I’ll start with a little background. When I was in 7th grade I was coming home from the library, when I reach a corner that had a dog on the porch. The dog was loose, and as soon as I saw it I did the “smart” thing and ran. Of course the dog started running after me. So I was running across a 6 way highway with the dog chasing me at my skirt. It was so close and I was petrified. Running away from the dog became more important than saving my life. I literally didn’t see the cars coming, all I saw was the dog. As I was in middle of the highway, a car stopped and blocked the path of the dog. The driver offered me a ride, but since it was a stranger, I declined. But thankfully for that stopped car the dog turned back around and went back to it’s house. I finished running across the street, and made a complete circle to get to my block, and refused to pass by that house again.
That story obviously didn’t start my fear of dogs, but it was a big factor in my continuation of fearing dogs. The next incident was even more traumatizing since it involved me being responsible for other children, and led to me questioning my capabilities as a future mother.
I’ve been trying really hard ever since to get over this fear. I would judge a dog based on the vibe it gave me, if it was truly a scary dog, and required crossing the street. If there were other people with me, I would let them be my guard and actually walk past the dog. I would think of myself as so grown up for actually walking next to a dog. But I still hadn’t come over my fear, and wouldn’t take chances with certain dogs that I knew would run around and bark. So every day when I come home and pass by this one dog in a gate, I would go out of my way not to be next to it.
Today, however, as I was going to vote, I was with my brothers, I saw the dog there, it seemed to be lying down and it was quiet, so I figured it can’t hurt to walk by the gate. So I walked by it, I saw my brother turn around to look at me to make sure I was okay, and I gave him the sign that it was okay. Then when we got to the end of the gate, all of a sudden I heard barking. It was such a surprise, that I jumped up grabbed my brothers arm and yelled “Omg, Mommy!”. I knew it was okay, but yet I was so startled, that without thinking I reacted like that, as if it was a natural instinct. I used to react by saying “Hashem!” but somehow over the years, I guess it changed to “Mommy”.