If you saw me with my dog Lotus today, you would never guess that I used to be terrified of dogs.
Actually, terrified is an understatement. Ever since I can remember, I had a deep phobia of pretty much all animals. Cats freaked me out and rodents made me squirm. Birds and reptiles … forget it. Fish were the least offensive, but I still shied away at the thought of touching one.
More than anything, my boyfriend Sung wanted to get a dog. It was all he talked about at the beginning of the pandemic. Apparently shelters were set to run out of animals any moment because everyone wanted to shelter in place with a newly adopted pet.
“Later, later,” I kept telling him. Privately, I thought, “are you nuts? How can we be responsible for a dog when we barely know what we’re doing with our own lives?”