Evan and Bella have feared dogs since they were tiny. I’ve been sad about this because dogs were a delight to me during my childhood, but Bella and Evan live in a rented house where dogs are not allowed, and I don’t have the financial circumstances to keep a dog, so they haven’t had much opportunity to know one. We talked about this after viewing The Secret Life of Pets 2, an animated movie that celebrates a dog’s love for the child in his family.
On Saturday morning the children and I went out to chalk pictures of flowers and fireworks on the sidewalk around the apartment building where I live, and my neighbor came by with her dog Pip. I expected Evan to panic and run, but he stayed in place and allowed Pip to approach. (I happened to have the camera in my hands.) Then Pip licked Evan’s face, and Evan laughed and threw his arms around Pip. For the rest of the day, Evan would go toward every dog we saw, rather than hide. Bella is a little more cautious by nature than her brother, but she also petted Pip and seemed less averse to the other dogs we encountered through the day.