I’m sitting waiting in a room on the 5th floor of a Haussmannian building just a stone’s throw from the St Lazare train station. The impeccable inside of the building couldn’t be more further removed from the dirty stained stone walls of its outside AAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!! MY ARM IS ON FIRE!!!!!
Oh my good grief!!! My lyrical warblings were somewhat disturbed there by being called into the doctor’s office. Not just any old doctor – an allergologue, I’ll have you know. All ready to help me conquer my allergies and prepare for getting a dog when we move back to Scotland through a series of desensitisation treatments. I have rubbish animal allergies, especially to cats, but after today I now know, thanks to MY BURNING ARM that I’m also allergic to dust, general allergens, pollen and………………….dogs.
Now, I knew this already. As soon as I give an animal a great big bozie** and they slaver all over me, I’m suddenly a heady mess of itches and sneezes and scratchy throats and as much as I dearly love giving animals great big bozies (especially dogs, especially very licky and loving, waggy tail dogs) it’s just such a no-go-zone, what with the smack bang impact of allergy symptom suddenness, that I simply don’t. If there is a stray lick on the hand that takes place, it’s sleeves up, soap lathered and thorough washing city central.
But I had hoped….we had hoped…my two little girls and husband and me…that we would be able to get a dog when we moved back to Scotland. See, we’ve been cooped up in an apartment in Paris for nearly three years now. Our house back in Scotland has a front and back garden and is located in an oasis of dog walking walkies. The closest we get to dog walking here is the potential of skidding in dog crap at least six times a day and, when out all together, yelling random ‘WATCH THE POO!’ warnings as and when necessary.
So we’d hoped that with our move back to doggy walk paradise we would be able to get the dog. As a family, this Parisian experience hasn’t been the easiest. My relationship with my husband has been sorely tested but is thankfully, through both of our efforts, slowly getting back to the good stuff. My daughters have struggled in full French immersion in school and, despite now being fully bilingual, they didn’t know Jacques diddly at the start. Getting a dog felt a bit like a gift to our wee family. A way of moving back with bells on. A well done. A new addition to the family. A wee waggy tailed fluffball to love.
Now, I must say that I have my hesitations about this whole idea (my husband too, to be honest, except I can be succinct in saying that his concerns revolve around ending up being the only one to take the dog out for its morning necessities because the other three of us are still, and happily so, in bed). He also doesn’t want to have to pick up the poo and for the wee four legged thing to be on his own all day. Me, on the other hand, I’m more worried about having a sudden new-born in the house. The weeks of enforced staying in because walkies can’t happen yet. Coping with a wee dog chewing the arse out of everything. Piddle and poo all over the shop, often to be traipsed accidentally from one end of the house to the other. The idea that we will redecorate before we move back in and what the heck is the point if the house is about to turn into a two floor poop and chew palace. And the not-too-insignificant idea of me working again, equating to not being in the house all day and thus available to take care of wee muttley as much as is needed.
Oh but a dog. A great lumbering, waggy tailed, full of unconditional love dog. A dog that we are completely looking forward to. A dog that we will unconditionally love and bozie, slavers and all.
Except my arm was on fire. The spots where the doctor applied the allergens began to itch within 30 seconds of the skin being broken underneath (to which I yelled a thoroughly unexpected and Scottish IYAH!!, by the way). She noticed that I was extremely allergic to dust pretty quickly and I had explained that we wanted to get a dog in the summer. She said she was doubtful that I could get the desensitisation treatment if I was allergic to dust like I was. That it probably wouldn’t work. That she would prescribe a blood test and that would give a clearer answer, but getting a dog suddenly didn’t look so good. Not so possible. Not so happening. Not so much of a well done. Not so much of a big waggily tailed ball of unconditionally loving fluff to love.