08 June 2010
Day 73: Deepwater
Deepwater by Matthew F. Jones. ISBN: 9781582340593.
Context: there's a huge freakin' Rottweiler with slightly supernatural abilities as part of the plot in this book.
For the longest time, I was terrified of dogs. Not really terrified, but so apprehensive that it sometimes prevented me from visiting certain friends or taking a particular route on my way to school. I couldn't even tell you where this apprehension came from. Maybe because dogs are so much more unpredictable in their movements. Maybe because we never had a dog growing up (past the age of about 2). They were familiar and unfamiliar to me all at the same time. Our neighbors had dogs; we had a dog-sized cat who drank from the toilet, went for walks (leashless), and waited for me to come home from school at the front door.
I didn't like dogs because they're noisy, smelly, and even the small ones can manage to hurt you when they're overly boisterous. I don't like the idea of an animal jumping on me to show affection when I'm not expecting it, especially an animal that weighs more than 20 pounds. Dogs are aggressive in both their affection and their anger. So rather than just being wary of poorly trained dogs, it seems that I just became afraid of all of them and stayed that way up until about 5 years ago when I started to relax a little.
Much like my mysterious apprehension, I'm not sure where my slow acceptance of canines came from. Part of me must have recognized that it was a potential problem in getting along with people who loved dogs. Some of it may have been missing my cat at home so badly that I was willing to stop people walking their dogs to ask if I could pet them (I find it terribly rude and potentially dangerous to just go up and pet someone else's dog). At one point I even thought about taking a co-op job at a wolf sanctuary in New Mexico to help me get over my fear of dogs.
I'm still sometimes nervous around them. I think they know that. But I'm not so scared of them that I avoid friends and family anymore. I still hate it when they jump on me. I still hate barking dogs. I really hate dogs in cages and behind fences because that almost makes them seem more dangerous than they probably are. But I can deal with them now and I would consider owning a dog under the right circumstances.