Saturday, August 16, 2008
Fear of Dogs
Almost everyone that's been around Layton for more than say...2 minutes knows that he is very afraid of dogs. I don't know what to do about this, but it's getting pretty ridiculous! Everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, we go Layton asks about a million times if there's going to be a dog there. Church, Wal-Mart, friends' houses, outside, anywhere! Today we went to a birthday party, and I couldn't tell him for sure if there was a dog or not, and he came as close to a panic attack as I have ever seen him. As we were getting closer to the house, he told me I was driving too fast, that he needed to use the bathroom, that he wanted to go home, that the little boy was mean to him; he was trying whatever he could think of to get me to turn around. When we got there the little boy's mom was standing outside, and I asked her if they had a dog, and she said no. You would think that would be the end of it, but no. He still stuck right by my side for the beginning of the pary until he was fairly certain there was definitely not a dog in the house. We also think that's why he won't sleep in his bed. He says that there's a dog. I guess he could have heard a dog bark outside sometime; I'm not sure. I really think his fear is getting worse. I know there's no reasoning with him. He can even self-talk and convince himself that he likes dogs; he's done that with my sister's dog. He'll tell himself that Luke's nice and a good dog and won't hurt him, but then when we pull in my sister's driveway, he goes crazy and we have to carry him in the house. He can't play outside over there even though they have an awesome swingset and a good driveway for bike-riding. He won't play outside over here because he thinks a dog might come up. We have to force him to go outside and play, and then we usually just end up getting on to him the whole time because he's glued to our legs. I have no idea what to do. I don't want this fear to get in the way of him enjoying his childhood. There are going to be dogs around. They will be at the park, at ballgames, at my sister's house, at our friends' houses. He's going to have to learn to cope. But on the other hand, I know this fear! I had it too when I was little. I actually saw my friend get attacked by a dog. I'm still not comfortable around dogs, or any animal for that matter, but I don't crawl up whoever is standing next to me to get away from them. My parents got a dog for me to help me with my fear. That didn't really help. I wasn't afraid of my dog, but I was still afraid of all other dogs. I'm at a loss.