Two weeks ago, my dog had his ACL (the ligament attaching his doggie tibia to his doggie femur) surgically repaired. A very dear friend just emailed me to ask how he was recovering, jokingly asked me to give Apollo a big kiss from him. I wrote back saying that I had just given the dog a big smootch on the lips and that this was nothing compared to how my 14 year old son practically made out with the hairy monster, laughing until he cried when Apollo would like his entire face (thoroughly) - even his teeth. My friend just wrote his response: "
My motto is "Love me, love my dog." :-) But Apollo licking Liam's teeth can be considered beyond gross, not to mention that dogs have germs and Apollo is passing these on to Liam -- AND WITH YOUR TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THIS???????????????????? Where did your parents go wrong????? :-)"I wrote back to explain that with all my training and experience, I most certainly did not have anything against the dog licking my son's teeth. Now, don't get me wrong - it's absolutely disgusting. And even the sounds of Liam's laughter don't drown out the little wet, slimy, slurpy noises....YUCK. But from a health point of view, it's been shown again and again that kids who are exposed to pets - and yes, that means pet saliva - grow up healthier, with fewer allergies. To prove my point, I showed my friend this link, which I thought I'd share with all of you:http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500166_162-519978.html
which is based on an article published in JAMA, in 2009. "The researchers think that exposure to dogs and cats leads to lower risks of allergies because children living with these animals are probably exposed to higher levels of endotoxins, the breakdown products of bacteria commonly found in the mouth of a cat or dog. Exposure to endotoxins is thought to force the body's immune system to develop a different pattern of response that makes you less likely to become allergic."Yes, Liam is 14 now and his immune system is developed, for better or worse but...if some dog spit was good enough for him when he was 1, it's good enough for him now. So, lick away, Apollo...even though I know where that tongue has been.