Doc took me the Veterinarian the other day for a routine check up. While we were waiting, the door opened and a handsome looking dog named Duke walked into the waiting room along with his female human. I was surprised when I noticed that the poor dog was shaking all over and heading for the door. Curious, I went over to find out what was wrong and to try to calm him down. When I asked him why he was trying to get out the door, he replied “I’m agoraphobic.”
I had never heard of such a thing, so I tried to be as casual as possible when I asked him to explain. Duke said ” I am afraid of leaving the house. There are loud noises, scary people, strange things hiding behind doors, cars, sirens and things that go bump in the night.” Duke went on and on about all the things he was afraid of and told me he spends most of the day in his dog bed where he feels safe. When he finally finished reciting his list of fears he asked me, “Aren’t you afraid of anything Grover?” I thought for a moment and replied, ” I don’t like it when the neighbor puts up his eight foot air filled OSU Brutus the Buckeye Mascot, but I just growl at it and it leaves me alone, other than that, I’m good.” Duke looked at me like he was concerned for my safety. Just then, the Veterinarian came out and they had to drag Duke back to the office. The poor guy looked like he was going to puke.
Doc was watching the whole thing and shaking her head. “That poor dog.” she said. She told me humans suffer from lots of fears as well, but it’s important not to let your fear control you. I thought about what Doc said and remembered that when I was afraid as a puppy, she would gently help me to face my fear by confronting it. So, I decided that when Duke came back out to the waiting room I would talk to him about the importance of confronting his fears head on. While I was mulling all this over, the door to the exam room opened and Duke was being carried out by the doctor and his owner. The poor guy had fainted. So much for an intervention.