Climbing Mt.Everest one step at a time

To say that I am scared of dogs would be like stating that Mt. Everest is pretty tall. Whenever I see these furry creatures that send everyone around me into cuddle-mode, I simply have to make peace with my palpitating heartbeats and sweaty palms. Every time I visit a friend who happens to have a pet dog, they know to leash before I enter.

Of course, this fear did not intervene with my life until one fine day, when I had to visit an animal NGO as part of KYC fulfillment; this simply means that ConnectFor employees have to go on field visits to the NGOs before we on-board them as partners, so that we have a better understanding of the work that they do. It was all fun and games until I reached the threshold of the NGO center and saw about 15 dogs running around inside. Cue sweaty palms and erratic heartbeats. I couldn’t move an inch and my colleague, Shloka, could sense how scared I was.

Due to a reason I can no longer remember, that particular meeting ended up getting cancelled. I was thanking my stars on the way back from the center, when Shloka gently pointed out the fact that my fear of dogs had almost interfered with my ability to do my work. I realized that this was no longer a phobia that I didn’t impact my life. Instead, it was something I needed to conquer.

I started thinking about this. So, I decided to use the multitude of resources available to me, more commonly known as Google, to do some research. Here’s what I gathered.

Animals are an extremely important part of our eco-system. Dogs, especially, aren’t always treated the way that they should be. They are often left to starve or suffer from diseases, neglected and without a way to fend for themselves. There was so much progress to be made in this part of the sector, and it was something I felt I could help with. However, to be able to work towards helping them, I needed to get over my irrational fear. It bothered me that I had let this fear come in between my work.

Last weekend, I had planned to go to Lonavla with a few friends. A friend of mine couldn’t find anyone to babysit her dog and had asked me if she could bring him along. Normally, I would have said no without giving it a second thought. This time, however, I told her to go ahead. Why not? Once in Lonavla, I carried the furry guy and played with him. He even sat on my lap at one point. I was scared but I made it a point to play with him. I hadn’t yet climbed Mt. Everest, sure, but I had packed all my climbing gear and visualized my goal, which is Step #1 to conquering anything.

Please visit the links below for volunteering opportunities with Animal NGOs.

Maniti Modi is the Co-Founder of ConnectFor and she has played with 3 dogs till date ;)

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