Thanks to my nice therapist, Doctor Dave as I call him, my dog phobia has gone.
I’m only worried by potentially dangerous dogs, dogs snarling and pulling on their leads. I’ve been asking strangers “can I stroke your dog” a lot more, previously this was my son Jen’s nagging, “mummy can we see that woofer?” “OK Jen, ask it’s grown up if it’s ok first”, “no, mummy, you ask”. I’ve not been crossing the road to avoid people’s pets, I’ve been able to deal with them the same as most other grown ups do.
As I adore animals, the desire to rehome has kicked in now I’m not terrified by them.
When I was younger my rescued mongrel runt, Ben, saved my life. There is definitely a bond between me and stray/rescued pets. Maybe they see it in my eyes I’ve suffered abuse when I was young myself, perhaps they sense I want to help not hurt, who knows, but rescue dogs, especially the previously beaten types are drawn to me, as I am to them.
We’ve been looking at Dog’s trust website, and been there and meet a few dogs. We put our name on Elfie, sadly the next day she bit/nipped one of the staff and we were phoned to say she they can no longer rehome her to us “just incase she bites your son.” I felt like crying! But I understand their position.
Now we are looking at a woof like Sally. A similar looking dog to Elfie, also a young female. It’s more about personalities than looks though, and so many of the dogs in those kennels just need a good hug and a home.
Sally’s Dogs trust page.
Unfortunately a phone call to the lovely Evesham staff revealed they can’t release her to a family with young children as she has a few quirks. What they described reminded me of my old dog Ben, but rules is rules… Sadly people blame charities if rescues bite a child.
I think with love and hugs she would be fine, with my dog Ben he was afraid of specific things, things which were linked to his puppyhood abuse. Carrier bags, as he was tied inside one and swung about until he couldn’t walk. The crinkly noise would make him hysterical, not a big deal, use cotton bags where you can!
A strong fear of cutlery as the child at his abusive home stabbed him with tableware. This was a trickier issue, but I helped him with it. Tactics like placing them near him on sofa, then talking to him, assuring him was all ok, no one wanted to hurt him. Eventually he became used to them, they became normal, accepted by Ben, well unless you dropped them accidentally when setting the table. Then he would run and cry, and he would be found under a chair, face under a pillow, or cowering in the cupboard, poor lad.
My point is, I don’t see these mental scars as a risk, I see them as a challenge that love could heal.
If you are considering a dog as a pet, please check out your local rescue centers, you might be pleasantly surprised.