No. More. Dogs.
Wishbone is now under the care of Jim's cousin, Francie. She has three kids and two dogs...but because she didn't want Andrew to suffer further she told me that her friend Trisha wanted the dog. It was just a ploy to get us to bring the dog to her because she knew we wouldn't burden her with it...but after driving out to her house - she changed her story. She does say she has a few possible good homes in mind.
I'm mad at myself and aggravated with the breeder. Before committing to purchase and even after, I wrote her several times and even sent her the blog post about Andrew's allergies to dogs. She assured me that golden doodles were hypoallergenic and we would have no problems. If there was a doubt in her mind, she could have taken the high road and said - you know, maybe you should wait and get an older golden doodle after puppy shedding has occurred or kids with severe allergies should really not bother with dogs. I blame myself too because after further research - I learned those things myself.
Originally the picture she presented us with - the dog had a different type of coat. Wishbone had fur. She said the original dog - had a leg problem and offered us a dog from another litter. I should have said - we'll wait. Because in hindsight, the first dog's coat - looked like something a neighbor's dog has that Andrew doesn't seem to have a problem with - but then again - he only spends ten minutes a month with that dog.
After the dog arrives here and we spend two terrifying days with Andrew's reactions, we decided to board him to monitor Andrew's situation. Andrew improves and the doctor said it was allergies not an infection or virus and gives us an Inhaler for an emergency.
The vet tells us that Wishbone has round worms and some other parasite which had to come from the breeder. We had picked the dog up Saturday night late - and this was Tuesday morning when we found out about the other problems. A $200 vet bill later....added to a $625 dog plus money spent for Andrew's doctor, the pet supplies...we're well over a $1,000 for this dog...and trust me we don't have a $1,000 to throw away. By the way, when a vet quotes you $24 a day for boarding....it's like buying a car for $10,000 - if you want the tires, steering wheel and windows that go up and down (thanks Linda for the window line) - you have to pay three times that amount.
I wrote the breeder and she blew me off. "We were praying it would work out" and not a word about the worms and parasites. I was praying she would at least offer to refund part of the dog cost...it isn't realistic that she would want us to ship the dog back - that would be another $200 out of our pocket to ship it back. Didn't make sense.
A word of advice to parents of autistic children who have moderate to severe allergies - investigate long and hard about dogs. Have the child spend a good amount of time with the animal before committing. One of the most frightening parts of this experience was watching the allergies trigger severe regression. Andrew is high functioning. Andrew is loving and cuddly and responsive. Once the allergies kicked in, Andrew did nothing but flap, pace, zone out, not respond to us and screamed when we tried to touch him. (FYI, Andrew cannot take any allergy meds - he was on Claritin and various other medications for his seasonal allergies and he became extremely violent. We can't give him any cough syrups or allergy time meds and frankly he takes medication for the Asperger's - I'm not medicating him so he can have a dog.)
I'm not saying that this could happen to you - but just take your time. I jumped on a chance to give my son a dog and ended up making a costly and scary mistake.
Lastly, extra special thanks to Francie - you are the best. Thanks to Pete and Linda who called us repeatedly with offers to take and raise Wishbone for a year, a couple years or forever. If they didn't live in Charlotte, we would have maybe taken them up on the offer. We could have sent them a monthly stipend - like we do for our CRS kids - just 30.00 a month and you can feed a golden doodle. Thanks to Bev, Laura and Tina who were furious for me and thanks to all our other friends who were listening to me rant on Facebook and on the phone. Now, if someone would just volunteer to take my 24 year old son.....hmmm.