37/52 – Fear
This little rescue dog of ours is inherently a fearful creature. But he’s come a long way in the past year. He barks less loudly, and for a lesser duration, when people come through our front door. He’s developed somewhat of a memory, so if you’ve met him more than 1 or 2 times, you may initially cause his anxiety to spike, but soon enough he’ll be comfortable enough to come to you for food or for a little pet. He might even venture to sit beside you and put his head in your lap.
Walking him in the neighbourhood remains a challenge. Little kids, women, bikes and skateboards no longer completely freak him out. He still requires a large berth when coming across a man on the sidewalk or anyone dressed in a uniform. And he hates when someone is walking behind him, so we patiently wait to let lots of people pass on by.
The dog is a creature of habit and he knows each family member’s preferred walking route by heart. Should you try to deviate, he’ll buck and pull you in the direction of home. He’s an outdoor dog, but his little anxious heart can only take so much walking on a leash. He’s exhausted when he gets home and it’s not because of the physical exertion of a 30 minute walk; he’s exhausted because he’s overstimulated and it takes all of his energy to keep it together while walking on a leash.
He still hasn’t managed to worm his way into my heart as our first dog did, but the Doodle is smitten by her pup and that’s enough for now. She regale listening ears on the playground with tales of her pooch. She tells us stories of him at the dinner table. She dons a cone of shame in solidarity and watches squirrels out of the front window.
Just a girl and her dog.