Monday, May 02, 2016

Dogs, Storms and Not Much Sleep

Scooby and Jacob
I never thought much about dogs being afraid of storms—I guess over the years none of mine were. Until I got an Aussie ten or twelve years ago. He was three-and-a-half and had been what the Humane Society called a junk dog. He lived in a yard with other dogs, was fed and watered by that was it. The Humane Society got him because the people had way over the legal limit of animals on their property. Scooby was gorgeous, with a disposition to match. Probably the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned.

But he was terrified of storms. The first storm that hit after he came to live with me, he hid under my desk and pawed at my thighs until I had big painful bruises on both legs. I learned in time that he preferred closed spaces during storms—once I couldn’t find him and finally located him in my closet. Smarter than I was about taking shelter.

The vet gave me tranquilizers—for him, not me. The problem with that was you had to give them to him when the storm was west of Abilene or even Midland. Otherwise it didn’t kick in until the storm had passed, and then he was a zombie. As he got more comfortable and secure, his fear gradually abated.

Sophie at ease--no storms that night
Sophie the unstoppable has never been afraid of storms. Ignored them completely. Until this spring, when the storms have turned her into a Velcro dog, attached to my side. I’m not sure what time the storm hit last night—maybe three—but I was suddenly aware that Jacob got out of bed and walked through the house. When he came back I asked what he was doing, and he said, “I wanted to see the storm.” This from a boy who’s always worried about storms even when I said I loved them. This time he brought Sophie back to bed with him, and she snuggled down between the two of us.

Every time lightning struck, she jumped. Or sometimes she made the whole bed bounce because she had to take care of an itch. But she stayed put the rest of the night. Toward morning the storms eased and she jumped to her bed next to mine. But then the lightning and thunder started again, and she was back up on the bed.

I’m not sure if it was the crowded bed, with a nine-year-old and a dog, the stormy weather, or what, but I didn’t sleep well last night. Looking forward to an early bedtime tonight.

1 comment:

Randy Eickhoff said...

Miss Bella is the same way. She crawls under my bed and stays here. Sometimes she whines and paws at the bed until I lift her up onto it (she's a tzt-su (or however that's spelled) and then she crawls under the covers and lies next to me. Once, lighting hit a tree right outside my window. Boy, howdy! You should have seen how fast she was under the bed. Only problem was I couldn't fit with her!