Some people try to avoid the things they fear, while others face their fears head-on.
For a long time, 52-year-old special education teacher Teresa Hwang was part of the first group, and you can’t blame her for it. In an interview with Bored Panda, she revealed that she was bit by dogs twice — first on the forehead when she was ten, then on the leg when she was twenty. The incidents left her with a fear of dogs, and she would cross the street to avoid interacting with pups who were out on walks.
Though Teresa was still uncomfortable with overactive or barking dogs and felt her fear come back when friends’ dogs would even playfully growl, she managed to be comfortable around friendly dogs. So after she dog-sat for her sister for a couple of weeks, she decided to make the big leap and adopt a dog of her own.
After some searching, Teresa found “Patches,” who she later renamed “Boo.” Boo was also fearful, and his description said that the one-year-old pup needed a quiet, peaceful house with no kids. Ironically, though, it was a perfect fit, even though the two were too scared to even sit next to each other when Teresa went to see him at the shelter for the first time.
Teresa told Bored Panda, “About 15 minutes in our conversation, Boo slowly came out from hiding behind his foster mom and took a few steps towards me. As I turned to look, he gave me one lick on the nose and then quickly retreated and hid behind his foster mom again. His foster mom gave me a surprised look and replied, ‘Wow. That’s really weird, he doesn’t approach people. I guess he’s picked you.’ Right then and there, all my catastrophic and self-deprecating worries that had escalated in the weeks prior to this day, about my safety about my ability to overcome my fear, melted. If he took a leap to initiate a connection, then I knew it was a sign. I had to take him home.”
Since then, Teresa and Boo have been on a long journey to trusting and feeling comfortable around each other. But both have put in the work to love each other, and now, though Teresa is often still nervous around other dogs and Boo isn’t one to initiate cuddles (though he does willingly accept them), they still have come to form an incredible, unlikely bond.
Check out the video of their journey together, and be warned: you may get a bit misty-eyed.