A lot of people are still scared of Pit Bulls. Despite the efforts of their human admirers to debunk myths and half-truths about the breed, “pit bull” is still common shorthand for a dog that’s vicious, mean, and violent.
The next time you want to show someone that Pit Bulls can be just as vulnerable and loving as any other dog, share this video of Rhiannon Hamam’s dog, Queso. According to Hamam, Queso is scared of just about everything: the kitchen floor, the printer, and doorways.
That’s a lot of things to be scared of, especially the last. Doorways are everywhere. It’s almost like they’re some kind of sinister alien race that’s infiltrated every single household, business, theater, and house of worship in the world.
We don’t know how Queso deals with his fear of the kitchen floor or printers, but he has come up with a charming way of dealing with the fear of doors. He turns around and goes through butt first, in a canine equivalent of Michael Jackson’s “moonwalk.”
It’s interesting to speculate on what could have caused such a fear. To my knowledge, there’s no equivalent phobia in humans. The closest I can think of is the anxiety some people feel when they’re all alone and there’s a closed door leading to a closet or a basement. If you stare long enough, you can imagine anything behind that door, especially if you’ve watched enough horror movies. There’s also agoraphobia, which is a fear of open spaces that can be so disabling that those who suffer from it become trapped in their own homes, but even that is a fear of what’s beyond the door, rather than the act of walking through it.
On Reddit, Hamam went into more detail about Queso and his fear of doors. It seems that some doors are scarier than others:
Queso is a rescue, but we got him when he was about 10 weeks old. So we don’t think there was anything too traumatic about going through a doorway that could’ve messed him up this badly, although that’s a possibility. He will go through the front and back doors of the house (to go outside or to come in), and moves around the downstairs (where there’s more of an open floor plan–no literal doorways to go through) freely. Upstairs, our bedroom is the only doorway he’ll go through. He flat refuses to enter other rooms. We think he forces himself to enter our bedroom because we spend a lot of time there and he wants to join the party–the other rooms are only temporarily occupied so he just lets the fear dominate haha. We don’t use invisible fences or any type of shock/vibrating collar. He’s just a total weirdo.
In some ways, it’s a very human reaction. Sometimes people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are triggered by things that seem very mundane to others. The stereotypical triggers are things like graphic depictions of violence and loud noises, but they can just as often be things like the smell of a certain kind of fabric or soap. We’ll probably never know if Queso suffered from some kind of trauma at a puppy mill or something, but it looks like he’s found his own ways of living happily with his human family.
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