They Give and They Give (or, how to get poison ivy from a dog)

Labs love to find poison ivy and share it.

Anyone living with a dog knows they just keep on giving: boundless affection, furry hugs and doggy kisses, undivided loyalty and the list goes on…….  However, we can also be recipients of that which is not desired. That which is not desired is also freely given and shared. This week I have been the victim of undesired sharing from the labbies. There is no pinpointing the culprit; it may have been only one, or, perhaps all three.

 What on earth am I going on about? Well, I have been wildly itching and scratching at an ugly looking rash under my chin and on two fingers. There has been much application of benedryl spray to obtain relief from the maddening prickling of the blistery looking rash. Yes, it even oozes when at the height of affliction. Did you know that you too can have poison ivy? Just cuddle with your dog after he has enjoyed a romp through poison ivy infested woods. The direct skin- ivy oiled dog hair contact will take care of the rest. Summer would not be summer without at least one round of poison ivy: been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

 I felt that I should warn those who had not been similarly afflicted. Certainly I am well aware of what poison ivy looks like, so avoid it like the plague. But what is one to do when you frequently have your dogs off leash in areas home to the itchy inducing devilish vine?  (my fingers itch as I type) I found this link that gives instructions for bathing a dog after contact, http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/diseasesandconditions/f/Getting-Rid-Of-Poison-Ivy-Oak-And-Sumac-On-Pets.htmbut my word, I would never be away from the bath tub.

 My cupboards are never without benedryl, some sort of topical anti-itch concoction and quite possibly an adult beverage to increase coping/decrease misery.  At times, I require a prescription for prednisone to stop the inflammatory response. Like a sensible person, have I stopped hugging and cuddling with the dogs? Nope, not too sensible I guess. Like many of you, I require the daily furry contact, possibly ivy infested or not. I wonder if there is some sort of safe doggy wipe to mitigate the potency of the ivy oil on the doggy hair. Probably I should do some research. If there is something out there, I will buy it.  In the mean time, I shall continue to cope with this doggy form of giving. Of the undesirable kind.