A friend sent me this link which is an article about how owning a pet dog may help prevent allergies in children.
We don't own dogs. One of the reasons is because we live in a condo unit where pets are forbidden. Secondly, I am not a dog person. My husband is and would dearly love one should we ever live in a house with our own garden. I said yes, provided HE does all the cleaning up after the dog. I'll be damned if I had to be a career woman + mum + house cleaner + cook AND dog keeper too.
Anyway, this article reminds me of our trip to UK when Connor was 10 months old. We'd made a stopover in Dubai, staying with our friends and their two toddlers and dog. Connor had been displaying signs of not being well as he was refusing all food. He wasn't running a temperature or anything though, just refusing food which was very unusual for him.
When we got to the UK, Connor had two bouts of projectile vomiting. After that, he was fine. What we didn't know was either he was or we were still carrying some sort of bug that was transmitted through close contact.
Every single person we came into close contact with during our first week in the UK fell ill. My parents-in-laws stayed in bed for 2 days. My sis-in-law had bouts of vomiting. Scores of British relatives and friends had tummy upsets and fevers and most were ill for at least a week. The worst hit were the children of Dear Hubby's senior management exec - they were sick for 2 weeks. Oops. No bonus that year for Dear Hubby.
The only people who were unaffected were people who had spent some time living in Asia recently and/or people with dogs. Cats didn't seem to help as my in-laws have a pet cat and they were sick as a... er... dog.
I thought it was very interesting that the dog owners had some sort of immunity against whatever we were carrying. Clearly whatever bug we were carrying was familiar to immune systems that had been to Asia as a friends who had just returned from years of living in Asia (but had no dogs) did not fall ill. Every other Brit just about dropped dead, felled by the bug except the dog owners.
So there you go. Proof that dogs are more than just man's best friend.