My three year old nephew is terrified of dogs. For obvious reasons this breaks my heart. Today my dad carried him out to see the sheep. Bella came and met them then followed them out. Rather than scream bloody murder (his normal response upon seeing a dog) he eyed her curiously. This evening just before they left he went with my dad to have one final look at the sheep. Bella followed them back to the house. I stood in stunned disbelief as Bella stretched her nose towards him (their heads are level), and he didn't freak out. He leaned curiously towards her.
I want to be clear. When it comes to dogs and kids I am very aware. I watch closely and there are very few dogs that I truly trust with a child. Bella is one of them. I know if Bella gets freaked out she'll jump back and run away. She's a shy and gentle dog. With that in mind I also understand that dogs and children are unpredicatable and it's my job to keep both child and dog safe.
Bella was amazing with him. She was quiet and gentle letting him get his confidence up. He even reached out and touched the fur along her neck. She wagged her tail. I wish I had a picture of the two leaning nose to nose. Beyond cute. I taught him how to put his hand out for her to sniff. He even tried it!
Heartwarming for me to see that he is less fearful of dogs. I'm hopeful that Bella can continue to teach him how to not be fearful.