Friday, October 27, 2006

Fall allergies and Allegra

It's no secret that Austin is one of the worst cities in regards to allergies. Many of us suffer and take allergy medicine ranging from Allegra to Zyrtec. Only some allergy sufferers can't take this medicine and these sufferers, like Allegra, just have to suffer.

In this case, the Allegra I am discussing is my dog. She was not named after the allergy medicine, but her name foreshadowed her condition. She has airborne allergies, which are particularly bad in the fall. Unlike humans, dogs get itchy when they have allergies. Allegra gets to the point where she scratches off her eyebrows and looks like a radiation victim. At one point we were giving her expensive allergy shots several times a month, but ended up taking her off of those as they weren't doing a lot and we had to keep her on them year around.

This year has been particularly bad regarding her allergies. When the prescription meds I take average $4/pill, I am not giving them to a dog. We were giving her Benedryl, but that only helped some with her scratching, and basically left her stoned all the time.

Doug and I finally decided we would get her one of those collars where she couldn't scratch her face and couldn't reach her paws to chew on them. Of course, in some ways she looked worse; it didn't help that he and I started calling her "conehead." Doug was even embarrassed to take her for a walk with the big cone around her neck. Allegra, being a smart dog that gets into a lot, figured out in just a day how to pop the collar off. This became a running battle until I got an idea -- tape the cone together with duct tape. After all, duct tape can pretty much fix anything. So now we have a pathetic-looking dog with no eyebrows and red patches on her skin, with a plastic cone duct-taped to her neck. Can we get any more white trash?

Of course, she plays it to the hilt. She thinks now that she has a cone, we should allow her to sleep on the bed. Doug, feeling sorry for her, allows this. She has trouble getting through the doggy door with the cone, and is always bumping into walls, tables and people. Most of the time I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Last night Doug's friend Robert was over to sample the homebrew and started making fun of Allegra and her cone. She must have gotten mad at Robert because this morning she figured out how to pop off her cone, duct tape and all. I thought I would let her be for a bit and didn't rush to put it back on. However, a half hour later she came to me panting and all bloody from scratching.

I snapped her cone back on and reapplied the duct tape. It's not pretty, but at least it's not bloody. Poor Allegra, fall allergies and she can't even take Allegra.

No comments: