Saturday, July 7, 2018

Fear of dogs.

When you came in, this problem was barking like a dog. It looked like one and behaved like one, too. A few tests later, it was confirmed to be just that. A dog.

Albeit not a very nice or well-behaved one.

This is the kind of dog that requires the help of expert dog tamers. And we have very good ones who stepped right in and made recommendations. Special tricks to acquiesce the gnashing teeth of this dog.

They say what to do and we do it. I am only the middleman. And you feel fine, mostly. So I come in to see you, do what the experts suggest, and not very much more. Which can sometimes be how it is with exotic breeds like yours.

“Has everything been explained to you?” I ask.

“It has,” you reply. I confirm by pressing you a bit with questions. Your understanding is accurate. Your exam unchanged. There is nothing to do.

“I was so scared I wouldn’t see you by yourself today,” you say. “Outside the team rounds.”
“I’m here,” I say. "I'm back, okay?"
You smile and your dry lips crack. “I'm glad.” The look on your face makes me feel glad, too.

And so. I sit beside you and lay my hand before yours. You reach for it and close your fingers. And then we just sit and hold hands. I listen to your thoughts. Hear about what makes you afraid. We talk about how you are scared of dogs. Real ones and metaphorical ones, too.

I'm not the dog whisperer and no, I don’t have all the answers. And, yes, I'll admit that I have fears of lions and tigers and bears—and, just like you, those cancer rabid dogs, too. But what I also know is this: Even though I’m not the expert, I am brave enough to hold your hand and face them with you. I am.

Or to at least show up and try.



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