My childhood fears were numerous. I honestly don’t know how I managed to have so many phobias, but, boy oh boy, I drove my mother nuts with all the things that scared me.
Besides the usual arachnophobia, I feared grasshoppers (yes, they jumped at me and I was sure they were trying to poke my eyes out). I was also beyond terrified of dogs. From the big local Doberman on the street corner to the wee little Pomeranian. I would hear a tinkle of the dog tags and I would almost pee myself with fear. I crossed many a street due to roaming dogs. These were the thoughts in my head, “I am terrified of dogs. I will cross the street if I see any dogs. Dogs are scary. Dogs bite. Dogs will rip me limb from limb.” Pretty dramatic thoughts right? Back in those days, I was kind of lucky in that many people did not have dogs. None of my relatives had dogs either so I was pretty safe.
As I got older, it suddenly seemed, everyone had dogs. My father-in-law (FIL) had beagles. I tried to pet them to get over my fear, but as soon as they decided to jump on me to greet me I freaked out and ran. So much for that plan. We visited my sister-in-law and there were two dogs there. As soon as I saw them, I froze. Same thing would happen anywhere we went to visit. I would ask Wiseguy to check with people we were visiting, to see if they had a dog. He would forget to ask because, well, it was stupid to be afraid of dogs!
Now….move 10 years into the future. Here I am watching tv with my TWO dogs. Yes, I am the owner of these vicious mutts….Waldo (where’s Waldo? haha) and Lucy (or Lucifer as we affectionately call her). They are shi-poos. I know, sooooo scary. How did this come about? After the kids moved out, and Wiseguy started working nights, I started telling him that I wanted a dog. He looked at me like I was on crack or something. Why would a woman, obsessively fearful of dogs, want a dog? I explained, I didn’t want a dog, I wanted a puppy. Cute, small, fluffy. Nice logic right?
The story of dog ownership continues like this…The Princess called me happily one day to tell me that she got a job! Yes, she was so excited! “It’s at the pet store!” The Princess LOVES animals. Pet store? ZING! Hellooo karma! Wiseguy and I went to visit her after she had been there for about a week. She loved her job! Suddenly, Wiseguy noticed this calm, little, caramel-coloured puppy with a tuft of hair in his little face. He was just sitting there, staring at us. He was a little teddy bear. After two hours of me holding little puppy (while wandering around the store) we walked out with Waldo puppy and a bunch of other stuff to make our new puppy happy in our home.
Training and learning how to properly take care of a dog was a challenge for me, a not-ever pet owner. Now, I am so happy to have two dogs in my life. I am so grateful for their excitement whenever I get home. My pups (dogs) jump on me (one is 20 lbs and the other is only 10 lbs). They give me slurpy lick-kisses. They cuddle with me. They really are a joy for me. They make FIL and Wiseguy happy too. The amount of love and loyalty they show is just unfathomable. Even little Kennie is excited to play with the “ogs”. Kennie is very articulate about that. She calls to them as any good trainer would: Addo! Ushi!
I now totally and completely understand why people love their dogs. If anyone sees my dogs and get afraid, I understand. I just hope that one day they will conquer their fear. It’s worth it. “Waldo…Lucy come! Love you puppies!”