Daily Archives: April 13, 2013

The Litmus Test For Dogs

Cover of "Scary Dog (Starters)"
Cover of Scary Dog (Starters)

I am afraid of dogs.  Not just big ugly ones either, although they’ve been freaking me out in nightmares since childhood.  Perhaps I was Little Red Riding Hood in a former life.  To me, big black canine type creatures are terrifying.

I am also afraid of little dogs.  I was riding a bike once and got chased by a yappy little terrier who jumped up and nipped at my ankles.  I suppose if I had stopped I could have kicked him halfway across somebody’s yard, but that thought didn’t occur to me until much later (once my heart beat had returned to normal) and I probably could never have done such a thing anyway.  I just rode faster to get away from him.  Which made him like his little game even more and try even harder to bite my foot off.  It seriously scared me.

Where this fear of dogs comes from is a mystery.  I have never been viciously attacked or bitten by a dog.  We grew up with dogs for pets, and with friendly familiar dogs I’m fine.  It’s the strange and unfamiliar ones that make me uneasy to the point of panic.  Somebody told me once to calm down because dogs can sense fear.  So of course ever since then I’ve been twice as apprehensive thinking I’ll be attacked simply for being such a wimp.

I’m not a dog lover, but I’m not a dog hater, either – more of a dog tolerater. There are dogs I like okay, some I like less, and many I don’t care for at all.  Sorry to all my family and friends who love their dogs so much.  I like your kids and your cats – I hope that makes up for it.

So if you want me to like (tolerate and not run away screaming from) your dog, here’s my deal breaker.  He can’t look scary.

growl.
growl. (Photo credit: kunkelstein)

Plus it’s also good if he doesn’t growl at me, drool on me, smell bad, jump up and knock me over, bite me or lick my face. Or crap on my floor.

This blog post was inspired by Rarasaurs’s Prompts For the Promptless, Ep 8:  The Litmus Test is a test in which a single factor (as an attitude, event, or fact) is decisive.  In other words, it’s a single question test, not necessarily related to the information that is gleaned from the test.

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