First time visitors to my independent home are always scared to open the gate and walk in. What stops them is a board carrying the message `Beware of Dogs` hanging outside the gate. Only on being re-assured that there are no dogs in the house that they will come in. To have the warning board without actually having the protective dogs was an idea given to me by an old friend which has worked out well for us, as no stranger or a first time visitor enters the house without our knowledge.
What prevents the family from actually having the dogs for protection? It is because of the severe aversion my father and I had for any kind of pets in the house, though rest of the family including my children would love to have them.
I am so scared, nay petrified when any dog- pet or no pet- comes near me to sniff me or lick me that I literally scream my protest. Resulting in the dogs barking at me for being so unfriendly! When I visit people in their homes even if the host assures me that his pet dog will not harm me and go away after sniffing me, I would not be convinced until the dog is taken away to another room and put on leash. If I know in advance that a friend I am planning to visit has pet dogs, I would request him to keep them away when I am there. I refuse to have any conversation unless this is done.
A couple of months ago, on an outstation trip I was invited to stay in a good friend`s home. Only after entering the spacious house with many bedrooms I realized that the friend had not one but five bull dogs- father, mother, and three of their off springs! All of them with menacing looks! Though they were kept in a special room assigned to them and brought out only when necessary, the very sight of them made me nervous. Right through my stay I was tense and decided to move out of the house to a hotel the second day, giving some valid excuse to my friend
While I have been successful in keeping the dogs at bay, I have not been able to stop the stray cats roaming around the house invading my home periodically to find a nook inside the home to deliver their kittens in a protected atmosphere. It could be inside the kitchen, under the sofa in the drawing room or under the staircase leading to the first floor. Imagine my shock one day when I discovered three cute kittens snuggling among my clothes inside an open wardrobe. The mother cat had gone away to hunt for a mice ! The mess such cats create after delivering the kittens makes me livid with anger. My efforts to block all the possible entry points have not prevented the ingenious cats to discover some loophole or the other to enter the house and have a safe delivery.
I am sure I have lost the friendship of many good friends who have `Unfriended` me after witnessing my attitude towards their pets. They just cannot understand how a human being can hate pets!