Ask Amy: Mother of small child worries wedding ceremony has gone to the dogs

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4 year old is meant to be part of the ceremony, but she's afraid of dogs, who will also be included
Dear Readers: Every year during this time I step away from my column to work on other creative projects. I hope you enjoy these "Best Of" Q&A from 10 years ago. Today's topic is: "Dog Gone."

Dear Amy: My brother is getting married outdoors and has invited his friends to bring their dogs to his wedding.

His own dog, a coyote-pit bull mix, will be part of the ceremony.

My 4-year-old, who is also part of the ceremony, is frightened of dogs (I am sure this is partly my own doing).

I am afraid of big dogs, and his dog really scares me.

I don't want my kids to be afraid of dogs, yet I am afraid of them and I am sure the dogs can sense that. How should I handle this?

– Frightened

Dear Frightened: I shared your letter with Julie Klam, author of "Love at First Bark: How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help You Save Yourself" (2011, Riverhead Books). She reports that, as a child, she was bitten by a dog, but she has overcome her fears and now has three dogs in her household – and an 8-year-old child.

Klam says, "Find a friend or relative with a small, low-key dog (not a puppy, they're too hyper) and arrange to go and visit a few times. Take it super slow. I've had kids who are afraid come to meet my dogs and they are really anxious at first, but then, when…
Amy Dickinson
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