The Dog Next Door

I remember a time when I was young. Barefoot and clinging to my fathers hand as he walked with me through our backyard. The big scary dog next door didn’t frighten me, my dad was here. I held his hand and he guided me. He was my protector, my guardian. No scary dog will come along and threaten me. No way.

A protector, a guardian

Throughout the years, I would sit out back. I would watch that big scary dog next door grow old with age. I would see it for what he was. He was someone else’s protector, their guardian. In time I became friends with it. I would look him in the eyes, scratch behind his ears and he would knock me over and lick my face, all the while I would laugh with glee.

A new big scary dog

My father is no longer here, as well as that big old dog. Those protectors have moved on and so have I.

I no longer have one. No one to protect me. I have a cat.

I face my own big scary dog now. But it is not a beast you feed and watch grow old. I have a disease, and it’s fangs are sharp. It’s bark is deafening. My father is no longer able to hold my hand and walk with me. It is up to me, I must walk outside alone and face the creature as it tries to frighten me.

Facing without fear

Do I stay inside, in the comfort and safety of my own home? No, I don’t. I won’t.

I go out daily. I face that animal. I do so without fear. Sure, he does his best. He runs up and down that fence. Sometimes it feels like he will jump over it and rip my body to shreds. But I still will walk forward. Let him try his hardest.

That beast will never age, it will never get weary. His fangs will always be sharp, his claws will always be razors. But I will not be afraid of him. I will keep my backdoor open. I may always hear him barking, but I will never close it.

I will never back away

Over the years I have grown to know this creature. Sure, I will never scratch behind his ears, but I will look him in the eyes. Without fear. I will lower my knees and face him head on. Sure, he will snarl, he will bare his teeth, but I will not back away.

I am my own guardian now, I am my own protector. I have no fear.

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