To my dog, Clyde: Cover your ears. Good boy.

I’m allergic to dogs.

Not cool, The Man. (I blame The Man because I feel like it. So suck on that and toss its salad.)

I recently won the health care lottery (I was approved for six months of financial aid), so I’ve been lobbing up a whole ton of balls and knocking them out of the park. (Like butter. Coors Field is a hitter’s paradise, with air so thin it’s cut with baby aspirin. Go Rockies?)

So I made a head-to-toe list of ailments to fix. Two months ago, I got ass/hip surgery to remove a noncancerous lipoma that was jacking with my back nerves — which is still leaking, by the way. I have Band-Aid rash so hard, it looks like I was riding Rhode Island School of Design’s mascot Scrotie after he got a sandpaper facial. (Crotchal?) Sidebar: Scrotie, a cape-wearing penis, is the legitimate unofficial mascot for the college that calls its basketball team The Balls and its hockey team The Nads. (Art school’s like, “Fuck you, sports.”)

An asthma sufferer and ragweed attempted murderer, my next stop was an allergy scratch test. Apparently, using a rescue inhaler six times a day is frowned upon. (So is confusing panic attacks with asthma. Hitting the steroid tube like a bong only intensifies a racing heart. Doc didn’t find the inadvertent ailment swap humorous.)

After developing a whole rash of hives on my arms, I found out I was allergic to everything in the natural and unnatural world — including doggies. My heart broke. My kitty allergy has been out of the closet since I was a wee lassie because if I so much as cross a path with one of those fluff balls, I’ll need lung and eye transplants. But I’ve had dogs all my life.

I thought my chronic asthma at home was due to our unkempt garden of ragweed (it was), or our carpet in need of a shampoo (it was), or the dust that gathers from living on a busy street (it was), or the steak my husband was grilling (it was), or the smoke coming off the grill (it was), or tree season, grass season, weed season, pollen season, mold spores, avocado, corn, celery, tomatoes, mango, kiwi, peanuts, almonds, cucumbers, soybeans, oranges, melons, cabbage, etc.

It all was.

But it was also good boy Clyde.

So basically, I can eat chicken and look at my dog. (I didn’t even know a beef allergy existed.) Oh, I can also deep-throat a bladder of wine since I’m not allergic to grapes or misery.

But Clyde, don’t you worry your pretty amber eyes. I will still motorboat your fur and smash you with kisses. I’ll still heavily pet pounds of puppies — pending both the puppies’ and owner’s approval, because consent is a good time. And I will still always have a dog in my life.

I’ll just have to forever snort and huff stuff a few times a day, and I’ll be golden. Just like Sunday school.


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