pho•bi•a: /fōbēe/ noun an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.
The thing about having a phobia is this misconception that it is an irrational fear. My fear of dogs are far from irrational. As a kid, I was always skittish… It didn’t matter (and still doesn’t) if it’s the cutest of cats or warmest of dogs. I’m sure there is a reason for it, but I never felt comfortable around dogs or cats.
When I was three, my mother dropped me off at my Aunt Georgette’s apartment with my cousin Eddie. They had just gotten a puppy Doberman Pinscher, King. Like most puppies, King was hyper and liked to nip at people. King scared the shit out of me, he was bigger and wasn’t cute at all, I just knew King wanted to eat me up, naw on my bones and pick his teeth with my pinky toe.
My slightly older cousin, Ed KNEW King terrified me and use to “sick” King on me and I would run screaming to my aunt. But on this particular day, my aunt left us home alone. Ed got King to chase me around the living room, I circled the unfurnished room several times before plotting my escape to an empty bedroom. Ceasing an opportunity I cut to the ajar door and before I can slam the door behind me, securing my escape, Eddie threw his foot into the door allowing King to dart into the room behind me. I ran and King chased. I don’t remember giving up, I don’t even remember passing out from pure fear, I just remember my Aunt finding me and I was passed out in a corner balled up in a ball.
From that day on, my fear was on an entire different level. To this day, I get anxiety just seeing a dog on television and if I witness a stray dog, I am paralyzed with fear. At 46 years old, I know how far and how fast I can run, when I am evaluating a situation when determining whether or not I am going to take a chance when a stray dog crosses my path when getting out of my car or leaving the house.