When we adopted Marbles, our sheltie mix, almost eight years ago at the age of two, she was afraid of everything and anything. That old cliche, “afraid of her own shadow” absolutely applied to her.
At the time we rescued her, she had just overcome parvo. The rescue organization told us that she was kept in a fenced-in backyard. In her two years on earth, she had never been on a leash!
Though extremely shy at first, she slowly warmed up and soon began playing up a storm with her new brother Ralphy, an Australian shepherd. Her feline brother and sisters were largely ignored, but everyone got along well.
From the beginning, it was apparent that Marbles had her psychological “issues.” We even joked that if Marbles were human, she’d be making weekly visits to a therapist. I’d be hard-pressed to name one thing she wasn’t afraid of. The first time I took her for a walk in the rain, she pulled on the leash, jumped, turned, and tried to stay as far away from me as possible, despite the fact that she had been walking nicely on a leash up to this point. I was perplexed. She was already attached to me and on her way to acquiring her reputation as my “velcro” dog. What was wrong? It turns out, she was afraid of the umbrella. So I did what any good mother would do. I put away my umbrella and braved the pouring rain, just to make my sweet, neurotic dog happy.
The phobias don’t end there. Paper also causes her great distress. Yes paper! Never wave a piece of paper around her and be sure to keep her away when you get the mail.
Loud noises, too many people, and the sight of nail clippers make the list, as well. She won’t even accept treats unless she is able to eat them in the privacy of her own home. At the pet store, the vet’s office, and the McDonalds drive-through (an occasional treat when we buy chicken nuggets. No sauce of course!) she refuses to touch even the yummiest doggy delicacies. Instead, we must bring them home before she digs in.
We love her and her quirky personality and I am not even mentioning most of her unique traits. So, what’s her latest fear? Quickbooks!
Don’t you dare work on Quickbooks while she is in the vicinity. All is well when I remember to mute the sound. But if I forget and she hears the “beep” of an entry being saved, she runs and hides in one of the bedrooms, shaking like a leaf.
The poor thing! And I thought I was the only one in the family who hates dealing with those dreaded, yet unavoidable accounting tasks…