My Dog Is Scared of the Wrong Things

This is my dog. His name is Malcolm.

This is what Malcolm looks like when he’s slightly scared.

We went a long time thinking he was fearless. He sometimes dodges through traffic gleefully when chasing imaginary squirrels. Occasionally he’ll go swimming until he’s so tired he almost drowns. That’s pretty fun to watch.

So that’s why we thought maybe he was fearless. A fearless dog! Well, a fearless, dumb dog.

But no. That’s not it at all.

Malcolm is scared of things, but only things that couldn’t possibly ever hurt him. Not big, rabid dogs. Not bears. Not vampires. Not getting stomped to death by a horse. (He likes to try and bite horse ankles. They make him angry.)

He’s only scared of the exactly wrong things.

Like chickens. All chickens. He outweighs them by about 55 pounds, but don’t tell him that. Those things are scary.

And sitting in a car, especially when it turns or changes lanes. He whimpers the whole time. This is especially fun when driving for three or more hours. You would think he would stop at some point and fall asleep. You would be wrong.

Also, stethoscopes. Not needles. Not anal gland checks. Not the vet in general. Not surgery without anesthesia. No, no. Just the stethoscopes.

And cats. Well, that one actually makes sense, since he’s Indian.

OK, so he’s scared of mostly the wrong things.


  1. Gayatri says

    If he's scared of cats, he's definitely Indian. My friend's dog is ONLY scared of smaller dogs. So I guess Malcolm isn't the only one scared of tiny things!

  2. Anandi says

    We have a 115lb Rottweiler who's afraid of mylar balloons and garbage cans at the park. Dogs are crazy.

  3. Craftwhack says

    I like Malcolm's giant crazy eyes. What does he do when he encounters the chickens? My dog enjoys barking loudly at things she's scared of, which is a treat for us.

  4. Kitkatkootie says

    cats are crazy and weird and wonderful creatures. Dogs are weird and funny and love, just love. I so enjoy seeing what they are all afraid of and just how they act in general. Much more interesting than humans most times. adorable post!

  5. Love Sushi and Fashion says

    ha,ha my doggie is scared of other dogs. She is a chiguagua and she┬┤s never come across chickens. She would probaby be scared as well. <3

  6. mutantreptile says

    I had a small dog who believed she owned the entire street. She would even challenge Rottweilers to fights, but every New Year's Eve, she would have to crawl into bed with me because she was frightened of fireworks.

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  8. April says

    This sounds exactly like my dog…a 7 lb maltese named Spike that can't decided if he's a dog, a turkey or a cat. Hmmmm. Your dog would fit right in with us.

  9. Canadian in Glasgow says

    I know a great number of humans who are also scared of chickens.

    Maybe your dog has an identity disorder?

    Come to think of it…people tend to whimper when I change lanes as well.

    I should totally be an animal psychotherapist.

  10. Shalini says

    E loves dogs, but she got confused with scared Malcolm and thought he was a froggie instead.

  11. k says

    Poor Malcolm. Little buddy needs to live in the Plains States where there are lots of straight-a-ways and few turns.

  12. cadiz12 says

    that cat thing is spot on. my parents used to threaten me as a child when i was being bad that the "Mau" was going to climb in through the window and get me. i straightened out real quick.

    i still take them on a case-by-case basis.

  13. A Morning Grouch says

    Well, it sounds like he should be afraid of Naomi. So maybe he can just predict the future. Look out for stethoscopes.

  14. Shoes says

    Love this and can totally relate! My 70 pound German Shepherd Dexter is afraid of cereal boxes, snowmen, and people wearing hats. Crazy dogs.