Scary Dog

Honestly, I’m scared of them.  Just when I think I’m over it, one of them bites my daughter’s thumb or knocks down my ninety-year-old neighbor.  I get, rationally, that most dogs are harmless, and I’m happy to pet the calm ones I know, but that still doesn’t make me less fearful of big, jumping, lunging dogs.  I feel so helpless around unfamiliar dogs, and so confused that their owners don’t control them better.  They let their dogs come right towards me with their panting tongues even when I’m circling back away in polite terror.

What am I supposed to say?

You’re not supposed to admit you’re scared of dogs.  People laugh at you.  They don’t believe you, or they tell you to be tough.  They say that dogs can smell your fear.  They explain that you put your hand out the wrong way so it’s your own fault that dogs jump at you.  They think their own precious, joyful dog coming close to you, sniffing right up your skirt, will be the one to convince you there’s nothing to fear and then you’ll be cured.

Not so.

It’s just something I live with, this fear of dogs.  Fortunately, my parents-in-law have the silliest, goofiest, fluffiest dog that ever existed.  I watch it run after a blue ginger-bread-man squeeze toy, with its nails clicking over the floor, and I think, “That is one silly dog.”  I also think, “It’s biting a person-shaped toy.  That could be me.”

Incidentally, we still have no power from Irene.  Day 9.

5 Responses to Dogs

  • I used to deliver ad pamphlets for a salon. I’d stick them only in mailboxes that did NOT have a “No Junk Mail” sign on them. Yet the dogs would always bark at me from behind their fences.

    Dogs, if you don’t want me delivering junk mail, then make your humans get a “No Junk Mail” sign. I’m reasonable; I obey the signs. That’s no reason to bark at me; I’m a well-mannered young lady 😉

  • Tez ~
    Ha! You sound like you were brave.

  • Oh Caragh…remember I mentioned I have a Dog Day Care…I , who have been very casual and unafraid of any dog , I got my thumb bitten by a little Yorkie. I ended up in the hospital for five days soaking the infection every four hours and IV antibiotics. Fortunately I still have my thumb but it was touch and go after surgery. I still have my day care but I am no longer as trusting. If any dog comes toward you in any posture just turn your back. It is a universal , unspoken message to a dog to go away. The owner might not get it , but the dog should. You are wise , regards from your newly cautious cousin JoAn

  • JoAn,
    That’s terrible about your bite! I’m so sorry that happened to you. I think it’s very cool you’ve continued with the day care, with a bit more caution. You must be very good with dogs and care for them a great deal.
    I’ll keep your tip in mind the next time I’m wary of an unfamiliar dog. Thanks.
    All best,
    Your cuz,

  • ……….:-)

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