Monday, March 26, 2012

CH80: Primal Fears

My fear of dogs has been heightened since coming here in Singapore. Backtracking a bit, the root of this fear I think stems from two incidents that happened when I was younger.

1. While my friends from Mandaluyong (yes, we used to live in Mandaluyong before we moved to QC) and I were playing in the Building 2 yard (the compound had 5 buildings and we lived in Building 2), the dog from the second floor was loose then. We were playing 'siato' if I remember correctly. The 'taya' who chased the 'pato' didnt see the dog and accidentally hit it during his run to the pato. Naturally, the dog got angry and chased him. He got bit on the ass. Luckily one of the owners of the dog was playing with us so, the dog didnt get to do much damage.

2. 7-11 used to be a big thing when I was younger. When one 7-11 opened along Boni Avenue, my bestfriend and I frequented the place for an afternoon snack - comprised of a slurpy and the hotdog sandwich combo they sold there. One time when we were walking back home, from afar I already saw a dog that was looking staring at us with mad intent. I shrugged it off since the dog was on its leash with the owner holding on. When we got close, the dog looked hungry. When we were about several feet away, the dog suddenly started barking and when my bestfriend and I looked back, it got loose from its owner and was after us. Or rather it was after my bestfriend who was thinner. The owner managed to grab the dog across the street where my friend ran off to. It's quite funny that it took me several seconds to realize I wasnt being chased and my friend went a different way - and I had time to marvel at the thought that my friend was chased because he was skeletal thin.

The fear of dogs subsided thoroughly when we owned our own dog - Gringo.

I miss that dog. He died because he was audacious and fierce. He tried to fight against a cornered bullfrog (or maybe a toad) - and he got piss-poisoned (based on what I read). Since my mom and I didn't know doggy first aid, we didn't get to bring our dog to the vet in time. FYI, you just had to rinse off the tongue as first aid to remove the poison. It's so sad that it happened with Tonton (Gringo's son) watching the whole time. Time out. Moving on - that's a very sad memory.

SO, yes, owning a dog helped me overcome my fear to a substantial amount that I remember being able to pet dogs (with owners) I see walking by me. But one morning on my way to work here in Singapore..

You see, imagine a letter T. The line at the top of the T is the driveway, and the vertical line of the T is the pathway to the condominium's elevators. So, yes there's a major blind spot. And one faithful morning on my way to work, with the headphones on, as I was approaching the intersection of the garage and the elevator path, a doberman suddenly leaped towards me! So close like it was 2 feet away all snarling - fangs showing. Apparently, it was shocked like I was thus - the defensive reaction. Thank God the owner was alert enough to hang on to the leash. Ever since that morning, I try to veer away from walking towards a person with a big dog. Even small dogs elicit some fear.

The question then is - is fear something that you overcome completely? Or is it something that just stays hidden - dormant - until its next awakening?

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