We do not have pets except for two gold fish and twelve geese. We can’t have a cat in the house because Doug is allergic to cats. We might keep a dog, a medium sized dog, maybe some time in the future.

For now, I don’t think we can have any pets of the four legged kind.

Denice has a big fear of animals. She has always been a fearful child and I do not think her fear of cats and dogs has anything to do with any bad experiences with the animals.

But the strange thing though, once we stopped to watch our neighbor’s horse, and she said she’d like to ride the horse. She does not seem to be afraid of horses or mules. She has taken a ride on her aunt’s donkey with daddy sitting with her on the donkey. She wasn’t afraid.

But she is very afraid of cats and dogs. She will jump on a chair or table if she sees a cat and cry in fear. If she sees a dog even if the dog is on a leash quite a distance away from her, she will cling to daddy’s legs and ask to be picked up. She refuses to enter a friend’s house because this friend has to two dogs, unless assurances are made that the dogs are outside in the back yard.

She’s afraid of the geese we have in our back yard too! We have a fenced area in the back yard so she can still play in that area without fear of the geese.

I don’t think her fear of dogs was helped when, during a visit to the grandparents, the cousin’s dog jumped on her! The poor girl was practically traumatized from that experience!

I don’t know how long it will be before she gets over that fear. Duncan has been asking for a cat, which I don’t think he’ll be likely to get any time soon. Maybe a rabbit?

Fear is a natural protective instinct in children, and as a child grows older certain fears will also lessen. We hope the same is true for Denice, and we are not pushing for her to get over her fears quickly. Let her get over her fears at her own pace.