Teresa Hwang is a 51-year-old TikTok user and a Special Education teacher in an elementary school in Oakville, Canada. Also known as @ketophoria in TikTok, Teresa shared a very inspiring story that will make you believe that love conquers all – even your own greatest fear in life. Her story quickly gained millions of views and likes in just a few days.
Teresa developed her cynophobia because she was already bitten by a dog twice in her life. A friend’s dog bit her on the forehead when she was 10, and at the age of 20, another dog bit her leg.
Teresa shared that she could manage her fear by avoiding any interaction with dogs, especially those that she’s not familiar with, while trying her best to mingle with dogs that are already familiar with her. However, she would still freak out every time a dog growls at her.
Teresa’s boyfriend always asks to adopt a dog for years after having a chance to take good care of her sister’s 16-year-old black mutt named Cola. Finally, after Teresa searched for such a long time, she discovered Patches, and she later gave him the name Boo. Boo came from Texas and stayed in Niagara Dog Rescue for about six months.
According to Teresa, the description says that Boo came from a family of Australian Cattle Dog. It is a breed known to be timid and shy and will not be comfortable in a noisy home or in a place where there are many people. Despite his scared behavior, Boo can show his charms if nurtured well. This reminds her of Aladdin, which she described as a diamond in the rough.
Teresa still can’t imagine that she, as a woman who has a great fear of dogs, already adopted Boo, who is very dear to her. It is because they share the same fear before meeting each other.
The first time she met Boo, she noticed that he is smaller than she expected, and she can say that Boo was diffident and scared. Teresa being as anxious as Boo, did not make any move to attract the dog until Boo, himself, came to her and licked her nose.
His foster parent was quite surprised by the dog’s behavior and told her that it rarely happens and added that Boo might really like her. Because of this, Teresa chose to set aside all her worries. She said that Boo gave her the sign she needed to decide if she must adopt him or not. That simple lick on her nose made her anxiety fade away, and she knew that she and Boo are made for each other.
Teresa witnessed Boo’s slow but satisfying improvement in his new home. For the first few months of staying with her, Boo was still shy and easily scared of noises. He usually stays in corners, did not play a lot, or even eat with them. At first, they were still uncertain of how to tame him as they don’t want to overdo it and force him to do things he’s not comfortable with.
By observing his gestures and letting him familiarize their routines, they noticed that Boo became more comfortable and is now a bit interactive with Teresa. With the help of various anxiety tools and training him well, Boo started to show his playful side. Just like normal dogs do, he can now wag his tail, eat comfortably, play with Teresa, and even bark enthusiastically. On every progress that he makes, Teresa was there to guide and cheer for him.
Happiness filled her heart as she successfully gained Boo’s trust and made him feel safe in his new environment. There are times that he still shows uneasiness. He is quite different from the other dogs as you can’t excite him with a treat, and he won’t always approach you in a friendly way. You can tell that strangers still make him nervous.
After more than 2 years of spending her time with Boo, Teresa witnessed many changes in his dog. His own little ways of asking for affection and showing his playfulness make Teresa feel happy and fulfilled. She is very proud of Boo as he learned so many things and eventually came out of his shell.
People often wonder if Teresa has already overcome her fear of dogs. According to her, she’s still anxious around other dogs, but compared to the past when she hasn’t raised Boo, her phobia is now better. She can see herself in Boo in a way that she also conquered her own fear, and together with him, she was able to heal and grow. Raising Boo has taught her how to be persistent and give a genuine love like no other.
As a teacher, Boo has made an impact on how she should treat her students. She learned that certain behaviors like disobedience, hostility, and isolation are connected to a person’s fear and anxiety from their past. Your fear can sabotage your freedom to meet new people. It can incapacitate you to explore new things and lower your self-esteem. Teresa emphasized that trust is the most important thing in every relationship.
Boo and Teresa are truly a perfect match. Both of them benefit from each other’s efforts and patience to develop their unexpected friendship. It amazed so many people how Teresa did such a great job in giving Boo a whole new life. But she always said that Boo has also taught her a lot of things. Together they made it possible to overcome their fears and manifest that love that can move mountains.
Source: ketophoria via Instagram