Marvin Cruz, a contestant on Animal Planet’s “My Extreme Animal Phobia”, has conquered his fear of dogs; pit bull type dogs in particular.
A childhood incident scarred Cruz after a friend he was playing baseball with was attacked by two stray pit bulls.
Cruz was cured through direct exposure therapy to deal with the fear. Dr. Robin Zasio, a psychologist and director of the Anxiety Treatment Center of Sacramento, led the 5 day, in-house therapy sessions to help Cruz to conquer his fear of dogs. The sessions started with photographs, progressed to videos, and then moved to face-to-face exposure with pit bull type dogs. Cruz even spent a whole night with a pit bull puppy in his bed.
The therapy worked and Cruz is proud to say he is totally cured and no longer fears the breed, in fact he enjoys them. He realized that while his childhood experience was awful, that pit bull type dogs with loving homes need not be feared.
Cruz has even purchased a home in Joliet, IL., across from a park where lots of dogs play and he often goes to visit pit bulls and their guardians.
We’re so glad that Cruz has gotten over his fear and has come to love and appreciate the breed!