4 years old
I remember my mom let me walk to our only neighbour by myself. I had a doll (I think it had red ringlets) and she was in a toy stroller. I walked to the end of the road where the neighbours lived. I was greeted by their large German Shepherd. It “attacked” me, knocking me to the ground. It was much bigger than me. I think I knew it wasn’t trying to hurt me, but I knew that it could. I was scared.
It was mauling me, rolling me around on the ground, pawing at me with its claws and nipping at me. I remember the futility of fighting back, but doing it anyway. I remember grabbing whatever I could from the ground–clumps of grass, pebbles–and trying to throw it away from me so the dog would get distracted. It didn’t work.
Eventually I heard shouts from the porch of the house and the dog was gone. They brought me inside. I don’t remember what happened after that, but I ended up with two horizontal tear drop scars, one under each eye. I remember, not too long after this incident, they put the dog down. I think I felt guilty because I thought it was because of me. I was told at some point that it was more because it was chasing their cattle.
This was one of my first experiences with a dog. It surprises me a little that I grew up to love them so much. But the sound of a dog barking at me still causes my heart to pound. Not sure if it’s from my experience, or related to my sensitivity to noise and anxiety.
My therapist suggested I start a chronology of childhood memories, because mine seem to be so scattered and hard to reach. This seemed a daunting task. But I’ve been working on it. I’m going to post some of them here in hopes that it will motivate me to continue with it.
*Image found on Deviant Art by grr9