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I am scared of dogs

Joined: 10/20/2013
Posts: 1
I consider myself a composed person. But when my phobia is triggered, all poise melts away and my survival instincts kick in. I feel a surge of Thirstness, and I want to run or hide. But if I run, I’ll be chased, so I mostly hide. When I look at a dog,My mind can only register the pointed teeth, the sharp claws and what I perceive to be a calculating and threatening look in the eye. I think every dog is on a personal mission to hunt me down; even if it plays nice, it’s just waiting for me to let my guard down so it can attack.

 Cynophobia is defined as an irrational or abnormal fear of dogs — in other words, being afraid of dogs in nonthreatening situations. 

My fear goes a tad beyond that. For example, a few years ago I Went to Jhansi to visit some Relatives who had moved there. I was being introduced to his House when out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a puppy, teetering around clumsily. His name was Tuffy, and he was the poster puppy for “nonthreatening.” But my mind registered the dog’s adorableness factor at the same time as his ability to claw me to death with his sharp little nails. 

Within moments of our eyes meeting, the tiny thing made me shriek in terror as I jumped on the couch and shielded myself with pillows. What a first impression I must have made on my Family. I looked like a lunatic, all because a puppy was trying to nibble on my toes.

In hindsight, I can see the absurdity of my reaction. But when I see a dog, panic hijacks the part of my brain that controls rational thought. The thing about phobias is they don’t have to make sense.
I cannot express how sick I am of hearing, “Oh, he won’t hurt you!” as I hide behind the nearest person, tree or pillow to put something — anything — between me and the source of my anxiety. The dog’s owner usually laughs at my dramatic reaction and talks about how “friendly” the dog is. Although I do appreciate the assurance that my arm won’t be bitten off, what dog-lovers don’t understand is that I’m almost as afraid of a dog behaving excitedly toward me as I would if it were menacing. A dog pouncing on me out of sheer delight still usually ends with me screaming. 

It’s not that I’m a dog-hater. I think dogs are great companions — for other people. From a safe distance, I think they are cute and amusing. When people learn of my phobia, they usually assume I had a traumatic childhood experience involving dogs. This is not the case, which makes it even harder for others to understand my fear. I’ve never had a dog and was not around them till now as a teen. As long as I can remember I’ve been afraid of them. My Mom shares my fear, though to a lesser degree. I can’t help but think She passed down her phobia to me !!

Most dog owners expect friends and strangers alike to happily submit themselves to their pets’ jumping, drooling, licking and intrusive sniffing. To recoil from disgust or, in my case, fear can be perceived as offensive. It’s similar to how new parents expect others to fawn over their little bundle of joy and can’t quite grasp why someone would do otherwise. People take it personal.
I Would really say “ Man’s best friend is my worst night mare “
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