Basically, its not so much that I don't like dogs, its that I'm afraid of dogs. Like most fears, telling me I shouldn't be afraid serves no purpose. Take my brother-in-law's dog, for example. He's a big dog. He herds cows. He's also a nice, well-trained dog. I've been around this dog on many occasions, as has Meg, and the dog has never behaved aggressively towards either of us. The dog has never hurt anyone, that I know of. But I'm TERRIFIED of him. He's big, energetic, jumpy, overly excited, and he scares the heck out of me.
|He IS a good-looking dog, though.|
|Evidence of the head butting.|
My sister-in-law has TWO dogs. A little dog who once tried to bite my husband, so was banned from being around the kids. Since my husband doesn't like her, I'm off the hook and am not required to try to like her either.
She also has big dog who was rescued from an abusive situation and therefore was orginally scared of all people. This worked well, because since I was afraid of him and he was afraid of me, we never got anywhere near eachother. He slowly grew to trust almost no one wants to hurt him and I slowly grew to trust he wouldn't hurt me. He's a pretty mellow dog and doesn't bother me on his own.
My husband hates it when I act scared of the dogs. He thinks it shows I don't trust the dog owners and/or thinks its rude to be uncomfortable when others are doing everything they can to be hospitable. I DO trust the dog owners and don't want to be rude, so I always try to pretend I'm not scared. But I am. I don't know what to do. I can handle, even like, individual dogs. But its unrealistic to tell me I SHOULD like dogs or that I shouldn't be uncomfortable around multiple dogs. I dread visits when I know there will be more than 1 dog around.
There's really nothing to be done about it. I certainly don't want to tell people to not bring their dogs over. When everyone is there, there are 7 adults, 6 of whom like dogs and it would be ridiculous for the one who doesn't (ME) to get her way over everybody else. Also, Meg loves the dogs and I want to encourage that. I guess just wish I didn't have to pretend. It's not like I'm fooling anyone. I'm fairly certain the whole family can tell I don't like dogs. They know I'm a cat person. They don't hold it against me. I truly don't want to make people uncomfortable, though, AND I don't want the kids to pick up on my fear and be scared themselves, so I guess I have to keep on pretending forever. Even if everyone can tell I'm pretending.