Dogs and I don’t go well together, as opposed to cats, ducks, you name it. If there ever was a toddler with dog-related PTSD, even without being bitten, it would have been me.
I was born in Amsterdam and lived with my parents on the third floor of an apartment building. Downstairs lived an elderly couple and on the first floor lived a gentleman with a German Shepherd called Astrid.
Whenever we passed the door on the first floor the dog would bark, loudly. Every single time, it scared me. I can only imagine what I might have been thinking: that it was going to rip off my head or otherwise tear me to pieces.
Even before we took a step to ascend or descend the stairs, the floorboards not yet creaking, Astrid was barking. She must have smelled my fear. If only I could have teleported myself up and down.
And then there was this one-time incident with the ducks in the Rembrandtpark, another occasion where I probably wished I was somewhere else. As you can see on the photo below, I was far from happy. I could call it The Birds, but perhaps The Planet of the Ducks would be a better title, since I was up to my neck in ducks. To my toddler’s eye it was an invasion of ducks, like they took over the world.
Unlike the imprint Astrid made on me, I recovered from this ornithological incident. I do not wince when hearing a bird or finding a feather. I did not end up with duck-related PTSD.
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This post is also available in: Dutch