All of my life, while I have always liked dogs... but, I would never really call myself a "Dog Person".
My fear of the "pit bull" breed bordered on irrational and there was nothing that any one could say that would change that feeling. No amount of sweet loving pets that I met in that breed class would calm my panic.
That is... until this guy showed up on my front porch. He was a 2-3 year old blue nose Pitt... he was covered in open wounds, dehydrated, and extremely malnourished. Without a moments hesitation I brought him inside the house, gave him water and food. I contacted my sister about his wounds and asked what she suggested to heal them and to make him comfortable. We talked to some more people that suggested he may have been used as a bait dog for dog fighting and then dumped in the neighborhood. My heart broke for this dog. Later that afternoon, I took him into the backyard to bathe him. As soon as he saw the water coming out of the hose, his eyes lit up and he immediately turned into a giant, albeit ridiculously strong baby!
He jumped, barked, and ran around... I laughed deep belly laughs, the kind that can heal the deepest of wounds to the soul, and at the end of bath time - I was soaked. Tears streaming down my face, cheeks aching, pains in my sides... oh and thanks to having so many kids in such a short amount of time - I had peed my pants! I threw myself down to sit on the ground still laughing so hard I could barely breathe, and this dog - from a breed I was terrified of - decided that climbing into my lap and licking my whole face was exactly what I needed. He was right! I threw my arms around him and hugged him tightly.
Later that evening, while sitting on the couch, he jumped up and snuggled into me, resting his head on my legs, looking up at me with nothing but love in those brownish/yellow eyes... 2 years later - Sir Charles the Brave - has a forever spot on the couch, snuggled up with me!
In the days that followed I jokingly said, the universe has a sick sense of humor... of course the breed of dog that I am irrationally afraid of would be the dog that attached himself to ME.
He was my first lesson in telling my fears that they no longer controlled me! I wrote a list of things that I had developed fears of over the years and set out to conquer them all. Heights, confined spaces, elevators, being alone, succeeding in business, being the real me... Every night, Charlie and I discuss our day. What dragons we slayed. What did we win and more importantly what we failed at. Every morning we begin with love and silliness.
Charlie has taught me more than I could ever imagine... but here are my favorites... 1. You can be strong AND vulnerable at the same time - LOVE is the connector between the two 2. There is ALWAYS room for snacks 3. ALWAYS make time for silliness and fun first thing in the morning 4. Fear is a fucking liar! What are you currently afraid of? What irrational fear is holding you back?