Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. I was telling you about our neighbors new puppy and how attached she has become to me and Max. What I did not know is that this attachment would turn into an actual reaction. Yeah, it was kind of weird…I woke up one morning and I had this serious rash on the underside of my forearms and on the sides of both knees.
Now, when I was little I was seriously allergic to poison ivy. I could not walk downwind from the stuff; I would get it all over my body and even in my eyes. I lost more time from poison ivy during my early school years than I did from being sick. Back then we had the old pink quinine solution, and I looked like some crazy Indian in war paint that wore sunglasses to protect the itchy eyes.
Now, my dad could pull the stuff up with his bare hands and never get a welt…lucky guy. The good news is that as I grew older I became more tolerant to the point I seldom get it anymore, and if I do it is a very minor itch. Now this stuff was like poison ivy to the third power – some areas looked like I had been scalded, plus itch, oh my.
Anyway, I did figure out what happened, sort of. When Goldie [that’s what I named her, no idea what the neighbors call her] came over for her daily visit, I was sitting on the porch finishing a cup of ice cream and she, of course, wanted to play. Being a puppy she is still learning how not to jump on people in her zeal to make her presence known. I pushed her down several times from the edge of the chair, till she got the point that it would be easier to get her body rub if she settled herself in between my legs and let me give her a good rub down, from her backside up to her ears.
Now, that process brought my bare forearms in contact with her fur, and both of my knees brushed her hind quarters which duplicated the exact places my skin was turning into a rough red patch of itch. I have no idea what she got into or if they sprayed her with some kind of flea chemical, but whatever it was; it made me a bit concerned that I had something more than a bout of poison ivy. I had to go to the store and stock up on lotions. They helped with the itch, a heavy application every three hours, but it still did nothing to explain what caused the reaction. So I went to the doctor to see what they thought was going on. It was kind of funny, the doctor came in, a female, I rolled up my sleeves to show my mangled arms and she just sat there and said, “Wow! You did get into something.” No kidding Sherlock! She made no attempt to get within three feet of my arms to examine what was covering my skin. She ordered a shot of steroids, in the butt, and that hurts. I also have to take steroid pills for the next 10 days for good measure. The good news is that it is working. I look almost normal now and the itch is gone. As a footnote, steroids certainly boost your energy levels. Getting to sleep at night has become a major chore, but it is better than not sleeping because you a have major itch to scratch.
That is the end of that story…strange but true. As always be good, play safe and remember to wash your hands after handling the neighbor’s dog.
JR and Max