Love helped me conquer my fear of dogs

Let me clarify that. I’m still afraid of dogs, in general. But, not like I used to be.

When I was a little girl, we had a dog that I loved. Adored. I actually used to fantasize that he would one day be able to talk. He was a cocker-poodle mix and we mostly had him groomed as a poodle. He was spunky and sweet. He LOVED to run away when ever he had the chance. He would attack anyone on a bike or motorcycle or any man in a hat. When we would get in trouble and our Dad wanted to punish us, when his voice became loud or stern, our dog Jaques would protect us. It was funny.

Laneview Christmas Stephanie Jock Susan Stephanie Jock Laneview

Then life goes on and in the sixth grade, I was attacked by my best friends dog. She said he was on a runner and could not reach us, in her backyard, but she was wrong. He was a big german shepherd named champ or killer or something scary…<grins>. I ran as fast as I could and he jumped on me from behind and bit me on my thigh before her parents could get him. I had a huge golden retriever jump on me while I was walking down the street years later. He was as tall as me and he ripped my shirt. As I look back, this dog encounter may have been playful on the dogs part, but it was terrifying on my part.

So, I spent the following decades in compete fear of dogs. We had dogs for our kids, and I was fine with that, but I wasn’t ‘in love’ with them. If they barked, I would feel that moment of fear, even though I knew better. The kids grew up, dogs passed away and were replaced. It was always sad to lose one to illness, old age, being hit by a car. Because we live in the country, we always had at least one big dog outside.

Then came Pookie. I wanted him for my hubby. He loves all animals. He is Dr. Dolittle. And, they love him. He actually thought that I wanted Pookie for myself, but he was wrong. I had met a guy that sold insurance and was in love with his dogs. He talked about them so glowingly, I wanted one for my hubby. So, I found one in the paper. He is half maltese and half shitszu. The first dog we ever actually paid money for!!

06-07 Pookie Bear4 Aurora & Pookie Bear 2 Tenaya & Pookie 

From that day to this one, about 8 years, Pookie does not want to be separated from hubby. I used to wish for a Pookie of my own and would jokingly tell him, “If we did get another little doggy, there would be two doggies in your lap!”. And, that’s the truth. Until Buster.

My son thought he wanted a dog. It was a rescue and this adorable little puppy needed a home. But, upon reflection, my son knew that his lifestyle would not be good for having a dog. I told him that I wanted the puppy. He said that I better not be kidding, because HE wasn’t kidding. I assured him I was serious. I became the proud Mommy of my fur baby Buster.

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I asked hubby for the BIGGEST favor ever. I asked him to ignore the puppy. Can you imagine the torture? For a guy like him? Well, he loves me, so he agreed. I showered My Buster with affection and love. He is so adorable. Pookie is a much happier doggie now that he has a buddy. And our guard dog, Pepper, loves Buster too. As soon as he grew up a little, he became the dominant dog in our pack. I call him the most adorable “bully”. He is so mean that he will accept a treat, set it down, run around and steal the other dogs treats, and hoard them all. And, THEY let him!! We have solved that problem, no worries. To say that he is spunky. Well….

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Today, hubby has taken the “boys”, to the groomers for a bath and a trim. I’m so used to having My Buster next to me, that I keep panicking when I can’t find him. (Senior moment)

And, my new (well 4 years) doggy love has softened me when I meet new dogs. I have begun to recognize the friendly ones and I’m not afraid of them. If a dog growls or barks, I’m back to terror. But, I’m no longer afraid of ALL dogs. Thanks to my precious little trio.

Buster is my office staff, always following me in to my office at home. He is my tv buddy. He is my traveling buddy. And, he is my favorite thing to post on my Facebook and Instagram. The other day, he gave me a scare (don’t worry, he’s fine), and I took him to the vet. They “knew” him from Facebook! Buster, YOU’RE famous!!

Now I get it. I finally, actually, truly understand how people love their doggies. I feel like I have joined a club. I would LOVE to see your own fur baby! Please post a pic in the comments!

Stephanie & Steve Farrell Photo IMG_4507

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