Got dog allergies? Here are some realistic strategies for living in harmony with your pet.

Mike Murphy of Connecticut worked at an animal shelter for seven years, even though he was allergic to dogs. Some days he left work with a stuffy nose, some days he had hives, a headache, and itchy, watery eyes. “People thought I was crazy to expose myself to such misery, but I really love dogs and want to be around them,” he says.

Two years ago, Murphy surprised his friends even more when he adopted a 3-year-old terrier mix named Greta. “Working in a shelter, I had a chance to see which breeds triggered the worst allergic reactions,” he says. “I learned black Labs were the worst for me. But when I met Greta, my reactions were mild. We connected, so I adopted her.”

Although human allergists don’t suggest getting a dog if you suffer from allergies, some doctors today will not insist you get rid of a dog unless allergy symptoms are too severe to manage.

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