I wrote about my fear for dogs over here and how managed to get over it. I’ve never been so scared in my life. Facing a fear like that takes years. Some never get over it. There are people who have been bitten by a dog. That’s even worse. Even if they face their fear, in the back of the head, there’s always the thought about the event. But if you let your fear get in the way of living your life, you’ll never get anything done.
People that have never felt fear, won’t understand how it is to be really scared. There was an episode in ‘Friends’ where Chandler is afraid of dogs. He said he didn’t like dogs because he was scared of them. But if you’re scared, it means you can’t even be in the same room. You panic and wants to get out of there. The only reason he was scared of them was because he didn’t know what they were thinking. I wouldn’t call that fear. He wasn’t attacked or any other bad experience. That episode was unrealistic. Someone who’s afraid of dogs won’t get over it in a day. The writer who wrote the episode clearly didn’t know what it really feels to be scared of dogs.
The only person who understands how to be scared of something, is a person who’s afraid of the same thing or have been. If you’re scared of spiders, you can’t tell them, they won’t do you any harm. The same goes with dogs. I heard comments from dog owners that how nice and lovable their pets are. But for a person who is scared, it doesn’t help. That fear will still be there no matter what you say.
The only thing that helps to get over fear, is to face it. It might take years like it has for me. There are fears you can’t get over. My fear of needles has never disappeared. I know it might not hurt but still I try to ignore injections like a plague. Unless it’s really necessary. Blood tests are the worse. That’s one of the reasons I won’t donate blood. Just the thought makes me feel anxious. That’s a fear I know I’ll never get over.
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.