Teresa could not approach any dog because she felt great fear, and for his part, Boo was not comfortable with people apparently because of a difficult past, but both managed to overcome their fears, and now they cannot be far from each other.
Teresa Hwang shared through her TikTok account @ketophoria a moving story in which she shows that love can overcome any obstacle. The 51-year-old woman was afraid of dogs until she met Boo, the adorable little animal that completely stole her heart.
Teresa is a special education teacher at an elementary school in Oakville, Canada and was bitten twice, which generated that great phobia for most of her life.
The story of Teresa and Boo was seen more than 1.6 million times and she gained 449.9 thousand likes in just a few days on that social network.
Before meeting Teresa, Boo remained in the shelter also feeling fear towards people. Without a doubt, the union of the woman and this puppy was a perfect combination, since both have evolved together for two years.
The couple had to take small steps and to achieve this they have always had patience and love in mind.
Teresa said to Bored Panda:
“Sometimes I still can’t believe I have a dog, much less love one as much as Boo. I tell people that he is like the son I never had. I not only love him because he loves me and needs me. I love him for who he is, exactly as he is, for everything he has overcome and for the joy he has brought into my life.”
The woman reported that at 10 and 20 years old she was bitten on the forehead and leg respectively by her friends’ dogs, thus developing the phobia that led her to the point of having to cross the streets to avoid bumping into a canine, even if they had leashes.
When she visited someone, who had a dog at home, she asked him to please remove him from where she was, because her fear of dogs prevented her from being calm.
Although she did manage to interact a bit with quite friendly dogs at times, she was always scared when they growled or barked while playing.
For several years, Teresa’s boyfriend was asking her to adopt a dog, but the decision was finally made two years ago when they decided to care for her sister’s 16-year-old puppy for two weeks.
The couple investigated in numerous rescue shelters until they reached Niagara Dog Rescue where they met Boo, who was named Patches at the time.
Boo had been in a shelter foster home for 6 months, after staying in two Texas shelters and with another foster family.
When the woman met Boo in person, her first thought was that he was much smaller than he appeared in his photos. She could also notice that she was very nervous, she was sitting on a bench next to her foster mother.
15 minutes after Teresa arrived at the place and spoke with those who cared for him, he finally decided to approach slowly. When the woman looked at him he licked her nose and quickly withdrew, hiding behind her foster mother again.
The foster mother told Teresa that the puppy’s reaction had been quite unusual because he doesn’t usually get close to people, and due to Boo’s tender demeanor, Teresa’s fear of dogs seemed to have drifted away. She knew that she must give him a chance to become part of her home.
During the first months Boo was not very sociable, he followed Teresa throughout the house but did not come close, did not eat in front of her, did not touch her toys, and her tail remained between the legs.
The puppy even trembled when he heard noises like the washing machine and the oven. Without knowing the dog’s life story completely, the woman deduced that she most likely had a difficult past.
Teresa and Boo are inseparable
The couple decided to use different tools to control Boo’s anxiety, which was quite a difficult challenge, but finally good results were obtained. His tail began to move during the rides, and a couple of months later he started playing with the ball.
Teresa was thrilled when she heard Boo bark with excitement the first time.
The woman said:
“I cried tears of happiness because it was like Boo was a puppy again.”
Without a doubt, the advances that Boo has made in these two years have been surprising. He likes to be pampered, to kiss Teresa on the face, he has learned to sit down, looks for food, and goes to bed very happily every night.
“He wags his tail and smiles when you ask him if he wants to go for a walk … He has learned a lot and I am very proud of him.”
Teresa is not afraid of Boo, although she barks or growls to communicate emotion or disagreement. Even so, she does not feel capable of interacting comfortably with dogs other than himself.
The woman says that teaching Boo to gain confidence has also generated a positive change in the way she sees her students, recognizing that many behaviors such as avoidance or even aggression are related to anxiety and fear.
Fear prevents people from exploring, risking life, and of course trusting others. That is why the woman advises that to overcome fear in a relationship it is important to first create an environment of trust and security, just as she did with Boo.
“When people praise me for saving his life saying I rescued him, I always have the same answer: ‘Boo rescued me.’ We overcome our fears together. We heal each other. We show that love is greater than fear “.