Are you also scared of dogs? Do you fail to understand all this hype of people for their pet dogs? I was the same… Here is the story of how I overcame my fear of dogs and became a dog lover.
We never had a dog when I was growing up. I didn’t even know anyone who had dogs as pets. None of my friends or family had one. But I really loved pets. And when a stray cat suddenly walked into our home without any invitation or fear, it became ours. It was a she. Gradually she became a mother and our cat family grew until at one point we had 11 cats!!
When our cat family was growing from one to four, my mom told me for the first time an old saying my grandmother used to tell her. It was repeated a lot after that in my house. That if a home has 10 cats, the 11th one would be a golden cat. We, as children, were super excited hearing this. We eagerly waited for the 11th cat to arrive. It was not a long time after that. As our original cat had two daughters and a son, and so they multiplied fast. Even though some of them died young, we finally had 11 cats. Alas! To our disappointment, it was not a golden cat. But we still loved them all dearly.
Cats were the only pets I knew growing up. My brief experience with a stray dog did not end happily. Read about that in my previous post. It’s a funny one. https://salmagundisite.wordpress.com/2021/05/20/mans-best-friend/
When I was in college, my friend bought a Labrador puppy. She used to tell all these adorable stories of the puppy. By the time I went to visit, it had grown as tall as a small pony. It came running down the stairs in all excitement to greet me, and I was rooted to the ground for fear. My eyes had zoomed in on the many pointed, sharp teeth as it came running towards me. My brain had conjured up images of those sharp teeth biting into the flesh of my hands. And I had inadvertently calculated that I can never outrun it, even if I had a head start.
So, I stood there frozen. Pleading with my eyes at my friend to save me from this nightmare. After what seemed like a long time, she finally noticed my fear filled face and lured the dog away with treats. After that experience, I never imagined I would have a dog for a pet. I had staunchly placed myself in the cat lover category, and I was not gonna budge.
This is when I got married and my husband, a strong dog lover, wanted a pet. I suggested a cat, obviously. Even was about to adopt a cat from the neighbourhood when unfortunately it lightly (only lightly, the mark cannot even be seen by the naked eye) scratched my husband on the hand when he went to pet it. This incident traumatised my husband so much that he wrote off the whole cat species as unloving, ungrateful beings.
So after this incident, my suggestions for adopting a cat were promptly turned down. He suggested we go and look at some Labrador puppies. I tagged along to see them. We went to a house where a big dog who as not even chained was sleeping. I wanted to run away before it woke up. But my husband went ahead before I could protest. They bought the puppy out and oh!! It was so small. As small as a cat and cute!!. And the biggest plus, it didn’t have teeth at that point. Let me see you bite me with that, I thought. I think we fell in love with him. And we loved him even more as he grew up.
Now, when I listen to other people telling me how big he is or asking me if he bites, I remember my own fear so long ago. It seems irrational now, at the same time I understand other people because I would have asked the same questions had we not bought him.
Having a cat and a dog are entirely different experiences. A cat takes care of themselves, you just have to feed it, no bathing, no taking for a walk, no grooming, no toys. A dog seems to be so much work, but their love is so apparent and unconditional. I would not say that I am not a cat lover now, I am just as much a dog lover as I am a cat lover. These animals deserve to be treated with love and care.