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#1 of 16 Old 01-17-2011, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 3. She is afraid of dogs. like terrified. if she see one across the road she will run to me and clingy and whine...

This is something she will outgrow.

When DD was 1 we got rid of our inside dog because she was scared & allergic.

 

When I go to visit my best friend (who has 2 fluffy inside dogs) DD wakes up the next morning with snot all over her face, pretty much miserable. After a half dozen visits I gave up. If we go to visit my friend, we don't sleep over anymore because of it.

 

2 years ago I mentioned this to ex, and said please dont get a dog...

 

He has married & they bought a dog.

 

I mentioned  to him DD is very anxious about dogs & allergic. He offered to vacuum before she came over. I'm not sure if he grasps that the hair is floating in the air...

I very politely told him that I really don't want to put her on medication this early for her allergies.... and so if she spends a few hours at his house, she will be stuffy & coughing,& that if he wants her to be comfortable, he should consider getting rid of the dog... its only an animal, DD is a human being. Also at this point, even if he locks it up (not in a crate, just in another room) its barking would make her anxious.

 

I asked him if he thinks im making it up & offered to get a drs report. (i am have seasonal, animal, & dust mite allergies, and my dr.told me before DD was born she would prolly have them also) 

 

no flames please, I love animals as much as the next girl, but they are just that, animals.....DD really is allergic, am I outta line for being a "bit" annoyed that I should have to medicate her at this age for something entirely avoidable... and allergy meds you usually have to keep playing around with brands and dosing...

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#2 of 16 Old 01-17-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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Don't get mad at me please.  While the medication issue is an issue.  Your dd's fears are not.  Not because I'm heartless to them, but because I know that people don't always, "ougrow" fears of dogs, they have to be taught not to fear them.  I would hope, depending on the age and size of the dog they got that this would have been a consideration for them.  Is it a puppy?  Is it a small or large breed?  Hopefully it's a puppy, and if not, then at least a small breed.  Children do well when they grow up knowing an animal and the ones I've known have never feared their own dog, though some will still fear others dogs. 

 

About the allergies, different breeds of animals have different issues.  So while someone may be allergic to cat hair, they may not be allergic to dog hair.  Just like, I am allergic to Newfoundlands because of the oil on their undercoat, but I'm not allergic to our pit bull mix, because she has short coarse hair.  Now you said that your friend has two big fluffy dogs which caused your dd's allergies to react.  What kind of dog did ex get?  Poodles don't shed, they have hair not fur (I just learned this fun fact by the way).  Did they get a long haired dog or a short haired dog, is it a shedding dog, or one that sheds twice a year?  These are all questions that would have to be answered before even suspecting there would be an issue.  Then again, you might actually just have to wait and see if dd reacts to this dogs dander like she does to the big fluffy ones.  If it turns out that she is severely allergic to the dog, then yes, you have every right to ask that they not have the dog around her, or anything she will be sitting on, sleeping on etc.  Basically, as her father, he should want to make her comfortable and if the dog hair becomes a health issue he should make the correct decision. 

 

The only problem I see with your OP and your concerns is that there are no problems yet.  You don't KNOW that she will fear this dog.  If it is a puppy, then she may adjust to it just fine.  You also don't KNOW that she is going to have a reaction to this dog, you know there is a chance, which it is good to be aware of, but you don't KNOW.  Until issues actually emerge, I would suggest you wait and see. 


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#3 of 16 Old 01-17-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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I think the advice to wait and see is good.  Another thought - I would suggest to your ex that he get a good HEPA filter that he runs before and during dd's visits.  We have one and it made it so that BIL's fiancee, who is totally allergic to cats, was able to stay at our place for a week with no problem (we have a cat, obviously, lol).


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#4 of 16 Old 01-17-2011, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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of I def am in the wait & see camp.

I hope that by some miracle the dog hair won't make her miserable... but I was just kinda miffed that he said that he would not get rid of the dog no matter what. 

i suppose it wouldnt be a severe allergy resulting in hives or anything. but I def don't think that she should have to be congested at his house and for the rest of the day after visiting if there is no need.

 

ty for the HEPA filter idea. I had thought to bring that up to him as an alternative to vacumming, but then forgotten. I suppose that would be better than nothing.

 

the reason shes scared of dogs it b/c my brothers lil yap yap dog licked her in the face... yes she will have to face dogs. but i would like it to be done gently, & would rather she feel happy & safe at his house rather than anxious...  she is afraid of big & small dogs & cats. even if they are old nice cuddly dogs. b/c she has had a bad experience I think it'll take awhile to get past it.

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Originally Posted by victoriasmommy86 View Post

of I def am in the wait & see camp.

I hope that by some miracle the dog hair won't make her miserable... but I was just kinda miffed that he said that he would not get rid of the dog no matter what. 

i suppose it wouldnt be a severe allergy resulting in hives or anything. but I def don't think that she should have to be congested at his house and for the rest of the day after visiting if there is no need.

 

ty for the HEPA filter idea. I had thought to bring that up to him as an alternative to vacumming, but then forgotten. I suppose that would be better than nothing.

 

the reason shes scared of dogs it b/c my brothers lil yap yap dog licked her in the face... yes she will have to face dogs. but i would like it to be done gently, & would rather she feel happy & safe at his house rather than anxious...  she is afraid of big & small dogs & cats. even if they are old nice cuddly dogs. b/c she has had a bad experience I think it'll take awhile to get past it.

 

 

 

Honestly, I don't think that it isn't gentle and that she won't feel happy and safe at his house after she adjusts to the dog.  Now, mind you, if he went out and got a full grown mastiff, then he is just asking to encourage her fears.  But, if he got a small puppy, then there is a good chance that it will only take a short time of her playing with the puppy for her to feel perfectly safe at his house.   


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#6 of 16 Old 01-17-2011, 07:11 PM
 
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My step-daughter is allergic to furry animals-- sneezing, itchy watery eyes for hours, runny nose, cough, and often a rash afterward. And sometimes she is around people who have animals. Here's what helps her:

 

Reminding her to keep her hands (and the dog) away from her face when she's been in contact with the dog, and reminding her to wash her hands and arms very well (we say "up to the elbows") after patting or playing with the dog.

 

Bathing and brushing the dog the day before she comes in contact with it. 

 

If she will be sleeping somewhere with a dog, having fresh bedding put on right before. Airing out the room helps too. Vacuuming shouldn't be done right before she arrives, as that stirs up the allergens... better to do the day before and air out the room.

 

Have some Benedryl on hand in case of an allergy attack. If she pets the dog then rubs her eye, her eye will swell and itch and she'd be miserable for hours until her body calmed down on it's own. But a dose of Benedryl takes care of it immediately, makes her more comfortable, then wears off. Obviously, as with any medication, we had to watch carefully the first time she took it. 

 

She can also take over-the-counter allergy meds before she goes if we have reason to anticipate a bigger problem than usual. We'd probably do this is we were staying with someone who had 12 cats or going to a barn or something.

 

We also try to eliminate as many other allergens as possible (dust, perfumed soaps/bath products, etc) and make sure she is eating a very healthy diet. So we minimize milk and refined sugar and maximize fresh fruits and veggies and give her loads of water and herbal tea.


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#7 of 16 Old 01-18-2011, 04:52 AM
 
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Yeah, I'd try situational Benadryl before I put a small child on prescription allergy meds. That way, she only has to have it on visitation days. 

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#8 of 16 Old 01-18-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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I have to comment on the theory that a small dog or a puppy is better. Small dogs tend to be more nippy than larger ones (larger dogs tend to also be more tolerant of many child behaviors). And a puppy? Hasn't learned its manners yet and will also likely to be teething - making a nip more likely than not. It's the temperment of the individual dog that matters more than age or size.

 

Also, I'm not really certain how being licked in the face translates to a "bad" experience. Okay, it startled and perhaps scared her, but it shouldn't have traumatized her (IMO). How did the adults present handle the situation when it occurred? And have you been working with her to get over this phobia?

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#9 of 16 Old 01-18-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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I have to comment on the theory that a small dog or a puppy is better. Small dogs tend to be more nippy than larger ones (larger dogs tend to also be more tolerant of many child behaviors). And a puppy? Hasn't learned its manners yet and will also likely to be teething - making a nip more likely than not. It's the temperment of the individual dog that matters more than age or size.

 

Also, I'm not really certain how being licked in the face translates to a "bad" experience. Okay, it startled and perhaps scared her, but it shouldn't have traumatized her (IMO). How did the adults present handle the situation when it occurred? And have you been working with her to get over this phobia?

 

Ewww...I am a grown adult who grew up around dogs my entire life and I consider getting licked in the face by a dog a bad experience. It's gross. And if you are a small child who is afraid of animals, having one come close enough to your face to lick it also means their teeth (the part than has potential to harm) are close to the face as well. 

 

I don't buy into the theory that people who are afraid of dogs have no reason to be afraid.  Dogs *could* bite. Cats *could* scratch. It varies from animal to animal. Some dogs like kids, some try to snap at them. Some cats like being petted, some will hiss and scratch you if you try. I don't think being afraid of something that has the potential, admittedly a small chance % wise, to harm you is a phobia. I love dogs. I am not afraid of them. But I can totally put myself in the shoes of a child and understand why they would be. One of my best friends has 2 Great Danes in her house. I am 5'1" and her dogs look me in the eye while standing flat-footed. I *know * that they are gentle and won't bite me. But each time I walk in her house and come face to face with that giant face and that deep bark I second guess myself and get a little bit worried about "What if?" 

 

In regard to the OP's situation with her DD and allergies, I'd be upset at my ex for putting the health of my child secondary. If he knew that his daughter was allergic and that getting a pet was going to be an issue, he should have talked about this with his new wife ahead of time to let her know. As I understand it, there are some dogs that are more hypoallergenic than others. If they just HAD to get a dog, they could have gotten one that is better for people with allergies. 

 


 

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#10 of 16 Old 01-18-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post

 

In regard to the OP's situation with her DD and allergies, I'd be upset at my ex for putting the health of my child secondary. If he knew that his daughter was allergic and that getting a pet was going to be an issue, he should have talked about this with his new wife ahead of time to let her know.

 

 

yeahthat.gif Pet allergies are not a trivial issue. It's miserable to have to be around animals you are allergic to. It's also miserable to have to be on Benadryl on a regular basis. Vacuuming and a HEPA filter might help, but they are bandaids, not solutions. They might be the best option the OP has in this situation, but yes, her ex should have thought this through before getting a dog. And it's true that some people react to some dogs and not others, but there is no way to know this in advance, so IMO it's actually really irresponsible to get a pet and then just hope that it isn't a problem. Or to not even have it on your radar that it might be a problem, even if you're aware that your daughter is allergic. eyesroll.gif OP, I'd be pretty upset too.
 

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#11 of 16 Old 01-18-2011, 07:35 PM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

I have to comment on the theory that a small dog or a puppy is better. Small dogs tend to be more nippy than larger ones (larger dogs tend to also be more tolerant of many child behaviors). And a puppy? Hasn't learned its manners yet and will also likely to be teething - making a nip more likely than not. It's the temperment of the individual dog that matters more than age or size.

 

Also, I'm not really certain how being licked in the face translates to a "bad" experience. Okay, it startled and perhaps scared her, but it shouldn't have traumatized her (IMO). How did the adults present handle the situation when it occurred? And have you been working with her to get over this phobia?

 

Ewww...I am a grown adult who grew up around dogs my entire life and I consider getting licked in the face by a dog a bad experience. It's gross. And if you are a small child who is afraid of animals, having one come close enough to your face to lick it also means their teeth (the part than has potential to harm) are close to the face as well. 

 

I don't buy into the theory that people who are afraid of dogs have no reason to be afraid.  Dogs *could* bite. Cats *could* scratch. It varies from animal to animal. Some dogs like kids, some try to snap at them. Some cats like being petted, some will hiss and scratch you if you try. I don't think being afraid of something that has the potential, admittedly a small chance % wise, to harm you is a phobia. I love dogs. I am not afraid of them. But I can totally put myself in the shoes of a child and understand why they would be. One of my best friends has 2 Great Danes in her house. I am 5'1" and her dogs look me in the eye while standing flat-footed. I *know * that they are gentle and won't bite me. But each time I walk in her house and come face to face with that giant face and that deep bark I second guess myself and get a little bit worried about "What if?" 

 

In regard to the OP's situation with her DD and allergies, I'd be upset at my ex for putting the health of my child secondary. If he knew that his daughter was allergic and that getting a pet was going to be an issue, he should have talked about this with his new wife ahead of time to let her know. As I understand it, there are some dogs that are more hypoallergenic than others. If they just HAD to get a dog, they could have gotten one that is better for people with allergies. 

 


 



Poodles!!  From the guy I spoke to who owned a poodle, he said they have hair, not fur, so they are basically as hypoallergenic as it gets.  Now, i only had one guy who told me that, so I'm not sure how true it is. 

 

 


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#12 of 16 Old 01-18-2011, 07:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

I have to comment on the theory that a small dog or a puppy is better. Small dogs tend to be more nippy than larger ones (larger dogs tend to also be more tolerant of many child behaviors). And a puppy? Hasn't learned its manners yet and will also likely to be teething - making a nip more likely than not. It's the temperment of the individual dog that matters more than age or size.

 

Also, I'm not really certain how being licked in the face translates to a "bad" experience. Okay, it startled and perhaps scared her, but it shouldn't have traumatized her (IMO). How did the adults present handle the situation when it occurred? And have you been working with her to get over this phobia?



Depends on the puppy as to if they will be nippy.  Many just aren't that bad.  My post was assuming that the father has some common sense in what to look for in a dog and puppies are usually easier for a little one to adapt to.  Mind you, it's not perfect, but there is no perfect answer, even leaving a fear to fester and grow isn't perfect. I don't understand the licked in the face being a "bad" experience either, but apparently something about that experience caused her to fear dogs. Avoidance doesn't cause a fear to abate, but to grow.  Fears are handled through desensitization, so that is why I said a smaller dog or pup would be better. Less intimidating looking and they can work with the dd on assertive tones while teaching a pup that she isn't as instantly fearful of.

 

 


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#13 of 16 Old 01-18-2011, 09:24 PM
 
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Did you ex know she was allergic before he got the dog?

What an icky situation. I no longer take my allergic son to homes that have an indoor dog. I know many adults with severe animal allergies who will also avoid visiting someone with the pets they are allergic to indoors. You have no choice (assuming they won't rehome the dog) because she needs to see her daddy. That's hard.

I would send her with a "let's hope she does ok--maybe she'll handle your dog!" and then if she reacts badly point out the reactions with the "certainty" (whether you are certain or not...assume or pretend to assume) that he wouldn't want his daughter to be miserable every single time she visits her dad.

It sounds like they want to keep the dog and help her (hence the vacuum thing). So if the dog must stay my suggestions for them would be:
1. hepa vacuum or vacuuming (especially around her or just before she arrives) will make it worse for her as it puts everything into the air.
2. a hepa unit in the main room she spends awake time and in any room where she sleeps. We got this one for my son's room (note square feet capability) and this one for a bigger space (the family room) where he spends his time. We rehomed our cats too so I don't know if it will work completely but they have certainly helped him with other allergens like dust.
3. bath and clean (dog free) clothes before bed if she sleeps there and bed in a room where the dog is never allowed.
4. wipe the dogs down with a wet cloth (or bathe them) before she comes
5. she's probably going to need benadryl dosed before she visits and during if it's more than the time the benadryl dose remains..it might make her sleepy unfortunately.
6. crate or etc. the dogs as much as possible while she's there so they aren't on her and on adults she'll be cuddling with.

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#14 of 16 Old 01-30-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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The only issue I see, is that the continued contact could make the allergy worse.  At this time, I would highly recommend seeing an allergist and having her tested to see how allergic she is to dogs.

 

And yes, there are some dogs (and probably going to butcher the spelling -- bichone frise) that are hypoallergic.

 

I would get the allergy testing done and have your X be at the appointment, so you both know first hand how allergic she is, and how to be proceed.  Their indoor dog may have to move outside permanently.

 

If she is truely allergic, and they refuse to get rid of the dog, you might have grounds to have visitation modified/changed.

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#15 of 16 Old 01-31-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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Just to mention something about hypoallergenic dogs...there isn't such a thing.  Most people who are allergic to dogs are allergic to the dander, not the fur.  So, regardless of the type of hair the dog has, it will bother them.  I also second the not vaccuming before she comes over, because it just throws up everything in the air.  She should be sleeping in a bed with freshly-washed linens in a room that the dog NEVER goes.  They should keep her away from the dog as much as possible.  Speaking as someone who is allergic to dogs and cats, I will say that you do get tolerant to them (I have a cat and two dogs), however that is a fairly miserable process.  I don't know how often she goes over there, but if he insists on keeping this dog, then maybe he can pay for her to go to the allergist and he can pay for her allergy meds and he can pay for allergy shots.  Those are things that she will need to be OK around the dog.  If she does have contact with the dog, it would be best to do it outside and then to come inside and immediately bathe and change into clean clothes, with a possible pre-emptive dose of Benadryl.  Maybe he didn't think it was as big of deal as it is.  I think people who don't have allergies, don't get how serious it is. 

 

As to her being anxious around dogs.  I think it's intrusive for you to think you can have control over what she does and doesn't do when she is with her father.  If she didn't have the allergy issues, this should be a non-issue.  I don't know about your custody situation, but you infer that you don't think she is comfortable and happy at his house, which my DSS's mother does to us and it simply isn't true, but she has all these horror fantasies about what happens here with absolutely NO justification.  Unless your custody agreement stipulates otherwise, he can parent her as much as you can, and this includes when/how to introduce her to family pets, and yes this is HER family pet.  He may have a different style than you and choose to do things differently, and that is ok.  In discussing this with him, I would focus more on managing her health rather than talking about the anxiety.  You sound more than "a bit" annoyed.  I would keep a level head and work on solving the problem rather than talking about how this makes you feel, because in the end, that doesn't really matter in how this gets handled.  It's not his job to make you feel better anymore than it is yours to do the same for him.


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#16 of 16 Old 02-22-2011, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ty for the response.

She has not yet been to his house!

It is my desire that when she does, it be a comfortable place for her. I already told ex perhaps he could get some toys for her... (he's one of those men that doesn't think of stuff like that) An animal in the house will def heighten her anxiety level.

 

The court order is for visits supervised by me in a public place until DD expresses that she would feel comfortable being alone with him. (She did not see him for a year when she was 2, also he has admitted drug use in the past)  

 

However there was discussion that if I wanted to, above and beyond the court order, introduce her to his home, that might help the process. But my new social worker is against the idea... while that last one was pushing me towards it.

 

Anyway........last week it was raining and he suggested we come over instead of meeting at the playground....  and I did ask him if he thought I was just trying to be bossy/make up issues & suggested we set up a dr. appt.........he, after many quiet minutes said "I'd get rid of it in a second, i knew it would be an issue when she bought it b/c DD has such bad allergies. i guess I will have to work on my wife, maybe she(dd) will get over the dog thing but from what i see itll take her awhile & I don't want her to be scared or snotty when she comes over" 

 

I am really really.... relieved, that in this as in most big topics (in the past year) we are both pretty much united & agreed in trying to do whats best for her.

 

I told him "thank you so much for your honesty. If thats the case we don't need to talk about it anymore b/c theres nothing I can say or do...., and im very happy that you werent just being callous to her issues, work on your wife and let me know"

Sad he felt he couldn't tell me the truth of the matter in the first place, and sad he can't share with his wife what he'd like but...

 

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