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Exploring Dog Ownership: Overcoming Fear and Building a Bond

Welcome to You, Me, and the Dog, the podcast where we delve into the joys and challenges of being a dog owner. I'm Nelly, your host, and in today's episode, I'm joined by my partner of 20 years, Oscar. As a filmmaker and editor, Oscar brings a unique perspective to the world of dog ownership.

His journey with dogs began with a negative experience; growing up in a neighborhood where dogs were primarily used as guard dogs, he developed a fear of them. The intimidating presence of these dogs, coupled with movie portrayals, created a lasting impression of dogs as aggressive and dangerous. Oscar recalls a traumatic incident with a Rottweiler that further solidified his fear. However, little did he know that his perception of dogs was about to change.

Enter Yenko, a puppy who unexpectedly entered our lives. Yenko belonged to Nelly's brother, who was remodeling his home and needed a safe place for the pup. Initially, Oscar saw Yenko as a temporary guest, but little did he know that this furry companion would become integral to our lives.

Oscar's journey with Yenko began with trepidation. He hesitated to bond with the dog, fearing it would lead to a more profound attachment. However, as he spent more time with Yenko, he realized his fears were unfounded. Feeding Yenko treats became a turning point in their relationship, as Oscar experienced the dog's gentle nature. He gradually overcame his fear and started embracing dog ownership's joys.

Considering his initial reluctance, Oscar acknowledges the missed opportunities to bond with Yenko during his puppyhood. He regrets not allowing Yenko to sleep in the bed, as it was a missed chance to create a stronger bond. However, he also recognizes the growth he has experienced through this journey. Conquering his fear of dogs has taught him the importance of facing fears head-on and the rewards that come with it.

One of the significant shifts in our lives since Yenko's arrival has been our approach to vacations. Previously, our trips were centered around art-related venues and activities. However, with Yenko in the picture, we now seek destinations offering outdoor adventures and hiking opportunities. We have come to appreciate the beauty of nature and the joy of exploring it with our furry companion.

Our experiences with Yenko have also highlighted the need for dog-friendly spaces in our communities. As dog owners, we understand the importance of providing ample space to run and play. The traditional concept of small, confined dog parks needs to meet these needs. Creating interactive outdoor environments for dogs and their humans is essential for fostering a strong bond and promoting overall well-being.

In Miami, where we reside, such spaces are lacking. Parks often prioritize aesthetics over functionality, resulting in limited shade and inadequate play areas for dogs. Incorporating natural elements, like trees and vegetation, can provide shade and create a more enjoyable experience for dogs and their owners. We can create a dog-friendly environment that promotes physical activity, socialization, and a stronger bond between humans and their canine companions by reimagining public spaces.

Our journey with Yenko has also made us realize the parallels between dog ownership and raising children. Many individuals, like us, have chosen not to have children but still desire the nurturing experience. Dogs provide an opportunity to care for and nurture another living being without the same responsibility as raising a child. They offer companionship, love, and a sense of purpose, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a fulfilling and nurturing role.

As we navigate the world of dog ownership, we have come to appreciate the importance of play in building a strong bond with our furry friends. Play provides physical exercise and fosters trust and communication between humans and dogs. We learn to understand our dogs' needs, preferences, and boundaries through play, creating a harmonious and joyful relationship.

Our experiences with Yenko have taught us the value of facing our fears and embracing new challenges. We have learned that by stepping out of our comfort zones, we can discover new passions, create lasting memories, and forge deep connections with our furry companions. Dog ownership is a journey of growth, love, and companionship, and we are grateful for the lessons it has taught us.

This journey with Yenko has transformed our perception of dogs and deepened our understanding of the human-dog bond. We have learned to overcome fears, embrace new experiences, and create a nurturing environment for our furry friends. As we continue to explore the wonderful world of dog ownership, we aim to inspire others to embark on their journeys and discover the joys and rewards that come with it. So, grab a leash, put on your walking shoes, and join us as we celebrate the incredible bond between humans and dogs.


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