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Kids and Allergies: Peanut dog would solve three problems for me, if he didn’t cost so dang much

Submitted by on Sunday, 15 June 2008 No Comment

Big Guy wants a dog. No, strike that. Big Guy longs for a dog with all the passion a kid can muster at not quite 5.

Big Guy’s preschool friends all are leaving him and he frets about making new ones in kindergarten.

Big Guy’s mom — me! — is freaking out because he’ll no longer lunch at preschool, where one teacher checks 10 kids’ lunches and keeps peanut-eaters at bay. Instead, he’ll be thrown into the big, bad grade school cafeteria, where hundreds of kids dine in shifts.

The solution: Peanut dog, that lovable companion and protector trained to sniff out the tiniest amounts of peanut before they can set off an allergy attack. He’s a pet! He’s a friend! He keeps Mommy from going mad with worry!

There are those who think the idea is, well, nutty.

Some are skeptical that restaurants and schools would allow peanut dogs in. News flash: The Americans with Disabilities Act covers allergies and asthma. Peanut dogs can’t legally be barred.

Others doubt that the dogs truly can do the job. I’ll admit I have concerns — an airport mutt who must have missed lunch once hit on baby food triple-wrapped deep within my checked luggage. The diligent TSA agents slashed the triple wrapping, saw that it was Gerber’s and put the oozing bundle back in my suitcase. Thanks, folks!

By and large, though, these dogs are right far more often than they’re wrong. And I’d much rather have the dog get excited about pureed prunes than miss the bomb.

The down side of peanut dog: The cost. According to an article from the Wauneta Breeze in Nebraska, one furry friend/body guard costs close to $10,000. A family there is doing everything from selling bottled water to raffling hand-crafted items to try to raise money to buy a dog for their daughter.

The cost isn’t likely to fall, either. That’s about what a drug-sniffing dog costs.

Too bad. I guess Big Guy will have to wait for his dog.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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