Life's hard when you're scared of big dogs

Posted Online: March 16, 2013, 7:21 pm
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By Cliffy
Quad-Citians show off their pets in Creature Feature, appearing Sundays on the Your Pets page and Mondays on the Neighbors page. This story was submitted by Sharon Winters, of Carbon Cliff. If you want to share your pet's story, email your submission to and attach a photo in JPEG form. Or, send a story and photo via regular mail to Creature Feature, Features Department, The Dispatch/The Rock Island Argus, 1720 5th Ave., Moline, IL 61265.

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Hi, my name is Cliffy. I'm a black and tan Yorkiepoo. I weighed 2.25 pounds when my mom brought me to my new home when I was 8 weeks old. I have a birthday coming up, and I'll be 7 this month.

I have many, many issues -- just ask my mom. She has even talked to me about "dog heaven" when I've been especially bad.

When I was 2 years old, I was attacked by two big dogs when we were out for a walk and I was on my leash. Mom carried me home, and we went right to my doctor's office, where they patched me up. I had to wear an annoying lampshade on my head for two weeks.

After the physical wounds healed, Mom thought I'd be OK, but that was wishful thinking. She thinks I have post-traumatic stress disorder, and my doctor thinks so, too.

I have been expelled from more than one dog groomer because I go into a panic if there are any big dogs there. My mom would drop me off, and before she got home, her cell phone would be ringing, and the groomer would be asking her to come and get me. She finally found a groomer who will come to our house, and that is wonderful. I love to have Amy come and give me a bath and haircut. If it's just Amy, we get along fine, and Amy gives Mom good reports on my behavior.

Another issue I have is that I hate it when I have to be boarded! There is only one place in the area that will still take me because of my reputation. It really embarrasses Mom that when I am boarded, my kennel door has a big yellow CAUTION sign on it. I am scared to death of all the other dogs I hear barking, and, as usual, I go into panic mode and won't let anyone near me.

Going to the vet is a real ordeal for both of us, too, and we're exhausted when we get home. My doctor just shakes his head. He said there are dog psychiatrists in Chicago and St. Louis, but they're very expensive, and he doesn't think they have many success stories. Mom says we'll just have to deal with my problems the best we can.

I love people as long as they're at my house, and I welcome them with lots of jumps and kisses. I guess I'm a nuisance when we have company, but I love to have them pet me and talk to me.

We moved, and I have made friends with some little dogs in our neighborhood, and sometimes we even go on walks together with our parents. But if we happen to run into a big dog when we're walking, I go wild. I just can't help myself.

On one of our walks last summer, a man was walking his big dog on a leash, and I got so upset my mom had to carry me home. My favorite place to hide is behind the toilet, so that's where I spent the rest of the day.

We've come to the conclusion that I'll always be this way, but my mom still loves me and spoils me and tells me to shut up when I bark too much. In spite of all my issues, we have a good life together and keep each other company.


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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.

(More History)