“Are you sure you can live your entire life without a dog?” my mom asked.
It was shortly after Alex and I got engaged. Marrying Alex meant I would never be able to have a dog. You see, Alex is very very allergic to dogs. And I love dogs (actually all animals, but we’ll leave it at dogs for now).
Alex can’t go in houses that have dogs or cats unless he wants to have half a lung for the next week. When I say very allergic, I mean it. He can’t breathe, he coughs, and he can’t function to his potential long after that 1 hour spent in an animal infested house.
But, I love dogs. Over a year ago now, I felt myself longing for a 4-legged friend. I image it to be the mothering feeling a female gets when she wants to have children. I couldn’t think about anything except a puppy in our life. But that’s crazy, right? Alex is allergic, we live in a van, it’s a recipe for disaster with a perpetually sick husband.
After doing extensive research, we came across a breed of dog that folks with allergies can live with – The American Hairless Terrier. Previously we had gotten our hopes up of “hypoallergenic” dogs such as poodles and xolos that Alex was still effected by. We thought it too good to be true and started looking into more details. After much thought about bringing into our family something so uncertain, we went ahead and drove 6 hours to go pick up our little bundle of (non)fur.
Fast forward one year and we now have two. Two hairless dogs, two crazy humans, one van, a lifetime of adventure ahead.
American Hairless Terriers are a special breed. They are basically a hairless Rat Terrier that gets sunburned. We lotion the little pups up to go to the beach. We bundle them up in snowsuits for the winter complete with fuzzy boots. They need life jackets to swim because for some reason they have a hard time keeping their head above water. They run and run and run and run up to 18 miles/day while we’re out on the trail. Best of all, they’re a part of our family and Alex can breathe.
When we decided to bring Jackson into our family, we made the promise to ourselves that he wouldn’t effect our life in a negative way. Many times people make excuses for not doing certain things based on their dogs. Not for us! For multi-pitch climbs, the dogs ride in our backpacks. If it’s cold, we have fancy puffy coats and boots. For long hikes over 15-18 miles, we make sure to have extra room in our backpacks when they are tired.
Our current home is Our Van, USA. Feel free to comment below or email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding American Hairless Terriers, we will do our best to help!