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Overcoming fear

Last updated on 17.05.2020

I was just learning how to walk when my fear of dogs began. I was a little over a year old and playing on my front lawn with my parents, stumbling between the two of them, when out of no where a large dog came running up to me to play, it had gotten loose of its owner and knocked me over mid-walk. This was the beginning of what would soon become a paralyzing fear of dogs for the first half of my life. Unfortunately, a few years after this event my mother was dropping a package off to our neighbours on a cold wintery afternoon. She was wearing a big brown coat and most likely looked like a brown bear or some kind of foreign intruder, as my brother and I sat in the car, we watched in horror as our neighbours massive dog attacked my mother aggressively, ultimately taking a chunk out of her arm and requiring stitches. However, these experiences are what engrained a fear of dogs that I can only describe as pure terror. I remember going over to friends houses and being absolutely terrified of their dogs, it did not matter if it was a small little harmless puppy wanting to play or a friendly Bernese Mountain dog trying to say hi, I was terrified. I would try and climb to the highest point in the house (usually dining room tables did the trick), to get away from the dog. To my dismay, this never discouraged the dog, as it saw this as a game and would whimper, bark etc. until I gave it attention or, my friend’s parents would take the dog elsewhere within the house. That being said, my parents did try and help me get over this fear, when I was 6 my moms friend Rory was a flight attendant and he had a wonderful 10 year old yellow Lab named Seymour. At first I was hesitant, and to solve this problem, Rory would write letters to me from “Seymour” to help me understand that he was friendly and would never hurt me. With patience and time, Seymour and I became best friends and when Rory would fly, we would take care of Seymour. I loved him and I loved taking care of him, he was so gentle, and sadly had bad arthritis. It ended up getting so bad that he would not be able to come up the stairs to get to my bedroom, and because I didn’t want him to ever feel alone, I would sleep next to him in his dog bed. Slowly but surely, Seymour was beginning to help me get over my fear of dogs. Unfortunately, Seymour ended up having to be put down a short time after we began caring for him. With Seymour gone, all of my progress seemed to regress

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