Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Cynophobia:Fear of Dogs
It’s a funny sight, but only if you’re a safe distance away.
No one runs to help yet another Jew risks being attacked.
It’s the kind of encounter that sends kids and adults alike on a detour only to avoid a potential collision.
It’s menacing and evil.
Don’t Touch! Shrill voiced mothers tell their toddlers.
It’s disgusting and dangerous.
I’m talking about pets, dogs in particular.
Most frum people I know and those that I see but don’t know suffer from a serious case of Cynophobia.
Except small children who have not learned yet, frum children are conditioned at a very young age to avoid dogs and to fear them.
They usually don’t get a chance of being around canines much and encounter them only on public playgrounds and in the street.
In my building there’s a sweet old lady who owns a tiny little dog.
And yet whenever that creepy little thing barks or jumps at me when I get in or out of the elevator I freak out (and I’m a pragmatician!)
The suddenly less sweet grandma remembers to keep repeating that he’s harmless but she never remembers that I still do not want to be touched and barked at by her pet.
Gentile pet owners actually have the nerve to get upset that Jewish children run away from their pets.
Unfortunately some goyim enjoy only too much to scare the frum kids.
Knowing full well that releasing their dog from it’s leash will result in total hysterics among the kids wearing that weird thing on their heads, they let the little creeps run around freely even though it’s technically against the law(enforced about as much as the laws against racism and anti-semtism).
As a kid I was terrified from dogs, but I felt secure that adults would protect me from them.
Now as an adult I neither have skirts nor pants to hide behind anymore.
I manage pretty much to lead a normal life despite my phobia, by crossing the street, walking around and occasionally gathering my courage and pass by.
To prove that not only frum Jews suffer from this phobia I found this aid.
I need it badly, especially since sweet old neighbor never learns.
Ps:No offence to dog lovers
Other pets I am fine with but dogs!!
Anoymous-It's defintely an explanation for our general disike of dogs.
Smogas-Don't feel bad here there are many who would have done the same!
Amishav-I'd prefer cats too , although no pets at all is still my favourite.
I guess it has more to do with Nemo’s whereabouts.
YY-You’re the man YY!
Where does this dislike of dogs stem from in the frum community?
It’s a shame parents instil the fear in their kids.
It’s all good now-oh boy did I use this Yiddish trick a lot.
I think it did help actually.
Stacey-I’ve heard it’s a nice addition to a family with kids.
I don’t know where it originates from, but there’s definitely a dislike among Frum Jews for dogs.
Sharona-I think it’s probably that you always saw everyone run away from them.
I know at least two frum families who have dogs. I actually spent a weekend with one. He was nice.
Anyway, I know the dog fear is stereotypically Jewish, but I have seen plenty of non-Jewish kids afraid of dogs and people don't get nearly as upset by that as they do when a frum kid does. Definitely not fair. (I live in a place with many dogs and goyim)
Kneidel-Thanks for visiting
It’s amazing you didn’t get affected by the dog fear epidemic.
Personally I’ve never met a frum family owning a dog (rats, parrots, cats, yes) although I did hear there are a few out there.
Did they share their motivation for owning one?
Isn’t Shabbes a problem for walking the dog for e.g.?
My sister and I were taking a walk one night and all of a sudden this HUGE dog came chasing us down the street barking. We ran and then suddenly my sister stopped, faced the dog and said this hebrew phrase. The dog turned back around and left us alone.
I love dogs, as you know, and to me, they are a great blessing, joy and comfort.
I never owned one as a child, probably because, now, that I think of it, my parents were too afraid to have one, but as with any fear, as an adult, I turn it all over to G-d, and know that I am in good hands, no matter how something turns out.
Have a good week.
Rivka-Thanks for visiting certainly believe you; I used the Yiddish equivalent of this many times.
RR-There’s no harm in two bloggers posting about the same subject, in fact it happens all the time.
Lucy-That is one of the problems, I get all tense and they sense it.
It’s all good-Good one, I’ll pick meeting dogs over certain people any day.
Barbara-I guess you make a good point.
It’s great that a dog is able to make you happy.
Perhaps one day it’ll be more common among frum Jews.
Jack-So how many do you own?
Mata-So nice to see you again.
It’s cool fro your friends to have such a fearless:) friend.
How come you don’t fear them?
I happen to love dogs and so do my kids...
My grandfather who grew up on a farm in Europe handles them so well...
Emanuel-- I don't think it's you; tiny dogs (or at least certain breeds) are known to have a temper.
Barbara-- you have such a true point! We are paranoid, and we earned that temperament over centuries of persecution.I have had to work very hard to shake off the fears that my parents and grandparents fed me, just enough to take some worthy chances in life.
SO: to summarize item number one: Jews don't like dogs from the biblical period on.
#2: Dogs were sued to terrorize Jews in Europe - even before the Nazis, who did this par excellence, cosscks and the like also used their dogs to attack Jews. so, Jews from Europe in particular are not going to like dogs, and it became a cultural thing:
Thus, #3: Dogs are dirty and used by non-Jews to hurt Jews. Thus, dogs are nasty.
My father grew up completely secular ( socialists) and he doens't like dogs. When I was a kid, I wanted a dog more than anything - and we got a small, very well-behaved, gentle Shetland SHeepdog, After several yeasr my father grew fond of the dog, but he would never touch it, as far as I kow,although we used to catch him saying, "here, hunt," and tossing it crackers or other little snacks, when he thought no one was looking.
Side item of interest. Over the last ten years or so in Israel, I've noticed that the number f dog owners there has increased dramatically (among the non-ultra-O). Unfortunately, I also have noticed that the israeli notion of dog care is not what any American would call responsible. In jerusalem, for example, people just leave them to run around loose leaving dog scat everywhere, rooting through trash bins, some of them not very friendly, and very clearly not neutered. THus, IMO, actually creating exactly the kind of society in which our biblical era forebears saw dogs as nasty, dirty urban hazards.
If he's with a very calm large (but not small, under any circumstances, interestingly) dog in a place he knows, whose owners he knows and trusts, he will sometimes pet the dog a little bit. OTOH, he loves cats of all kinds. Personally I like both dogs and cats, but if we have to divy up our pets, I'm a ferret person.
I'v ehtought about the nazis and general persecution as well.
The fact is that many Jews suffered from brutal dogs.
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