The trauma of being afraid is not something any of us wants to experience. It is even more devastating when someone we love is confronting it. Almost from the very first moment I was held by James in his arms, he sensed that I was suffering from fear. It takes someone who loves you to recognize it and to want to tackle it immediately.
After rinsing me off due to the accident I had in the crate, James put me on the ground and I stood frozen in place. Everything around me was new. Well, not the grass and dirt and such, but the buildings and large stones, the asphalt driveway and the four people all standing around me expecting me to perform. James said I had stage fright, but it was more than that.
The Doberman who shared the fenced in area I was allowed to play in had put the fear of life in me. I was worried that at any moment he would come charging out from behind the stones or people and attack me. Another thing I was concerned about was whether or not the stones and people themselves would assault me. If it wasn’t the Doberman, it was the breeder’s daughters who were popping me on the nose and top of my head. I simply wanted someone to love me.
James realized I was nervous, so he picked me up and nuzzled me. It took me a little while, but soon I was smothering his face with kisses. Here was someone I might be able to trust. After all, when he put me back down, he had some food for me to eat. I was starving, but wasn’t sure I should eat, so, again, I simply stood there.
It was then that James reclined on the ground next to me. Instead of popping me on the top of my head he rubbed it gently, speaking so sweet and nicely to me. I so wanted to trust him, but wasn’t sure I should. Slowly I began to move, tentative at first. Everyone was calling for me to come to them, but I didn’t know to whom I should go. As such, I went back to James who kissed me some more. I was starting to believe I could, after all, trust him. There were so many new things, and with James by my side I felt confident that he would protect me should any of them come after me.
Once the breeder had left, I felt better. I knew then that I was not going back to the fenced in yard with the mean Doberman. However, there were many things in my new home environment that caused me to hesitate. James wrote a poem about some of them, and how he was determined to help me overcome my fears. We wanted to share it with you. It’s a little embarrassing that I was once afraid of a white rock, but I’d never seen one that color, and it was nearly the same size a me – well, at the time. I’m much larger now.
I hope you enjoy the poem.
in our travels you will encounter frightening objects
some surprisingly others understandably
a round white stone the size of your head
gives you pause while shying away
the black cover over a buried propane tank
causes you to cower around it
a yellow pipe protruding from the ground
slows your gait
it’s my responsibility to calm your fears
as you huddle at my feet or scurry to be close
a lawnmower’s noise
makes you bark at its approach
the squawks of geese flying overhead
startle and you duck
a tractor approaching
creates distress as your ears move back
don’t permit apprehensions to stand in your way
like an unseen force field obstructing progress
a loud engine of a low flying plane
has you crouching
the haying equipment idling in the field
prompts you to slink away
a clap of thunder after a trigger of lightening
strikes fear in your heart
for alarms can bring their own type of reward
like discovering the one approaching is a friend
a stone and covering and pipe
may briefly produce hesitations
the lawnmower and geese and tractor
may for a while continue to startle
a loud engine and haying equipment and clap of thunder
may be wise to avoid
it’s logical being leery of the unknown at ten weeks
but I will help smooth the way for there is much to absorb
as I will always be by your side my adorable Ollie
Today I’m rarely afraid of anything. Nothing seems to bother me when I’m playing with my friends, as they seem to distract me. Nonetheless, I am still hesitant at times when James and I go to a new place. Being on my guard isn’t a bad thing. James told me that. He’s a good Daddy – and love him so much. (Scored a treat! Hum, only one this post. I’ll have to work harder in the next update.)
We hope you’ve liked this story and poem. In two weeks I’ll tell you how I handled the leash as a puppy. We hope you’ll stay tuned and read it and the others to follow.
Also, please let us know what you think of these stories and the poems James wrote. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a comment about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)