Meet Dapple. She’s the sweetest, gentlest, most well behaved dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. She’s also terrified of everything. Here are some stories to help you understand. Please remember these are all true and not exaggerated in the slightest.
Around here, we sometimes are visited by Jehovah’s Witnesses. No big deal. They’ve always been nice and never caused any trouble.
On this particular day, a couple of them stopped by. Mom went to the door and was talking to them. During their conversation, Mom saw movement out of the corner of her eye. Dapple, minding her own business, was bee-boping down the sidewalk to the front of the house when she realized we had company.
She’s very friendly, but something about these visitors signaled danger in her mind. Maybe she envisioned them coming at her with knives or ransacking the house, looking for a dog to kill. Whatever the reason, she froze on the sidewalk. Ever so slowly, she started backing up, never taking her eyes off of them until she was safely around the corner.
She survived a close brush with death that day.
Dapple is an outdoor girl. On cool days, we like to give her something warm even though she loves cool weather. One day, we warmed up a piece of dry bread so it was barely warm to the touch. In other words, five to ten seconds or so. It was not hot. I repeat, it was not hot.
We went out and gave it to her (she loves any and all food). She took it gladly, but dropped it almost immediately and backed away from it. Nope, she wasn’t doing it. To get away, she made a wide loop around the bread as if it was going to sprout legs and chase after her. Even after it got cold, she wouldn’t touch it.
Eventually, a cat came along and ate it.
One sunny day I was inside and happened to glance out the window to see Dapple slinking along in the yard with her tail between her legs, looking behind her every few steps. It was like a monster was stalking her through our yard.
That concerned me, so I tried to find out what was scaring her, but I didn’t see anything. Then it hit me. She kept looking down at her shadow.
The poor thing was literally scared of her shadow.
She has a rough life.