My story of Overcoming Cynophobia
I admit it, barely 4 years ago I wouldn’t get into an elevator if there was a mini poodle in it. Not to mention German Shepherds, Rottweillers, Siberian Huskies or a Golden… Goldens were the worst because, as I now understand, they are so smart and so sociable so sweet that when they feel my fear, they try to comfort me lay down at my feet, putting their heads against my legs, or licking my hands. That use to make me shake with fright.
Such breed has the most kind and sparkly eyes a dog could have, they wagged their tail frantically and jumped out of happiness every time his owner told him to. And yet I paled with fear just knowing that I could bump into them, or with any other pet owner neighbor walking their “fury beast” as a matter of facts.
Cynophobia specifically involves fear of dogs or cats and, like any Phobia starts from an irrational and persistent fear of a specific object or situation. It generates anxiety, even panic attacks. In my case, also deprives me to enjoy the beautiful bond of friendship and company that you can form with a pet.
My cynophobia began when, being just a baby, the family cocker spaniel, called Snoopy for its black and white spots, was always jumping over me trying to show me affection. I remember, in a particular episode, he barked at me until it cornered me for having taken his favorite toy.
Of course, from an adult point, this sounds very normal, but I used to get paralyzed only by remembering that moment. I didn’t want anything to do with the dog, much less adopt two, but when life gives you paws…
Although there are professionally designed steps to overcome cynophobia, my story deviates a lot from being a traditional therapeutic achievement. Returning home from a field trip, around March of 2014, we have to press the breaks suddenly because there, in the middle of nowhere, a white wolf-like cub was lost wandering, looking perhaps for food, maybe for her mother or her siblings.
We step down of the car and try to grab her but it ran the one side of the road to the other, she was shaking and scared. When we finally manage to catch her, she got in the car and fell asleep immediately. We took her to the vet, put her first shots and took her home with the firm intention of gave her up for adoption. That first night, although she was a 2 months puppy, I couldn’t believe it, a dog was sleeping in my living room.
Several days went by, and I saw her playing in her cradle, and I was still thinking, why is this dog still in my house? How is it possible that she hasn’t taken my arm off? How does she look so adorable while sleeping? And how did she manage to devour flip flops so easily? According to my numbers, there are approximately five pairs of flip-flops in her record.
Over time, I taught her several tricks, I named her (Amelia, because she is as brave as Amelia Earhart was) and I even got her a sister (Frida, because she has the most adorable mustache). Little by little interacting with them and with other dogs in the park I have managed to overcome my phobia of dogs completely.
I found this video that inspired me to do the article because I think it shows, in a very emotional way, all the ways your life can improve when you let a pet enter your life, Please watch it! I’m sure you’ll love it.