About Doggies


I have never been a dog person. My mother was bitten by a German Sheppard when she was just a child and her lifelong fear of dogs was a gift she easily passed on to me. Growing up, friends’ dogs always picked up my fear. While most dogs more or less ignored me just as much as I carefully ignored them, I did get growled at and snapped at from time to time, and it always terrified me. On one memorable occasion, a friend’s dog managed to nip me in the butt (I, running in horror, away from the house) when I came knocking on her door. To be fair, I understand now that I was infringing on his territory, although I didn’t see things that forgivingly at the time.

I was always one of those people who felt that dogs should be seen – ideally from a distance and separated by a fence – and not heard. My fear was legendary. Years later, when I called an old school friend to tell her that I had met and married my second husband after many, many years of being on my own; after I had gone on and on about how wonderful he was; how happy I was; how much his dog liked me; and so on; all she had to say when I had finished talking was: “Patti Moore?? Owns a dog?!”

My reconciliation with the canine species was a gradual process: my daughter always wanted a dog, but as a single Mom who had to travel a lot for work, that was not something (to my great relief, I admit) that was ever going to happen. When she was 12 years old, she asked if she could at least volunteer to walk dogs at our local SPCA. My job was to drive her there, and (of course) to pick up the poop. She cared for the dogs (they all adored her and obeyed her every command); I carefully ignored them as much as was possible under the circumstances.

And then came my first dog – by marriage. My daughter was ecstatic: he quickly became the love of her life. But the real surprise was his relationship with me: he was a fairly big dog – a Briard – both territorial and quick to bark at strangers. From day one, however, he adopted me and decided that it was his role in life to protect me from every real and imagined danger.

I had no idea how much I had changed until the day my husband and I were out walking (with our dog, of course) and witnessed a big black Labrador being hit by a car across the street. We heard his owner’s terrified scream an instant before we heard the thud and screech of tires. Within seconds, we could see the dog getting shakily to his feet and shrinking away from his owner: her scream must have scared him badly; he acted as though he thought he was in trouble and he refused to approach her.

I didn’t think; I just acted. Running across the road as soon as it was safe to do so, I went down on one knee, reached out one hand and called softly: “Come here, sweetie.” Tail down but wagging ever so slightly, he did come to me, and I gently held onto his collar until his tearful owner could get to us. I didn’t realise what a monumental thing I had done until I glanced across the street and saw my husband standing with our dog, feet rooted to the spot and jaw hanging open.

Our second dog, Buddy, loves me (well, to be fair, he loves everyone) to distraction. Although he weighs in at around 70 pounds, his favourite place to curl up is my lap. He follows me everywhere and when we walk together in the house, his teeth usually very gently cover my hand – or at least a finger or two. To our cat’s disgust, he also tries to lovingly envelop her head with his teeth in the very same manner. His most abject demonstration of love is to bare every single one of his teeth (I call them his ‘toofers’) in an awesome spectacle of canine adoration.

After a lifetime of being so afraid, it is such a gift to me to be able to approach most dogs with the same happy excitement they now show me. I find it hard to believe that for such a huge part of my life, I had excluded doggies as the potential friends that they are…

Patti Moore Wilson/© wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com


Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

14 thoughts on “About Doggies”

  1. I am so glad you got over your fear of dogs. I was also terrified of dogs when I was little. My Aunt had a huge German Shepherd called Bulla who used to terrify the hell out of me. It had a lovely loyal nature though and actually just wanted to be friends. I cried when it died. Then a next door neighbour had a small terrier and she used to spoil it, one day she looked after me while my Mum went to the shops and the dog got jealous and bit me. I was very scared of dogs ever since. But Now I love dogs and would love to have one. Maybe one day.

    Liked by 1 person

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