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Angry at my family over a dog :(

Community Member

Hi, i’m not sure which topic this goes under but i need help.


backstory: I’ve never been fully comfortable around dogs. I was terrified of them as a kid and i don’t feel like i can really relax around them now. My family, knowing this, have decided to get a dog. I’m scared of not being able to relax in my own home, but my family don’t really seem to care all that much. I know my dad does, he says if it were up to him he wouldn’t get the dog, apparently he turns around and tells everyone else how excited he is, which makes me feel a bit betrayed that he’s lying to me. My mum says she cares. My brother insulted me, i said i felt like i deserved compensation for getting it, all i asked was that they choose a name i’d actually like, my brother called me petty and spiteful for that.

big problem 😞 :This has happened within the last week, and over this week i’ve been feeling angrier and angrier at my family. It sounds entitled. It probably is. But this is genuinely affecting my mental health. I feel so angry when i see dogs or things relating to dogs and i feel so angry at my family, especially my brother for it. This sounds really childish, i’m sure. But i’m so angry i don’t know what to do. I honestly don’t think i could stand having to live with a dog, I don’t want to be angry at some innocent dog. 
when my parents said they’d get the dog that first night my mum said she thought the dog would be good for everyone and i asked her “is it really all that good if it’s actively making me feel worse” she said “i guess not” and hasn’t seemed to have thought about it since. 
i was already doing bad mentally when my parents sprung this on me, and i was getting a bit better but now i’m getting worse. I don’t know how many times i’ve said this but i don’t know what to do. I’m so angry at my family, especially my brother that i want to break things. I want to throw things and trash something, i don’t know how to deal with this anger. I’ve never felt like this.

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear icevcreamspider,


A very warm and caring welcome to our forums.


Im so sorry that your feeling anger towards your family, because they have decided to get a dog..


When I was younger I was also terrified of dogs, I would cross the road if I saw a coming towards me, , even if it was on a leash heading in my direction….I would never visit my friends if they had dogs…they just scared me…


We as a family was visiting a friend of my dad’s…who never had a dog, but this time he did…and the dog had puppies…I kept well away preferring to stay in their house all the time…as we were getting ready to leave, my dad handed me a small cardboard box and said this is for me…it was a small puppy….He was very cute and very scarey at the same time…by the time we arrived home I felt I loved that puppy….When we got home and we let it out the back, it started running around, barking and again my fear popped up…I watched my brothers playing with the puppy and I wanted to do the same….but I wasn’t comfortable at all…


Over time, I did slowly start to pat and play with him..and formed a beautiful friendship with him….I loved this dog…but still terrified of strange dogs…I think many people are afraid of strange dogs…you are not alone Icecreamspider….


Fast coward lots of years…I am now 67 live alone with my 3 beautiful dogs…who are my life, my saviours, my companions and my friends….I still am afraid of dogs I don’t know and do everything I can to avoid them….In a way, I think it’s healthy to be aware of strange dogs…


You’re brother is treating you disrespectfully…and that’s not right at all…maybe speak to your parents about how he is being disrespectful towards you concerning the dog….


What I am trying to say…is that having a dog in your family might help you to overcome some of your fears…about dogs…and who knows, like me, eventually you might live your dog and when your older get a dog to love who will protect you and love you unconditionally..


Not sure if I’ve helped you at all…but wanted to share to you my little story about my first ever dog…and how I learned to love him..


Thinking of you with kindness and care Dear icecreamspider,


Learn to Fly
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi icecreamspider,

And thank you for reaching out.
You share with us your big emotions of anger and frustration and no wonder - from what you have written it looks like your family had decided to get a dog without communicating really well with you and not taking your needs and fears on board. Do you think you might have felt different should you have felt their understanding? 

I completely understand your feelings of apprehension toward the dog. I am wondering, though, how would you feel about giving yourself and the dog a chance? Nothing forceful, nothing against your feelings or wishes. I call this a very gradual exposure, meaning, taking tiny baby steps and seeing how you feel. So for instance, you might start with sitting on your bed and simply watching the dog what it is doing. Dogs are extremely friendly and love to socialise so more likely than not, it is going to come and try to get to know you. They get to know everyone and everything through their amazing sense of smell. You don't have to touch it, and it will still learn you. 
Imagine trying to encourage a frightened animal, except now the roles will be reversed. It is you who will need gentle encouragement from your dog and it is you who will determine how much contact you will allow. 

What do you think?

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi icecreamspider,

I have a similar fear but with cats, I don’t know why but I always feel as though cats are going to attack me and I won’t be able to get them off. But as someone who has been misunderstood and mistreated by humans for most of my life, I must say I have felt incredible comfort in animals. They are loyal, kind, always happy to see you, a constant companion that doesn’t let you down like your family might. They are also incredibly insightful and can often read your emotional cues, my dog can tell when someone is apprehensive or scared of him and so he treads carefully around these people but also seems to become a bit preoccupied with wanting them to like him and so he will gaze at them from a distance, it’s very sweet actually. What I’m trying to say is that, most of us with mental health issues who have had difficult relationships with people such as family members, often find animals a “safe space”. If they are set on getting a dog maybe set some ground rules around breed (ie are there certain types you’re more comfortable with such as small Scotty dogs etc), oodles are very friendly/harmless. I think those things are probably more important than name.