Dogs! “NO, please take him away, please please, NOo.. I’m scared… Noooooooo! ” Yes, that was my usual and expected response to a dog for as long as I can remember. Whenever I went to my friend, a dog owner’s house, the poor canine had to be locked up in the furthest room prior to my entry. My guitar teacher’s dog too suffered a similar fate. And to me, it was justice... Some people just didn't like dogs , like some people don't eat meat. Its normal , acceptable and its just not fair for dogs to be imposed on us.
If anybody asked me if I liked dogs, I always responded with, “I’m more of a cat person.” The irony of that retort was in the fact that I’d never even been near a cat in my life. As a consequence, I was quite indifferent towards them. My dog phobia worsened as I grew older. If a dog behind a gate began to bark, I jumped a mile. If a dog on a leash was walking on the other side of a road, I lagged behind waiting for the dog to pass. I even had some traumatic incidents of dogs chasing me around corners with me screaming and running about like a raving lunatic. It was a phobia.
Unfortunately for me, my mother’s best friend had no children and two massive golden retrievers. Every visit to their house included me standing on a table and the dogs circling it conscientiously. It was a mental burden to carry around a fear like this in my head everywhere I went.
One day, something unusual happened. I had gone for a visit to my mother’s friend’s house and the dogs came running and pounced on me. I was stricken. I froze up and shouted for help. The two canines were all over me and I was not enjoying it. My mother’s friend told me to pet them; the dogs just wanted some attention. I slowly and gingerly placed one palm on the mangy head of one of them and stroked him. To my shock and secret joy, he felt nice and he didn’t bite! I took a deep breath and did it again. And again. And again. Soon, I was actually petting a dog.
After aprroximately ten minutes, the scene was this. I sat on the floor with Mishtii (the girl retreiver)'s head on the floor next to me and her paws on my lap and my hand under her tummy. That was the position we adopted for the following 2 hours.Whenever I got up, he’d follow faithfully. It felt wonderful to know that somebody loves you no matter what, albeit for a few minutes.
The first time I petted a dog, I had a revelation. I realized that I loved dogs. After that day, any dog I saw I loved. They were such kind and selfless creatures. They gave love so willingly and asked for nothing in return. Lately, I even go to my friends’ houses just to play with their dogs. I now proudly proclaim myself a Dog Lover. And loving it!