Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Face" Your Fears


When I was a wee lesbian of four, my older wiser five year old friend, Satan, dared me to pet a neighborhood stray dog that was busily eating a bone. It was a black retriever mix, and we had always had dogs and I had no reason to fear this one. I reached my hand out toward the dog, and faster than you could say "years of therapy" that dog was attached to my face, by it's teeth. To my bottom lip to be exact, and it did not want to let go. I thought to myself, what should a four-year-old do in the situation? So I let out a blood-curdling scream. Kimmy, the evil five year-old ran towards my house, yelling for my mom. We were in the neighbors yard raiding his rhubarb prior to the dare.

My mom came running out in her robe with her hair up in curlers, swinging a broom, and bellowing some kind of sadistic war cry as she pummeled the animal into releasing me and getting the hell out of Dodge. I could not have been more embarrassed, but since I was in dyer need of saving, I decided not to make a big deal out of it at the time. She ran to the Kimmy's house with me in her arms. I had hopes of revenge in my tear filled eyes, but instead a wet wash cloth was jammed into my mouth, and Kimmy's Dad was frantically driving us somewhere while my mother said things like, "What happened? No, don't talk!" We got turned away from a couple places before finding a doctor willing to stitch me up. Even then, doctors were afraid of law suits and facial stitchery was a dangerous area for them.

I told you that so I could tell you this. I love animals, I've always had dogs and would risk my life to save one, even one I don't know, but if a dog is acting aggressively towards me, I get scared.

When I was in high school I had a friend named Sally. Sally was cool, she played the guitar, she was gay, in fact you could say she was the Melissa Etheridge of our neighborhood. She had a dog. A large German Shepard named Bear. Bear was always on a chain in the side yard. Every time a group of us would walk past Bear, everyone would greet him, "Hi Bear." they'd all say walking by while he sat and watched the line of girls pass, but when it was my turn, the phrase wouldn't even be halfway out of my mouth, and he'd spring at me, held back by the chain, straining and growling and barking at me. I did not know what I'd done to offend him, but thanked the heavens for that chain.

One day I went to see Sally. I arrived, and went to the front door to knock. I was standing there after knocking and peeked around the corner to get a visual of Bear. He was not there, but he had to be...I knocked again, no answer I turned to go down the stairs and who came trotting around the corner to greet me? You guessed it. Bear, unfettered and larger than life. The second I saw him, I felt the rush of adrenaline course through me. I must've been beet red. I said to myself, this is it, I'm going to die now. I decided since I was surely about to be eaten alive, I'd let him start with my hand, so I held it out... as an appetizer. Bear sniffed it rather than digging right in, and then licked it. Slowly, I sat down on the step and began to pet him. We became friends, he never growled and barked at me again, what the hell was that about anyway?

12 comments:

roro said...

Holy shit. You're a better woman than I - I'd be off dogs forever if one had attached itself to my face. Aaaaah!!!

RED MOJO said...

roro, I'd sooner be off women, and we all know that's not going to happen!

citizen of the world said...

I have a very large scar on my calf from a dog bite, soalthough I love dogs I also am very wary of ones I don't know. Just a couple of weeks ago, a woman in our ocunty was jogging and was attacked and badly mutilated by a pack of dogs whose owner allowed them to run free. Mostly intact males. I think the guy should serve time for it.

RED MOJO said...

cit, I agree, that should not be allowed to happen under any circumstances.

Baino said...

Crikey . . it's a wonder you weren't scarred for life! Some dogs just get it in their head that a particular person is to be the recipient of their wrath! Mind you, I'd be cranky and aggressive if held up by a chain!

RED MOJO said...

baino, I do have a scar!
I know you meant mentally...I don't have any idea why that dog seemed to hate me so much. I was just glad when he actually had the opportunity to devour me, he chose not to!

Slip said...

I had a neighbor with a husky mix dog that would chase me on my bike and bite what he could. Finally cured that beast. I beat him half to death with a night stick. After that I could not get him to leave his yard when I rode by.

I own dogs and it bugs the shit out of me when people hang them on chains just to say they own one.

Certain Magician said...

Did you two learn your lesson, and stop raiding the neighbor's rhubarb patch?

TheWeyrd1 said...

ya know it's pheromones don't ya...of the fear laden variety...cats hate me. AND then they rub all over me just to stake a claim when they otherwise would run from humans. I think they know I'm A.) allergic and B.) been bitten by a cat and have no desire to befriend them ever again. Damn cats. I like most dogs better...though I do have a dog bite scar on my leg. I have a CAR bite scar that's older on the opposite leg in the same area, so I'm evenly scarred...lol

RED MOJO said...

slip, you're in an ornery mood! First the mice, now this! Man!...where's that biting humor I've come to love and expect! Are you getting all serious on me?

cm, yup! never ate rhubarb again. I'm lying.

theweyrd1, Equally weary of dogs, cats and cars! Wow, at least you're fair. LOL

VE said...

I was walking my son in the stroller down the neighborhood when two full size Rotweilers came up the street and they looked like trouble. I froze and one of them came up and attacked me, biting my arm. I didn't move. They both took off down the road and I rode home arm dripping blood. I knew if I had done anything, I'd have risked my life or my sons. So yeah, I know the feeling...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What a horrible childhood experience.

I'm sure that Bear was reacting to your fear until you were able (forced) to make friends with him.

Sometimes the only way around our fears is through them. You have a lot of courage.

I have never been afraid of dogs, and I've been very lucky. I believe that most dogs that act vicious have been abused and that the average dog is far kinder than the average human.