Here's the thing...I'm slightly terrified of dogs. Big ones, barking ones, nice ones, dogs on leashes, cute ones, little ones...especially the little ones. I don't know why, but it's been for as long as I can remember. I felt vindicated several years ago when my aunt Martha sent me an excerpt from my mom's journal that read something like, "Allison wouldn't go to Iris's today because of the dog." So something must have happened when I was a tiny babe that scarred me for life. No idea what that something was, but it must have been terrifying, right?
But let me just tell you, curling up in fear in front of a dog lover and their four legged friend is like telling a parent you think their kid is hideous. So I feel like I have to defend myself to said dog lover and declare that I don't hate dogs (like my husband would lead you to believe). I care about dogs' feelings. I don't wish ill will on any cuddly little pup. But I just want them to stay far enough away that they won't jump on me, I can't hear them bark, and they'll never be close enough to lick me. Is that too much to ask??
But here's the truth...I don't like being afraid of dogs. I hate being that girl who won't go to a friend's because there's a dog there. And I really really don't want my daughter to be that girl either. So I'm sucking up my fear this week so that I don't pass it along to my daughter. Because when you're living with an adorable Golden named Atticus for a week, it's inevitable, he's gonna be too close for comfort at some point. So what's a good mom to do? I put on a brave face for my daughter.
And apparently my little act is working. Harper loves Atticus.
He took a little getting used to though. She started a few feet away. Then would slowly crawl a little closer. Then a little bit closer still. Until she was right under him.
And now she just sits there while he licks her all over...her hands, her feet, her face. I cringe every time. Not because I fear he's going to do something to her...but because I don't want him coming over to me and licking my face. That's just crazy.
She follows him everywhere he goes. They are new best friends.
So here's my plan for five or ten years down the road when Harper asks for a dog: stand my ground. It's never going to happen. But we can go see cousin Donevan and Atticus. It'll be great. She can play with the dog. And I can play with my best friend, my sister. It's a win-win.