Going to The Dogs Got Rid of My Daughter’s Night Terrors

By Estelle Erasmus

When my daughter was barely a toddler we had an incident happen right by her preschool when a strange dog jumped into the back seat of our car and panted in front of my child. I wrote the story of how I worked to overcome her fears (and mine) via creating a doggie bootcamp and was proud to see it published in The Stir Journal. My only issue: I think the title they used was a little too technical and lost some of the heart of the story. Here it is, judge for yourself.

“Get out of my car!”

A huge dog had just leaped into the back seat of my SUV and was hovering over my three-year-old daughter, who was securely fastened in her car seat. The dog ignored me. He panted and wagged his tail so hard that it hit me. He began to sniff my daughter all over.

“Honey, don’t move too much. We don’t know this doggie,” I said as I tried to figure out the best way to get this strange dog away from my child.

“Okay, Mommy, but I’m scared.”

Luckily, my daughter was stoic in nature, like her father.

I noticed the dog’s short, black and brown fur, long ears, and large canines. My toddler strained upwards in her car seat, trapped and helpless should the dog attack.

A few minutes earlier we had driven up to my daughter’s preschool for a lunchtime Mother’s Day party. I parked, opened the door, and the dog jumped over me and into the back seat. Now his mouth was open, and his lolling pink tongue and big teeth were way too close to my daughter.

As a child I was fearless around dogs, my mother told me, until I started reading about people who were mauled by their canine companions. My overly active imagination filled in the rest, and I started avoiding any dog in my path. As a mother, I was fairly successful at keeping my fears contained when I was around my daughter. I’d simply say to dog owners, “I’m not a dog person. Please keep him away from me.”

This particular dog, drooling over my daughter, didn’t seem inclined to attack, but he was big, unknown, and scaring my child. I wanted him out of the car. The dog left so much hair in the car. My friend told me that a roomba review pet hair cleaner could help me figure out how to clean my car effectively after this ordeal.

“Get out!” I shrieked.

The dog yelped loudly once, and then continued barking in short, deep reverberations, getting more excited by the moment.

“Mommy, help me. Stop!” My daughter raised her hand to push the dog away.

Read more of my article at Stir Journal

puppy picture