Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

I was scared of dogs. Now I’m that annoying dog person


Somewhere on my mom’s laptop exists a photo of a 2-year-old me with my — then loose — curls pulled into two buns with those soft, fabric hair ties so you don’t pull out baby’s three strands of hair. My smile is gummy as I am sat next to a golden retriever puppy sniffing my hand — literal moments before disaster.

That puppy proceeded to bite my hand. Not hard, probably, who knows? I was two after all.

Despite me not remembering the moments afterward when the dog’s owner pulled him off my chubby fingers or my mom scanning her firstborn’s hand for any scratches, from that day on, I developed a deep-seated fear of dogs.

I was cured semi-recently when we adopted Bella, a 6-month-old terrier mix who resembled an overgrown chihuahua, in 2017 when I was 13. Before that, we never had any pets. This never particularly bothered me as I never gravitated towards animals. Unlike my younger brother, who begged every major holiday for a dog.

It wasn’t an issue of my parents’ dislike for animals. My dad grew up with pets of all species — including a piranha named Mr. Fishy and a bulldog named Fleabag, and my mom has been a cat person through and

through. The pet conversation was quickly shut down by reminding my brother that our rental house didn’t allow any dogs.

This didn’t stop him from being around dogs. In a miracle of all child safety regulations, he befriended every single neighbor with a dog. As my mom loaded the two of us in a car on the way to school, he’d be greeted by a neighbor whose dog he pet last week.

Bella was a reward to my brother from my parents for patiently waiting all these years. He picked her himself. She was riddled with separation anxiety from being taken back to the pound two times within her six months of life.

My dad recounted the day he took my brother to the pound to look for a dog.

“There were dogs who were smiling and wagging their tails,” he said. “Bella was shaking like a leaf. I think your brother has a hero complex.”

The day after Christmas in 2021, we adopted a pit bull and named her Winnie. I look back to the days when I would go to my friend’s house and have to ask them to put their dog in a different room, and now I have the “scariest” dog breed.

My mom perhaps had the most growth. As the militant cat person she is was the parent who didn’t really want the dogs, and is now obsessed with them. She bathes them with a loofahs, buys them memory foam dog beds and cooks them a special meal every holiday. And we always have sweet potato on standby if they are every irregular. I have taken a long departure from my former self. I now constantly show people pictures of my dogs, talk about them or answer facetimes with the closest dog to me. And perhaps worse of all, I am now the person who always assures people to “not worry, she’s friendly.”

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