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Have you ever been nervous about seeing a new animal? Just like any new experience, you could be unsure if you'll like it, if you'll learn quickly, or if you end up having fun. I have always been apprehensive around animals, especially dogs.
Throughout my life, I've been around at least eight dogs for a reasonably long period, and they've all given me some anxiety. Whether it was:
- Buster, our yellow lab we had when I was five-years-old, who was larger than me at the time; would get excited around me and I'd fall over due to him jumping on me. Not exactly his fault—he just loved me and wanted to play. Nonetheless, this caused me to be scared of big or excited dogs. Which is very irrational, I might add.
- Or our half-Shih Tzu half-Pekingese, Tasha, who scratched my back when I was seven-years-old and trying to play "cat and dog" with her. Let's just say she was getting annoyed with me, so she lashed out. I guess I'm a stubborn person since I kept a grudge against her the rest of her life. My older sister, Kassie, picked her; Tasha's always had a year on me, and we had her a year before I was born. I was never mean to her; I just never enjoyed my time around her. She was a good dog, besides that scratch.
- Or even our dog Rosey, whom we've had since I was 12-years-old, who's gotten into multiple dogfights. I've also had to try to break up a bloody dogfight between her and another one of our dogs, Buddy, a boxer, in the kitchen of our home. I got light bite marks up and down my forearms because I was trying to tear them from each other's throats. Don't hold your breath—they both ended up being okay. Though Buddy did have a puncture on his breast/chest area, and I found myself crying, pressing wadded paper towels to his wound. "I'm sorry, Buddy! I'm sorry!" I had nothing to be sorry for. I was only 15, was home alone, and Rosey was supposed to be in her fenced-in pen in the backyard. She somehow found a way out and got inside through the doggie door, nose to nose with Buddy in the kitchen, just after I finished washing the green grapes. Let's just say being a scratched up mediator wasn't something I wanted to do that day.
I’ve had a similar experience with a cat when I was very young, just like my story with Tasha. Except I wasn’t trying to play a game—I was just trying to pet the cat. I didn’t know you shouldn’t try to pat a cat’s face— a good note to tell kids in the future, because I had no idea.
Anyway, the more they told me that I was a cat person, the more I started to think, “Well? Am I?” Aside from that cat encounter when I was very young, I’ve never been around other cats, apart from the big cats at the zoo. Then I started to think about it; I’m a calm person who prefers friendly, docile people and animals. As far as I know, from the movies, TV shows (and anime), and viral videos I’ve seen with cats in it, cats can be easy to take care of, they don’t need tons of love and attention, and they’re mysterious. I soon became accustomed to believing that I’m a cat person, who would be welcoming of having a cat in her life, hough who has also always wanted to be a dog person since she was young because everyone else in her life was a dog person, and she has always had dogs in her life, though she has never liked them too much. But she wanted to.
I apologize for writing into the third person; I find it amusing to dramatize my problems.
Anyway, a little more than a month ago, my boyfriend and I got our first puppy. Iroh is a little more than three-months-old and is a mostly black-haired Border Collie Poodle mix. And yes, the name is from Uncle General Iroh of the Fire Nation, from the Nickelodeon cartoon, Avatar: The Last Airbender. My older sister and many other people told me after we announced that we were getting this breed of dog that he’s going to be very active and need lots of exercises outside. My boyfriend convinced me to agree to get him a few weeks before we drove four hours to pick him up by telling me, “For some reason, when these two breeds are mixed, the resulting puppy ends up being less wild and easier to handle.”
Yes, my bond to Iroh is growing and gentle. My boyfriend’s bond with him is growing and also a little more out of fear; he’s a little bit of a hot-head, though I will always desire the idea of having a cat. I might get a little kitten one day; I don’t know the future.
Now I’m a dog mom, but I want to be a cat mom. I used to think I was a just a sad cat person, who wants to be a dog person. Wow, I like to make things difficult for myself.
Moral of the story: Don’t let people push you around and do things you want to try, or else you’ll regret it.
I’m still hoping I’ll learn my own moral of this story!
P.S: If you'd like to see what Iroh looks like, you can check out my other story, "What I Wish I Knew Before Getting Our First Puppy." He's right at the top! :)