Also…I am terrified of dogs. I was there when my friend Lauren got a black lab puppy for her sixteenth birthday and I have never touched her. My friend Jake physically made me pet her gigantic dog Roxy one time. I almost died of fear. People ask me if the reason for this irrational fear is that I’ve been attacked or bitten by dogs before, but I haven’t. My brother was bitten by Ralphie, the miniature schnauzer down the street, when he was a little kid, but it was a minor incident (minimal blood, no stitches necessary) and I think he provoked Ralphie by trying to make him dance by holding up his paws so he was standing on his hind legs. But that’s it.
Actually, I think the root of my fear of dogs started in my early childhood, which was, like any kid’s should have been, steeped in fairytales, folktales, cartoons, and Disney movies. As I’m sure you know, the Big Bad Wolf plays a prominent role in many fairytales. I remember, before I could even read, looking through picture books and skipping the pages with the wolf illustrations on them; they absolutely terrified me. Here are some examples:
Growing up, I realized that wolves were cunning, conniving, sneaky, and bad. His name was the BIG BAD WOLF, for Pete’s sake. And he ate little girls. I was a little girl. Look at how he tried to eat all three of the little pigs. Recall that he ate poor Peter (and his friends) and Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother (So old! So helpless!), attacked Belle and her father and wounded the kindhearted Beast, and toyed with Little Bo Peep. He always had scary evil eyes, huge fangs, and was dripping saliva in every cartoon or book.
As I grew older, I think the wolf fear morphed into a dog fear. My brain now sees no disconnect between the two. Do you remember the absolutely terrifying wolf-dog-thing in The Neverending Story (not the benevolent white pearly flying dog, but the evil scary dog that chased Atreyu and intended to kill him)? That is basically how I see all dogs. So Bella, Guinness, Max, Roxy, Chloe, et al., I’m sorry to lump you in with the Big Bad Wolf and the monsterwolf that wanted to kill Atreyu. I understand that you “wouldn’t hurt a fly” and are “so nice.” But next time I come over to your owners’ homes, please just stay in the backyard.