I’ve suffered from allergies for as long as I can remember. Contrary to what the headline suggests, I wasn’t diagnosed with a house dust allergy at the time, but one against small animal hair. For me, contact with manageable animals such as B. hamsters or guinea pigs, but also birds (or their feathers, including down) immediately on the lungs. Then, from one second to the next, I simply can’t breathe: asthma. As a first grader, I received this diagnosis from the doctor at the time. Immediately afterwards my hamsters were given away. We also had to move. The doctor said our coal stove wasn’t particularly good for my lung health either. For a little more than 35 years I’ve been living quite well in spite of this limitation. I don’t have to be near these animals. Fortunately, down in bedding or winter jackets can now also be replaced with polyester fillings or the like. Then I only had asthma attacks very rarely, at most times when I accidentally stayed near such animals. This happened, for example, when I was standing at the checkout in a garden center with a package of potting soil. I suddenly felt a shortness of breath and with it a panic rose in me. They also had a small zoo section there, which I didn’t know about. But I quickly felt better in the fresh air.