All my life I have been avoiding dogs. Until now.
This is a though one to answer in a few words. I grew up on farm land, when I was 5 years old we moved to a little village called Ermelo in The Netherlands. We went to school in the city, played outside and watch tv on Wednesday afternoons. And we had a paper round, most of us anyway at the age of 10 and I had the Church News, a weekly.
At the far end of my paper round at the perimeter of the vast meadows stretching as far as Amersfoort there was a house with a mean, malicious Belgian Malinois and this evil creature had a thing for children, chasing us, barking madly and trying to bite us all the time. And it scared the living daylight out of me. Of course this dog could smell fear from a mile distance, so he had it in especially for me.
But one day it was all quiet and I felt relieved the Evil Beast was gone. At least, I thought it was. The minute I carefully approached the letterbox he came running around the corner to me with red mist in his eyes and he began attacking, biting me in my left upper leg, briskly shaking and digging his fangs deep into my thigh. Blood ran through my torn trousers and a hellish pain spread through the muscles of my upper left leg. The owner came running outside and took its jaws from my leg with his bare hands and I started crying.
Once calmed down he rang for a doctor and the doctor came and took care of the wounds and gave me a nasty Tetanus jab in my buttock. All the time that wild dog was still barking like mad from the kitchen where the owner had locked it in. But it wasn’t finished then. The doctor, alarmed by the call had called the police before he came to take care of my wounds and when the police came they told the owner this wasn’t the first time and they had to shoot the dog. The doctor took me in his car back to my parents and informed them about the incident. The dog was shot that same afternoon at the square behind the Police Station and a police officer rang up my parents to inform them.
These were of course different times and I would say they will go about this differently nowadays but back in the early eighties of the last century this is what happened in these cases. And I can tell you it was a very, very traumatic experience for me and it made me afraid of dogs the rest of my life although later in life til now it wasn’t too bad, I could pet a dog even a big one but I was always wary when it came to shepherds and similar large dogs.
Back to the here and now. Our son had been asking for a dog for three years now and since we already had my big sisters’ dog over for dog sitting regularly, I was already used to being close to one on more than one occasion but still I didn’t want to hear about it because of the experience I described here. And I kept saying no. And then friends of ours announced their dog would be mum soon and since it was the sweetest dog in the world I yielded when Joris once more asked me if we could get a dog, backed by his mother of course. Not able to withstand the begging anymore I gave in and once the 11 (!) Puppies were born and a few weeks old we were invited to come and have a look.
So on a Saturday in Spring 2023 I sat there on the couch at a friend’s house, surrounded by 11 squealing living creatures, all furry and cute and I just couldn’t resist anymore. And then the one in this video came crawling towards me, wearing an orange collar and I just melted so I said to Christa and Joris, it’s ok now, choose this one and it’s ok. I’m not afraid of dogs anymore. All my life I have been avoiding dogs. Until now.
This is me, Leendert. I am a bit old-fashioned and like things that have been, for example old English series on TV like All Creatures Great And Small, mechanical watches and clocks, bifocal glasses and old vinyl records. I don’t like modern things and regularly work on a vintage model railway. I am Eccentric, you can probably find me in the kitchen at parties. And I’m a Dog Lover now.