While I’m always working to help June become more secure in herself, sometimes I think she’s got the right idea. Here are 10 things my anxious dog does that I wish were socially acceptable for me to do:
1. Back away slowly from a person I know well, but don’t trust.
2. Stare, unblinkingly, at that person while backing away.
3. Walk around someone (probably the same person) I’m apprehensive of, holding up both hands and leaving a three-foot buffer between us; June does this to our cat, Boris.
4. Scratch my neck for five minutes any time I’m not 100 percent sure what I should be doing.
5. Flop down, flat on the floor, when someone I don’t live with tries to get my attention.
6. Sit on the steps at parties, where I can “just watch” but no one can talk to me; This is what June does at puppy play group.
7. Hide under my desk at work.
8. Stand with stone-stiff legs when I don’t feel like walking.
9. Shred all my pillows and bedding to ward off anxiety attacks.
10. Refuse to look anyone in the eye out in public.