Facing her greatest fear

Guest blogger: Sharon Yeates

I had a great treat in store for the girls! As part of our Friends to Animals badge I had arranged for my friend to bring in one of her highly trained poodles. The girls would learn all about how to feed, groom and look after a dog. But the crowning glory was that this poodle has been trained to move to music. Celine the ‘dancing dog’ would perform her tricks. And the girls would be given the opportunity to put her through her paces!

I reassured any girls that were nervous they could sit at a safe distance to watch proceedings. One parent had written to me to say her daughter would probably not attend as she is very frightened of dogs. So on the evening I was delighted to find that all the Brownies turned up, including the girl with the fear of dogs. We all enjoyed the demonstration and when the girls were asked if they wanted to come out one by one and command Celine, I was gobsmacked to find that every single Brownie did. Even the Brownie with the ‘big fear’.

I felt so proud of the Brownies, but most of all I was humbled by that 7-year old. It must have taken a lot of courage to not only come to the meeting, but to stand face to face with her biggest fear. She commanded the dog to do her tricks and at the end of the evening she even stroked her. It was an experience which she will hopefully carry with her for a long time and I was reminded how guiding can make a ‘positive difference’ to the girls’ lives and confidence.

I sent a note and photos to her mother to say how well it went and she sent me this reply.

“Thank-you so much for your email and the pictures, I cannot explain how nice it is to see that after years of panics and screaming from her (she even had hypnotherapy at one point as she refused to walk to school in case she saw a dog). She is better now but still very wary.

I am pleased she coped with it so well and thank you for supporting her (and the other girls) it looks like they really enjoyed it and she was certainly buzzing when she got home. “

That says it all, I think!!

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