within the first night the allergies crushed me.  Sneezing, choking, eyes like sandpaper.  I didn’t want to believe it was her but it had to be.  When I left the house the symptoms went away.  I didn’t even want to think about giving her away.  Two weeks have gone by and every night it got worse.  I couldn’t breathe.  Took Benadryl every night the past two weeks.  As I thought back to when I first got her, I was indeed very allergic only I blamed it on so many things.

I spoke with my doctors and my acupuncturist and it really hit me when one of them said “living with an animal that gives you allergies is bad enough for healthy people. I see the havoc it brings on their bodies.  You are especially sensitive and cannot / should not be exposed to this”.  Because of my autoimmune condition is dangerous for my body to constantly be in “fight” mode against the dog allergies.  It goes into overdrive and then attacks my own organs.  Anything that can trigger this reaction are things I should stay far away from.

I’ve worked so hard to find a balance and get to where I am now.  The thought of being sick again for any reason is too much to bear.  I would have to make a decision.  I am heartbroken that I have to give my little puppy away.

The only good news is that my parents can take her so I can still see her whenever I want.  I brought her there last night for a two-week trial period to see if I do better, etc.  I can say right now after a major cleaning, last night was the first time I had zero symptoms.  I slept through the night without choking , sneezing, or waking up gasping for air.  I am not sure how I will deal with this.  The apartment is so lonely and empty without her.  T and I miss that little monster so much.

At first I was so angry with my body. Once again I had to give up something I love because I am sensitive.  When did I become such a delicate specimen?  How come I have to give things up all the time?!!  Now, I am just trying to make peace with it.  It is difficult.

Yes, my health is the most important thing but the happiness she brought me had magical healing powers for sure.  I love that little puppy.

I am sad today.

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