Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend, but they’re not for everyone. Some people have allergies, and unfortunately, some people are just scared of dogs. That can be for a variety of reasons, and dogs can sense your fear, so that doesn’t always help.
Teresa Hwang was someone who was scared of dogs for much of her life, but she decided to face her fear head-on. Her inspiring story just shows that love is greater than fear.
Teresa Has Had Quite A History With Dogs
Teresa had a very real fear of dogs for most of her life. She shared that she was bitten by a dog twice in her life, and even at 51 years old, that fear was still very real.
She Didn’t Think She Would Ever Shake That Fear
Teresa is a Special Education teacher from Canada, and was bitten on her forehead and on the leg at 10 and 20 years old, respectively. This led her to take precautions whenever a dog was near, like crossing the street just to avoid a dog walking by.
Then She Saw Boo
Teresa and her boyfriend had talked about adopting a dog after sitting her sister’s 16-year-old dog, Cola. After doing some research, they found Patches, who they later renamed Boo. Boo originally came from Texas when they rescued him from the Niagara Dog Rescue.
Boo Actually Chose Her
Teresa went to visit Boo and his foster mom, and Boo couldn’t have been more nervous. Teresa describes talking to the foster mom while Boo hid behind her. Eventually, he came out and gave Teresa a quick lick before returning to hide behind him foster mom.
That’s When She Knew She Had To Take A Chance
Boo’s foster mom was surprised that Boo was willing to approach Teresa, and Teresa took that as a sign. Because Boo took a chance to make a connection with her, she decided to take a chance with him.
He Was Still Very Nervous
Teresa as surprised with just how small Boo was, but also just how nervous he was. Teresa was just as nervous, but they were both on this journey together to get over their fears.
He Needed Time To Warm Up To His New Family
Already being a very nervous dog, getting used to his new home took some time. He couldn’t eat in front of his new family and would walk with his tail between his legs.
It’s A Small Step In A Long Journey
Teresa made sure not to rush too quickly for both of them. Boo needed time to adjust, and they wanted to make him feel as comfortable as possible. That mean building trust and not pushing him outside his comfort zone.
All The Hard Work Paid Off
As the days turned into weeks, Boo began to feel safe around his new family. Eventually he started eating in front of Teresa and playing with the toys they bought for him.
He Started Acting Like A Regular Dog
Soon he was having fun like you’d expect of any other dog. He still exhibits some anxiety and is weary of strangers, but he’s built a fantastic relationship with Teresa.
Training Him Proved To Be Tough
Boo isn’t like many dogs in that he isn’t very food motivated, so using food or treats when trying to train him proved to be ineffective. That didn’t stop Teresa though, and eventually, he learned his commands and starting playing with the family.
As Boo Grew, Teresa Learned A Lot About Herself As Well
Teresa works as a Special Needs Teacher, and she’s learned through Boo that some of her students are likely exhibiting behaviors through their own anxiety and fear, herself included.
They’ve Made Incredible Strides Together
While Boo might not warm up to every person he meets, he’s definitely grown more confident around Teresa. And Teresa says that she’s not confident around every dog, but she’s not afraid of Boo, even if he growls.
The Pair Taught Us A Lot About Love
Teresa’s story about taking a chance on Boo and overcoming a lifelong fear of dogs shows just how much we let our fears dictate our decisions. Teresa’s determination in facing that fear, and helping out a dog in need who just needed someone to trust, reinforces why the work we put into those we love is so worth it.