Fears for Finn (And Lola)

Monday night I dreamed that I boarded Finn and while he was there, somebody came in the middle of the night and shot him in the head and killed him.  When they told me, they took me to the place where he had been sleeping and his little blanket was there, smeared with blood and blood was splattered on the wall.

I woke up with my heart racing, hot and terrified.  I listened for a minute and I could hear the soft little rumbles of them both snoring (they both snore) and so I calmed myself down and tried to go back to sleep.  It didn't really work and I had unsettled dreams for the rest of the night.

I tried to give extra love and kisses to Finn all day on Tuesday and he kept giving me the same look that they give me when I watch Dogtown (because seeing other dogs mistreated makes me want to love on my own).  Being kissed and loved on and picked up is not necessarily a good thing if you are a Bean and they give me the "Oh, God, she's been watching Dogtown again" looks. 

I'd like to say that my bad dreams were brought on by alcohol or spicy foods or watching horror movies or the nightly news or the Discovery Channel before bed, but I did none of those things.  The truth is that I am (often unreasonably) terrified that something bad will happen to Finn and/or Lola.  I constantly worry that everything they eat off the ground will somehow be toxic, that they will develop some untreatable disease, that they will be dognapped from the backyard or that somebody, somehow, someway will get to them and hurt them.   I pay extra money to my security company for fire monitoring, not because I am the least bit worried about the loss of all of my possessions, but because if the house does catch fire, I want the rescue squad to come get my Beans.  I once rushed them both off to the emergency vet on Sunday afternoon because I had it in my head that they may have eaten rat poison while visiting another house (don't ask, it's a LONG story.)  I knew in my head that it couldn't be, but the unreasonable crazy worry wouldn't stop.  They were fine and the blood tests only cost me $500. 

I know, it's not quite normal.  I've actually discussed this propensity toward irrational fear with trained professionals.

Partly, I think it's because I was the first baby of fearful and overprotective parents.  The world is a scary place to them and until I was around 33, I always walked around with a sort of nebulous fear that "something" would happen.  Some nameless, faceless, unknown danger has always been lurking around the perimeter of my life, just waiting to jump out and snatch me as soon as I let my guard down.  When my "babies" came, my fear extended to them. 

Once, when I had just gotten out of law school, the law firm I worked for hired a new receptionist who was a part-time Psychic.  She took one look at me, touched my hand and said "You know, you are safe in this world."  I wrote that on a sticky note and at one time or another it has been hanging around my house.  Even today, when my anxiety starts going over to the bad place, I chant it over and over in my head.  My father once, while visiting me, noticed my sticky note and asked me just what it was that I was so afraid of.  When I told him it would be easier to tell him what I wasn't afraid of, he looked a little stricken and then quickly changed the subject.  My father thinks that unpleasant things will go away if he just ignores them long enough or with enough discipline.  In his defense, his entire side of the family practices the same avoidance, so I'm not so sure it's his fault.

But, you know, then I went to therapy and became "Zen Tonya" as we refer to me now, and I have to say that much of my fears have subsided.  Even with respect to Finn and Lola they are much less ridiculous than they used to be.  But they still pop up, from time to time.  And when they pop up, I always come back to this idea that something is going to happen that will snatch away my happiness, starting with Finn and Lola. 

Finn woke up on Tuesday morning, just like he always does, happy and having slept through the night.  He was walked, made potty, had his usual healthy Eukanuba for breakfast and then lazed around until I loaded him and his stinky little sister into the car and hauled them both off to the dog spa to be buffed and puffed.

He doesn't share my fears.  He thinks the world is grand and it has really never occurred to him to be afraid of anything except errant plastic shopping bags which get stuck in the trees and move strangely, or the average thunderstorm.  When these things come up in his life, he comes running to me or hides in the upstairs bathroom.   All is well with him, as it should be, as I have carefully insured that it will be, because he has never wanted for or done without anything or been mistreated in his life.  There has never been a time of crisis with him that I haven't swooped in and fixed.  He is a loved little guy (as is Lola Bean).  It makes me happy to take care of them.

But sometimes my worries sneak in and Finn and Lola have to endure a little extra smoochies. They also enjoyed the organic peanut butter dog snacks and the two new squeaky toys that I brought home for them from Petco on Tuesday night.  They'll put up with my occasional freakouts anyday as long as they get peanut butter dog treats at the end of it. 

Or we can only hope. 

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