An open letter to the dog that chased me

This dog has nothing to do with it

I was 6 years old. I was taking a walk in the park with my mum. There was this small downhill. We were walking down and I started to run. What I didn’t know was, that there was this women with her little dog. That was you. She kept you running free. As a 6-year old, you don’t see what’s coming next. I was just running down the hill when you decided to run after me. Maybe it was just a game for you but for me, it was a fear for my life. It changed me forever. It used to be me that ran after dogs when I was younger, until you came a long. I was scared every time I saw one of your kind. My legs were shaking and my heart pounding faster when I saw dogs running free. It wasn’t just dogs I became scared off but other pets as well. Especially cats. The only animal I wasn’t scared of were bunnies.

My friend had a cat and when I came to visit, they had to put it in another room. I never told anyone I was scared so I just told them I didn’t like animals. I couldn’t even go to kids parties incase they had a cat or a dog. The reason I didn’t tell people, was the fear of them letting their dogs attack me just to make fun of me. Now when I think about it, maybe they wouldn’t have been that cruel. I was just embarrassed to be scared of something that was silly to them. For me it was real fear.

I don’t blame you though. You were just a dog that didn’t understand you did anything wrong. It’s your masters fault. It was her that should have kept you on a leash. It wasn’t a park for dogs. It was her job to keep you in control. It was she that should have command you to come to her. She was your master and she did a bad job. Maybe she was like you, didn’t understand what was happening. But how could anyone know that chase would have affected a 6-year old so deeply. All I did was just running down that hill.

So that you won’t feel so bad about it. When I became an adult, that fear disappeared. I still feel a little shaky if I see a free dog coming towards me. I don’t think I will never get used to dogs but I feel much safer when they are on a leash. They can even come close and it wouldn’t scare me. I do trust dogs but what I don’t trust, are the people ownners. There are dog people who doesn’t seem to understand that their pet can still be dangerous no matter how nice they seem to be. They still have that animal instinct after all.

There is a saying “face your fear” and I think I’ve just done that. Even if I’m not scared the way I used to, it won’t make me want a dog. But that has nothing to do with you.