For years I’ve heard it and for years I’ve said it: “they’re Goldendoodles – they don’t shed, they’re hypoallergenic” Now I’m trying to find out what does hypoallergenic really mean?
Last year as Marshall and Mason were getting acquainted with my boys, their father walked over to introduce himself. His expression was a bit puzzling to me, so I reassured him that Harley nor Leo had ever eaten a child before!
Giving me a forced smile mixed with a look of “this lady’s crazy” he explained it was Marshall’s allergies that he was concerned about.
I rapidly went into the whole “these are Goldendoodles – their hypoallergenic” infomercial, complete with the animated arms mimicking flying fur in the air, etc…
I must have spoken with some degree of authority because he relaxed, allowed them to continue playing, and even regurgitated my “dissertation” to his wife once she joined us on the lawn.
Several days later – Marshall’s mom told us Marshall showed no allergic symptoms that evening or when he woke the following morning. “Great!” I exclaimed, “they can play together!”
Earlier this year the family started casually mentioning the possibility of becoming pet parents. By the end of the school year, it was becoming a frequent discussion geared more towards general questions about dogs, vets, socialization, etc.
This past month we’ve had weekly conversations about breeds, size, and the best season (for them) to bring a dog home.
Their approach to this process has been a joy to watch. They’re including their sons – talking about “family commitment,” as well as teaching “strategic planning” vs. “instant gratification” to prevent failure and ensure success. Did I mention these parents are both “educators?” #goteachers
Since “puppies” are monopolizing most of their family conversations this summer, almost everyday the children ask to walk Harley with me. Fully committed, for more than a month now, they’ve been dressed and ready morning and night…
I was speechless last week, when Harley pooped, and both Marshall and Mason shouted they were ready to “scoop the poop” Did I let them? You betcha…
Here’s where it got confusing for me. Marshall and Harley are so chummy now – they’ve added a licking ritual to their greeting…
And guess what? When this occurs, Marshall has an allergic reaction. His face breaks out in a red rash, his eyes are itchy, and he’s uncomfortable. “Oh no” is right!
But Harley’s hypoallergenic, I thought. Yes he is – but “what in the doodle” does that actually mean?
According to the Mayo Clinic: There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed, although some individual dogs may cause fewer allergy symptoms than others.
Many people think that pet allergies are caused by a dog’s or cat’s fur, but the real source of pet allergies is often a protein that’s in the saliva and urine of dogs and cats. This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes (dander) from your pet’s skin.
I honestly had no idea! I never really researched this because no one in my immediate family suffers from allergies.
So what “exactly” does hypoallergenic mean when you’re talking about pets?
So there’s the magic words:
Marshalls parents have noticed when he and Harley play, there’s no problem. It only seems to become a problem AFTER their “licking ritual.” Apparently it’s his saliva. I’m now trying to teach Harley to give a “high-five.”
I found a great article on Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds written by Jenna Stregowski. Going forward I plan to change my infomercial, I’ll just quote Jenna:
“No dog is 100% non-allergenic, but some dogs are basically low-allergy.”
My reasons why I searched for Harley was not because of allergen concerns. The Goldendoodle was the pawfect match for
my our lifestyle, and our personalities, and they were so dog-gone cute 🙂 Both Mason and Marshall want “a dog like Harley” and their parents seem to gravitate towards a poodle mix of some sort because of the allergen concerns. It will not surprise me by the Spring of 2015 to see Harley playing with his new furry furrend from next door. Not sure what he will look like or who his parents will be, but here’s three things I can pawmise you:
- He’ll be low-allergy
- He’ll be well taken care of
- He’ll be loved
Is your pet hypoallergenic? Did you “really” understand its true meaning?
Have a great weekend, and remember to be kind to someone. It will make you happy! Trust me…