• Clare

In which the Daughter has a major fear of dogs

The Daughter has a massive phobia of dogs; it's quite debilitating really and not much fun for any of us!

It all started when she had a bad experience as a baby. A dog that was off a lead, came bounding over to her pushchair and jumped all over her. I had a struggle to get it off. It wasn't being aggressive, but it frightened the hell out of her, as you can imagine; a tiny toddler, strapped in and unable to escape a giant animal jumping and slobbering all over her! The owner wasn't very apologetic and had no concept of the kind of trauma this may have caused her.

As a result, nine years later, she's still absolutely terrified of them. She will run out into the road to try and avoid them. Not ideal when you're wandering along, minding your own business; then all of a sudden, a juggernaut honks loudly in your ear because your child is darting across the road, arms flailing and screaming like something possessed, completely unaware of the cars that are screeching to a halt around her. If we're at the park, the minute she sees a dog, she hops off of whatever apparatus she is playing on and runs over to me, clinging to me like a baby monkey. "Mummy, I've had enough of playing here now. Can we go for a walk instead please?" I can always tell when a dog is approaching, before I've even spotted it myself. It's as if the Daughter has a dog-radar. They make her cry and plead with us to leave the current vicinity pronto. From all the begging and screaming, you'd think we were strangers trying to abduct her. We certainly get some funny glares. One dog owner even approached me, as the Daughter was trying to climb me like a tree as if she were escaping a bear and said "You should really get that sorted out you know, before it gets too bad." Yes, I'm aware of that thank you. What doesn't ease the situation, is pointing out how bad her fear is, whilst letting your dog's leap up at her ankles.

I don't think it helps that the Husband isn't an animal lover either. He tries not to show his dislike, but to anyone who knows him, it's plain to see. He went for a run some time last year with our running partner and trod on a twig, causing it to ping up and hit his leg. He was convinced he'd been bitter by a snake, of which he has a severe aversion. (Bet his pace doubled then!) Wish I'd been there to see it! Here's a little meme that our friend created to remember the occasion. Still makes me laugh to this day...

What are your kids afraid of? Let me know in the comments below.

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