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I was attacked by a rottweiler when I was four years old. There wasn’t any lasting damage. I was very upset and had red marks from being jumped on and gummed up, but you should always learn to listen to pet owners and watch for body language.

I was told by strangers that I easily won their dogs over by the time I was twelve. Antisocial dogs would have me and I would give them the time to hang out and chat. We clicked.

I had grown up with 2 dogs from the pound. My mom and sister had a corgi mix and I ended up primarily assigned to a one-eyed pekingese. When their dog died we ended up with a border collie mix that was labeled as terrier mix by the pound. The family always had females and they were primarily lap dogs. This girl ended up being 45+ lbs. I’m glad my parents kept her. She was a very intelligent dog and played awkwardly with my pekingese. She loved to learn and always wanted to please people and gain approval.

We never had any cats growing up. It was a popular opinion that they were the source of all our pet allergies. I thought I was absolutely safe with dogs.

Then I was 18

Not only was I allergic to cats but also to dogs. Specifically short haired, bristly dogs would set my allergies off with hives and itching and wheezing and sneezing. Dogs were no longer my immediate, trusted companions. Sometimes they were well meaning snipers.
I had a boxer named Max love me to death. Short stiff hairs… my eyes still itch while thinking about him.

Eventually I came to accept cats as a big part of my life and learning to lower my body’s reaction by not stressing that a possible allergen was about to make me miserable.
But before I got to that point in my life,
I got Lila from a rescue in California.
She is part pekingese and part something else, and nothing like my other peke.
Tommy Gargoyle is more like my first Pekingese than my dog is and he is my kitty.

As of Spring 2013, Lila has left for the Midwest to live with my parents. She lived with me for four years, but the cats and square footage were hindering her self-esteem. She’s doing well with two other dogs, a house and a yard.