From the July 2003 magazine.

A Friendly Dog Story

During my last years of drinking, I developed many phobias, and some of these irrational fears persisted well into my sobriety.

One in particular was my fear of dogs. I do a lot of walking for exercise, and for a long time, whenever I heard a dog barking I would immediately change course. During one period in my life, I walked to my favorite restaurant for lunch every day, about a mile away. I did not take the most direct route after finding out that there was a big dog at a house along the way. The dog was not tied up. My fear and avoidance of dogs was really bothering me, and finally I decided to use Steps Six and Seven on this fear. I said my prayers and proceeded to walk past the house with the dog. As I went by, I waved and said a friendly "Hi" to the dog. The dog barked but did not chase me.

-- Joe R.

Indianapolis, Indiana

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