I tried writing this last night, had the whole thing written up, and the hotel internet ATE it. Darn that hotel internet. And DARN MY LUNGS.

So as you know, we recently brought home a corgi pup, but not without a LOT of precautions first. I spent time at people's houses, pet stores, and so on, bringing myself into exposure with doggies of all kinds. (Mostly dachshunds, but also Shannon's mini Aussie, the terriers down the hall, and some lab mixes.) My lungs behaved like champions. It was ALMOST like being a normally breathing individual again. Even at the breeder's house where there were over ten dogs and two cats, I breathed great. No scratching, no sneezing, no wheezing, no dripping. Go, lungs, go. So we decided that in a house where multiple corgis lived, versus our apartment with a single corgi and our weekly cleaning folks, we could probably swing this. If we hadn't thought that, we wouldn't have brought Ani home.

The breeder, Barbara, was well aware of my allergies. In any case, she had a policy of holding the cheques until a week or so had passed, and when John started with his sniffles, we warned her that John potentially had allergies and we might have to return Ani. Fortunately, not a lot of time had passed, and Ani was probably going to make all adjustments easily.

Turns out John STILL doesn't have allergies--darn his good genes, maybe the kids'll get 'em--barring a mold and possibly a small pollen allergy. But that doesn't matter because my lungs decided to throw a fit of epic proportions last night. I started coughing to the point of not being able to breathe.

John thinks he gave me whatever summer cold he picked up and possibly that made me vulnerable, but the unfortunate truth is that even if I'm okay most of the time, being put at such risk with colds, sore throats, and the like is still untenable, since it means things like hotel stays and hitting the ER. With reactions that strong, there's a chance I could develop asthma eventually, or a serious upper respiratory issue.

Anyway, we removed me to the hotel last night, and John stayed back at the apartment to make sure Ani got her evening walkies. (I spent my evening and night showering and bathing pretty much non-stop since it was the only way to keep my throat and chest from feeling all tight and burny.)

We knew last night we'd have to bring her back to Barbara, and this is really hard, although probably best for everyone, including Ani, since she deserves owners that can whole-heartedly attend to her needs. (Not that we wouldn't have tried, mind you.) I felt extra bad, because John had definitely bonded with her, and we'd already started figuring out her favourite games (fetching Brown Bone and chasing the Holee Roller) and giving her silly nicknames like Annie Maul (her roller derby name) and Ani Fuzzbutt and Fuzzy Lumpkins and Ani Banani and Puppy McPuppersons and god knows what.

Ani gave us a weeklong taste of parenthood, and parts of it were hard (switching our schedules to get up at six, frex; dealing with the meds and checking her butt--stuff like that) but parts of it she made super easy. As long as we kept to her schedule, she was really good about not messing in the house or at least, going on her pee pad. She crated easily, scarcely making a whimper when we went to bed or left the house. She switched between the Tragic Corgi Look of Solemness and Silly Happy Corgi on the fly. She'd rocket around her area, while John rolled on the floor with her. It's pretty damn heart-breaking to give her up when she'd just started digging her way into our lives. People would stop us on the street to tell us what an adorable dog, how cute, how soft. British tourists stopped us several times--apparently corgis are much rarer in the UK despite the Queen's owning them and rarely seen as puppies. And she was just starting to get used to Maxwell Smart (the Boston terrier next door). She could both be silly puppy and floppy companion just nuzzled up to you while you read (or played Sudoku, in my case).

Anyways, she goes back to Barbara this afternoon with her crate and Brown Bone and Holee Roller and Rope and Earless Cat. I hope she finds a new and loving home that treats her awesomely. (If any of you Seattle folks are thinking about a dog, Ani is an awesome and friendly little pup. We can't rehome her directly, due to the breeder contract--which is as it should be, since Barb likes to vet folks and find out what their situations are before she lets her dogs go out to them--but if you are interested, I can pass the info on.)

A week of parenthood is not long enough, especially when you hoped for much longer.

There is some silver lining in all this. We do know that my allergy therapy is still fairly effective, because despite not being able to keep a dog long term yet, I can be around one for days at a time, until my immune system gets mucked around with. We had Ani for a week and got to see each other work to take on her walkies, her food, her baths, and her games. We kept communicating about what she needed, what we needed, and how that was gonna get handled. It is nice to see the partnership in action on a shared project, even if the outcome didn't turn out as we'd hoped. I got to see John be all involved in Ani...and that's frickin' adorable.

That's life. It happens. Stuff sometimes doesn't turn out. And in the meantime, we had a lot of fun experiences.

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Comment by Beth on May 28, 2011 at 11:42pm
I'm so sorry to hear that.  :(
Comment by Elizabeth Mitchell on May 28, 2011 at 9:42pm

Thank you for the condolences, folks. We will check out other breeds perhaps after we get a house with some hardwood floors (and maybe another year or two with the allergy shots will help even more.) I DID get to nearly a week with no issues before my immune system got ambushed with John's summer cold (or bronchitis or whatever it is.).  


In the meantime, Ani is back with Barb, and we know that Barb will find her a good home. As we said to each other, may all our tragedies end so well. It's sad, but for the best.

Comment by Bev Levy on May 28, 2011 at 7:18am
So sorry, but it sounds like you are doing the right thing. It is possible that you could manage another breed. We had a Standard Poodle for 18 years that was wonderful but they need more exercise then a corgi and are not as funny. Hope you feel better and I am sure Ani will find a wonderful home.

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