This post is for prompt 21 at mindlovemisery. The subject is My Story and we are to answer a question of our choosing. I’m asking, “From where does my love/hate response come?”
READER WARNING - The link at the end of this piece does not go to a happy place so beware.
I had a dog. I’m not referring to the dog I have now; not the dog in the picture above. I’m talking about a dog I had as a young child when we lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina where my brother was born. This was during the time when I was still unbroken, still whole, still my genuine self.
I don’t remember this dog. I don’t know her name. What I know of her comes from brief stories my parents told me about her. She was a Cocker Spaniel. I’m guessing this is why I think this breed is so cute and happy. When I see one of these dogs, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling that I find disproportionate to the current moment and quite disconcerting.
At four, I would burst through the front door, knocking into my dog so that she would tumble away from me across the floor. Laughing, I’d chase her, scoop her close to my little body and hug her tight. We’d sit together in mutual, innocent joy.
Most dogs make me uncomfortable. During this same time period, one of our neighbors had a German Sheppard. I remember it being so much bigger than me. It looms in my memory as an all consuming monster; a Cerberus in my nightmares. It rose up, put a paw on each of my shoulders, sniffed my face then bit me on the cheek. Large dogs always get my blood pumping and my adrenaline flowing from fear.
So, like most things for me, dogs are part of the ongoing push-me-pull-me relationship I have life’s experiences.
My parents got rid of my dog when my father’s orders sent him to Germany. My mother, brother and I followed him to Frankfurt where I lost myself.