BlogPaws is heaven for a dog lover.
I saw dogs in elevators, dogs at dinner, dogs in strollers, dogs in seminars, and even a dog groomed to look like a lion running through the lobby dragging his leash.
But I didn’t meet a single dog without saying to myself, “This dog could bite me. And it would hurt.”
I’m a Dog Lover Afraid of Dogs
Most dog lovers aren’t like me.
They see a new dog and they walk right up to him, put their face in his, and run their hands all over his body. It happens all the time with Honey.
If they have a passing thought a dog could bite them, I see no outward signs of it.
I envy their confidence that the world is a safe and nurturing place. But deep down I wouldn’t want to be them. Fearing dogs has a positive side—at least for the dogs.
The “Up” Side of Fearing Dogs
When I feel that twinge of fear and hear the little voice in my head (“remember, she could bite”) in the presence of a strange dog, I do two things:
- observe the dog’s body language
- wait for her to approach me.
If the dog seems stressed or if she’s simply uninterested in me, I don’t approach her at all. Even if I really, really, really want a fuzzy fix.
And in a stressful environment like BlogPaws, I like to think the dog appreciates a few moments with one less stimulus to deal with.
I don’t believe that every dog lover who fearlessly approaches a strange dog is brainless and insensitive. Some people are faster at reading a dog’s mood than I am. And that’s what I really envy, more than the absence of fear.
But until my I can read a dog as quickly as I can read War and Peace, I’ll have to be happy petting the relaxed happy dogs who want to say hello to me.
Your Turn: Are you or have you ever been afraid of dogs? Do you see it as a positive or a negative?