Dog Fears

It’s okay, I say quietly,
it’s only a plastic bag.
But he isn’t convinced,
goes to his bed.
Then I bring out the Hoover;
he rushes into the back room.
I massage his silky head
as he escapes into sleep,
whimpers his way to a safer place
until he fireworks begin and
he is at my feel all aquiver.
I tell him I understand the firework thing;
they make me nervous too.
I gently lift his ear, whisper,
(so the cats can’t hear)
I do understand you know,
how frightening life can be,
about courage, and how
it isn’t the absence of fear
but being brave enough to
walk through it anyway;
you are doing just fine.


48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cynthia Jobin
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 14:59:20

    A brilliant opening, Christine, irresistible to this reader….and brilliant that you never mention you are speaking to a dog, though of course we catch-on early in the poem. I like how you don’t imbue the dog with human meanings, yet you touch so movingly on something all of us animals have in common: fear. It’s beautiful; I just love it!

    (This coming Friday is our Independence Day—non-stop fireworks. Fortunately they don’t really bother my dog…but my sister’s dog will be having fits!)


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 09:18:11

      Thank you Cynthia! My brother-in-law’s dog used to have to take medication from the vet he was so frightened. I know all animals, including humans have a fight or flight response tucked away and mine used to kick in with panic attacks until I learned coping strategies; it can still bite me sometimes though. And I feel so sorry for my dog Jack when his kicks in because of a plastic bag being taken out of a drawer. He hasnt had, as far as I know, any apparent reason to be scared of these things,

      i miss taking him for walks but today I have my stubborn head on and I may try to hook him onto my mobility scooter and take him round the block. Im fed up of people not having time to practice this with me first, so if he pulls me off it then so be it! 😊


      • Cynthia Jobin
        Jul 01, 2014 @ 11:58:05

        Now I’m picturing you and the scooter and the dog….I hope it goes well. There’s probably a knack to it– like everything’s everything else–and Jack sounds like a good boy…you’ll both have to learn to groove with this one….please let us know how it goes! 🙂

      • journeyintopoetry
        Jul 01, 2014 @ 13:18:26

        Cynthia, I did it!!! Yippee! Jack was so good; he’s a star, walked perfectly by my side just stopping to sniff now and then. What a beautiful dog and what a triumph! I can hardly contain myself! 😄

    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 12:14:17

      I will report back Cynthia – hopefully not from a hospital !! 😄


      • Cynthia Jobin
        Jul 01, 2014 @ 14:10:54

        Hip, hip, hooray!!! You and Jack just moved through fear together! I will think of you when the celebration fireworks go off here this weekend….far enough away so you and Jack can’t hear them, but mentally telepathic of my congratulations!

    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 15:03:59

      😊😊 A little rhyming ditty has arrived as a result; I may just post it soon as a rather appropriate follow uo to this post!


  2. leamuse
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 15:44:04

    Well done Christine! I love that you reassure by whispering in his ears and they way you bring the cats into it. 🙂 Xxx


  3. Jane Thorne
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 16:06:54

    Lovingly whispered reassurance….you can’t beat it. ❤ to you Chris with a cuppa. xXx


  4. lscotthoughts
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 02:51:13

    Aww…this is so cute, Chris, and one I can relate to, as you know…Copper’s okay with fireworks, but there is something about the monster vacuum cleaner that has him resting in another room. 🙂
    Fear is universal for all of us, including our furry friends and you are right about being brave and simply being able to walk through it…I love the tender ending…”you are doing just fine.” HBL ♥


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 09:23:21

      Thank you Lauren! He’s so cute when he is frightened of these little harmless things, but as I said to Lea my heart just melts for him; it’s awful to see the fear in his eyes and he just needs reassurance. ❤️ Xx


  5. harulawordsthatserve
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 05:15:46

    This is so sweet Christine, I could really picture the scene and feel the reassurance of the lovingly whispered wise words. May all beings be free from fear:-) Love and hugs, Harula xxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 09:47:59

      Thank you Harula. I always feel upset for him when he displays this fear of things that couldnt possibly harm him,but I guess his fight or flight will kick in whatever!
      Love and hugs xx


  6. Angela
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 17:13:55

    This is lovely, Christine. You bring such lovely waves of depth to a simple act of kindness and reassurance, weaving many message within your lines. Love it. 🙂 xoxo


  7. Harry
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 19:20:34

    Lovely, animals sense the fear in use so you calmness can help.


  8. Minuscule Moments
    Jul 01, 2014 @ 20:30:04

    Christine such a sweet treat in my day. I whisper to my cats and reassure each one is my favourite cat. We also had a beautiful dog called Trixie, we found her at the shelter and we were told she would not make a good children’s pet. She hid in her kennel BUT when the kids came to the fence she decided thats who she wanted to live with, came down and licked their fingers. I remember holding her trembling body as we signed the papers and thinking you poor little thing. Someone had been so cruel to her once….She is no longer with us But I will tell you that shy little scared critter became the best dam pet (watch dog, friend to kids and flourished on the farm). Memories I will cherish. Sometimes the meak can become strong if someone gives them love and support. Thanks for bringing up memories of a scared little dog, that I loved so much.


  9. SuzyHazelwood
    Jul 03, 2014 @ 00:18:07

    Your descriptions are so good that I never noticed you didn’t mention it was a dog until I read what Cynthia commented to you – I should pay more attention!! 😉 But I love that, the ability to write about a place, person or a animal and the reader knows what you are talking about, that’s a great skill to have Christine! Nothing worse than over explaining, especially in a novel. 😐

    Your lovely dog sounds like a sensitive soul!♥ I wonder how many things we are afraid of that would amount to the same threat level as a plastic bag being rattled?! But we never see them that way do we? At least, not until we are over it, and then it all seems so foolish. And the way you’ve ended the poem is so good and so true, fear may diminish, but it will never be completely removed, there’s always something new our brains will tell us we need to fear. But constantly choosing to reject it is true success. I hope he and you, go from strength to strength in overcoming those fears! 🙂


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 04, 2014 @ 09:18:30

      Thank you so much Suzy for your lovely omment which left me feeling good because you totally ‘get’ what Im staying here. I know it is said that once a poem is put out there it no longer belongs to you and each reader may interpret it differently. But it is lovely and satisfying, uplifting even, when someone completely sees it the way the writer intended. This was so much about my fears as well as Jack’s and thinking about the equivalent to the plastic bag as you suggest. Thank you!


  10. Wendy Macdonald
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 00:47:17

    Christine, you’ve reached right into my heart again. Oh how tender and patient we can be with pets and yet lack that same regard for our own need of comfort in times of fear. This inspires me to be kinder to myself while I try to be braver in life.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 05, 2014 @ 11:11:01

      Thank you so much Wendy for this lovely comment. Its strange how we find it more difficult to be as kind to ourselves; I wonder if it goes back to days gone by when thinking of ourselves was seen as selfish whereas in fact it is self care and probably helps us to be better versions of ourselves.
      Love and blessings x


  11. Jackie
    Jul 05, 2014 @ 11:38:47

    Beautifully written as always! I love your poems so much! 🙂 xo


  12. bardessdmdenton
    Jul 06, 2014 @ 20:52:25

    Wonderful poem, Christine, that speaks to what any pet owner can relate to – those fears, insecurities, even phobias that animals often have, which, of course, aren’t unlike our own. My Gabey still disappears at the sound of the doorbell. After we rescued him and his brother eleven years ago (with other kittens in their litter), the local animal no-kill shelter came and took them to check them over and give them their shots, etc. He has never forgotten that feeling of being taken from one place to another, which the doorbell signifies. Darcy hates the vacuum cleaner and actually screams when I clean with it. Just the other day on the Fourth of July, some nearby neighbors were shooting off fireworks and the cats were so frightened.

    Love the little amusing, tongue-in-cheek flavor of the last line. A very well written and balanced poem capturing a very special bond and understanding between you and Jack. XO ❤


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 07, 2014 @ 09:19:54

      Thank you so much Diane! And bless the hearts lf those precious kitties of yours I could burst with love for all animals. I think I become softer as each day goes by. If I could start again I think I would work with animals in some way, probably in a rescue capacity. Lots of llove ❤️ Xx


  13. Through My Eyes
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 01:58:48

    You are a dog whisperer Christine, lovely poem. We forget about their feelings sometimes. Beautiful poem 🙂 xxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 07, 2014 @ 09:22:21

      Oh Norma what a lovely thought! The bond I have with Jack and my two cats just keeps getting stronger; of course I spend much more time with them all now Im at home most of the tine. They help me to keep my chin up 😊 xx


  14. Polly
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 03:12:52

    Well-written, poignant, touching. Nice opening piquing curiosity. You adore that dog. Love Norma’s comment about you being a dog whisperer. 🙂


  15. annarosemeeds
    Jul 11, 2014 @ 20:43:19

    This is so very sweet! 🙂


  16. beckarooney
    Jul 20, 2014 @ 17:23:30

    This is gorgeous Christine! It made my heart melt to read it. You grabbed me from the first line, I could imagine this happening in front of my eyes. Beautifully touching 🙂 xx


  17. kathryningrid
    Jul 25, 2014 @ 00:50:24

    Jack is a lucky fella to have such an understanding and sympathetic companion reassuring him through the scary times. And you are lucky to have the companionship of such a sweet fur-baby, too! 🙂


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 25, 2014 @ 09:38:12

      Thank you Kathryn. Jack is a lovely big softy and such a gentle natured boy. He’s a star and my constant companion. Whenever I have a meltdown – and I do! – he just comes plodding in with ears all pricked up ready to assist with a lolloping tongue and a wagging tail ready to fix me. 😊 xxx


  18. Betty Hayes Albright
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 19:26:09

    Glad you were able to comfort Jack. I hate fireworks too and always dread our 4th of July – not just because of my dislike, but because of all the pets and wildlife that are affected. Well written, as always!


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 30, 2014 @ 13:27:18

      Thank you very much Betty! It upsets me to see animals so afraid that they quiver and shake. Poor Jack does his best to be brave and the cats are peteified too. But some of Jack’s fears are irrational just like mine!! 😊 x


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