Every time I walk past a certain house, I'm almost always startled by a large German Shepherd that suddenly appears and barks loudly and threateningly at me. I've never made any threatening motions to him, though I freely admit telling him to shut it. Now I understand that the dog is protecting his territory and of course will bark at anyone or anything moving past his territory.
In seconds, I lose my fear and become calm.
It wasn't always that way though. I used to have a love/hate relationship with dogs. The love part came easily for me. I loved animals to begin with and dogs were no exception. One of my uncles used to own a large Dalmatian that I longed to pet, but never got the chance. Then there was a black mutt named Petey that my grandpa owned. Petey barked fiercely at just about anyone, except maybe for my grandpa. When I used to approach Petey, the dog clearly went nuts and barked loudly as he moved towards me.
Years later, I took a shortcut through a block-wide city park and saw a guy walking his dog. That was fine. Then the guy noticed how scared I looked and said confidently, don't worry, he won't bother you.
The dog somehow got away from the guy, ran to me and nipped the calf of my leg. Fortunately, I was wearing jeans and the bite turned out to be far less serious than I thought. Of course, I was taken to the clinic, received treatment and was allowed to go home. The bite subsequently healed and that was that, pretty much.
But somehow, I never forgot. Even now, I tend to shy away from large dogs out of fear. Though I know better, I have a hard time losing fear of larger dogs.
Life is hard
3 years ago