When I was little, I was afraid of dogs. I would run from them, afraid that they would jump up on me and scratch my legs.
It’s funny for two reasons to think of running from them.
I love animals now. I don’t have any dogs of my own, but I enjoy being around them and don’t fear them.
It’s also funny because of what I eventually taught myself as a child: don’t run from animals. This came from my father’s lesson to not run from the cows, which I wrote about in a previous post.
So for a while, I ran from our pet dogs, which were outside dogs. My parents didn’t allow us to have animals inside.
Ironically, as soon as I was “safe” inside, I started feeling sorry for the dogs because I thought they looked sad at having to stay outside, with no one to play with.
I would talk to them through the back screen door, tell them they were pretty and good. And yet when I was outside with them, all I would do is run from them.
The poem below grew out of my memories of one dog in particular, Prince.
By Tina Fariss Barbour
I was afraid of my dog
when I was seven.
Climbed atop porch chairs,
ran shortcut across the grass.
Then inside I stood
at the back screen door,
hang his Collie head,
I sang hymns.
Standing on the Promises.
Did you have dogs or other pets as a child? What was your relationship with your pets like?