Monday, July 13, 2009

Fear Factors!!

As I young child I entered 4-H in order to help conquer my fears.
I needed to train a young heifer for showmanship.
As a member of the Sumas 4-H club,
we entered our animals at the annual PNE Show.
What a highlight!

Showtime came.
It was my turn to show my animal...
After all I had trained the animal daily, for months on end.

Guess what? It was in Heat!!!
Meaning that the animal was experiencing physiological changes.
This meant a radical interruption to it's normal trained behavior.

It didn't take long and the calf was dragging me all over the ring.
The judge of course, had is eye on me,
to see how well I could manage the animal.

Finally, my Dad had to come out of the stands,
and grab the halter from me,
while I slumped away in embarrassment.
I had this enormous fear,
that it would jump right on top of me.

Anyways, last week I took a drive to my old farmstead.
The farm yard still looked identical. Nothing had changed.
I asked hubby to stop...just for a moment to grab some shots.
I jumped out of the truck,
took a few steps forward on the lawn and....

A hugh dog came running and leaping across the yard.
I felt I was his target!
I spun around and jumped into the truck.
Loud shrieks could be heard all over the place.
Fear chilled me to the bones.


The next day I was walking with a friend.
Guess what?
Two dogs come running out at us,
and be reassured, the screams were piercing.
I was imagining my legs being scarred forever,
the flesh of my calves being shredded apart by their sharp teeth.
Meanwhile my friend is smiling and getting a kick out of this.

Finally she shoos them back home.
Now, I finally had to confess to her,
that I, even though a farmers wife,
had a huge fear of animals, especially dogs.
Now, how were we going to come back?

I finally found a stick which would provide me with protection.

I can still see her chuckling....

As we turn about to go back,
I see the dogs dart out of the drive way.
All I'm thinking is...
Where is my cell?
I need to call 911!
She once again, stands by and makes sure the dog attacks her.
They were playful with her, jumping on her nice white hoodie.
Meanwhile I'm walking briskly down the road,
heart pumping way out of kilt...
thinking how foolish I was.

What is it about some things, that fear seems to get the best of us?

I checked on the internet in how to deal with fear,
It suggested to put yourself into an entirely helpless situation,
like skydiving....
Once you commit yourself, to undergo an activity like skydiving,
it becomes clear that the outcome is out of your hands.
That's quite an option!

I think in this case,
I'd rather walk with a close friend...
who can smile and laugh at my fears.

Over the last few days, I stumbled upon my 4-H Pledge.

"I Pledge,
My Head to clearer thinking,

My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to larger service,
My health to better living,
For my club, my community and my country."

Even after all these years my fearful, selfish actions,
obviously did not emulate the words of my 4-H Pledge!


  1. Oh Marg...I'm smiling! You may not lead the way when it comes to facing the dogs...but you inspire me in lots of other areas. Come to think of was you that got me into 4-H way back in junior high. It was not a sudden interest in Holstein cattle...but the thought of spending a week with you at the PNE...that had me joining the club. Things never turned out quite as planned!

    PS The white hoodie came clean.

  2. Having a daughter who is terrrified of dogs yet will jump out of airplane without a single quiver, I appreciate your fears. Plus I have a few friends with dog bites scars that were quite serious.

  3. It's okay, we love you anyway. You are so brave about so many other things.

    I have a fear when looking over the edge of something high. The thought of it just makes me sick.

  4. I think we all have our fears. My dd is still nervous around dogs after being attacked by one and ending up having a broken elbow. I loathe airplane rides. I've worked on conquering the fear of flying by 'just doing it' with some perameters like choosing certain seats in the plane and practicing breathing exercises. When all else fails, I pray and remind God that my life is really truly in His hands.

    Didn't Charlotte go to Greece with you? We made her stay home with Charles???

  5. I can just see the two of you. . .and I smiled with her. I am not terribly afraid of dogs. . .but we all have our fears don't we?
    I am terribly afraid of others falling off of ledges. . .I can stand there myself but I can't bear to watch someone else stand there. . .odd I know.
    I think it is wonderful how God gives us help in times of need. . .in your case. . it came in the form of Judy.

  6. It sounds like you and Judy had an exciting outing, Marg! I figured out it was her from her comment to you.

    I don't think I could skydive to teach myself to overcome my!

    My biggest fear is driving on fast expressways...I prefer to drive on slower streets.

  7. AnonymousJuly 13, 2009

    Thinking, loyalty, service, and living...all the targets of your pledge! OK, I know you and I think that in all of these things are are a "cut above" most people I know...and I have huge respect for what I see.

    In terms of your fears, we all have them I think. It is just that some are more obvious and problematic and some are more evident when there is an audience...but we can all name something...Congratulations on admitting yours and also having a sense of humor about it all.

    The cure? Not quite sure tackling the "biggest" is the "wisest" but please know that your friends will support you, care about the situation and always value who you are.


  8. I was never in 4-H but after reading the Pledge I think you certainly have lived up to the Pledge and are a great thinker who strives daily to live a better life and who cares for others. I think you are wise to be aware of animals who might potentially harm you - not all animals are raised to be kind. I carry mace and a cell phone when I walk since I had a negative encounter with a dog two years ago. I believe that all people fear 'something' ~ and hopefully develop strategies to deal with their fears. Take care - and Happy Belated Canada Day - I LOVE the flagpole and the flag!

  9. I so totally understand that fear Marg..I once got my jeans ripped at the ankles by a dog..I've had a fear of dogs since then.
    Sky diving would not help overcome my fear, just change it to something!

  10. I think we all have our dog story Marg. I couldn't help but chuckle, not because you were afraid but because I could relate.
    I don't know what instills fear in some and not in others. Fear and excitment come from the very same emotion just in opposite directions. I suspected that Judy was the friend. I am so glad that you have one in her.

  11. Marg, take heart - you are not the only one. Jerome, the Belgian young man we had here for night confessed to being afraid of dogs when Rick's dog came to welcome him this morning. He's bicycling across Canada - something I'd be very afraid of doing - so we all have our little fears. thankfully God understands our fears and loves us even more when we trust Him with them.

  12. Hi Marg, Thanks for stopping by my post 'A Potter's House." I also read your daughter's Christmas post... that was so beautiful and so true about parenting. I'm learning a lot of the same lessons this summer watching the robins nest in various places nearby.

    Your fear-factors post is great. All my life I've been afraid of dogs...the only one I could feel safe with was my aunt's old beagle, Rocky.
    I have two little shih tzus... and although they're small, they've taught me many things. I also LOVE the show 'Dog Whisperer.' A tame dog is okay for me now... I think an unleashed rushing dog would still be a problem for me!

    I LOVED participating in 4-H. All three of my kids went for years. Although we do not live on a farm, the best part of our county fair was being able to help the with the chickens & cows. I'll always remember those days with fondness.
    Sonshine with showers of Grace,

  13. Marg,I never would have guessed you had an unrational fear!
    But don't we all! I think most irrational fears stem from some childhood experience. When I was in grade 1, we had this very eerie echoing basement where there were these chain operated toilets. I was terrified down there and to this day when I get into an elevator with a button marked 'b' for basement, just looking at the button is enough the cause my heart to beat faster and my stomach to clench in fear. I am very careful not to press that button and hold my breath until I know the elevator door did not open by mistake on the basement floor.

  14. Take comfort in the fact that many people fear dogs. You are not strange.

    Just an extra opportunity to shift all trust to the Lord when you find yourself in a situation.

    Just like your friends have are brave about a lot of other things!


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