I don’t often dream about Marie Osmond, but after a late night at the church on Wednesday, and a bit of television to try and kill the migraine (along with the drugs that sometimes help, and a head-rub from my spouse) I went to bed a little later than normal.
0100 rolled around and there she was, on the television screen, and she was having a hard time breathing. It was loud, very loud, and she was obviously in distress. Leaning in closer to see what was wrong, I felt her breath on my face – bad breath. Televisions don’t have bad breath.
But Shelties do. I awoke from my slumber to see Stormy with her paws on the edge of the bed, and her snout six inches from my face. The flash of lightening and roll of thunder confirmed my fear: there was an unmedicated Shetland Sheepdog in my room during a thunderstorm. No Marie Osmond. Sorry, Marie, I wish it had been you.
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Stormy, as some of you know, is badly named. She hates storms. Any storms. Even a really windy day will send her into anxiety fits. The big thunderstorm was enough to seriously unhinge her.
Normally, as in if we have a clue, we give her a couple of Benadryl before the storm hits, and put on her Thundershirt (WARNING: Autoplay sound!). It works. (Don’t bother sending me hate mail about drugging the dog: my vet approves. I approve. I’d have to strangle her without it.)
Up. Shuffle down to kitchen to find pills and pill hiders. Drug dog. Watch television for 20 minutes so dog starts to digest. Go back upstairs with dog.
Look down stairs. No sign of dog. Dog peering around the corner. Dog afraid to come up stairs, rain loudly pelting window behind me. Cripes.
Down the stairs, and at 0130 pick up a chubby Sheltie and lug her upstairs, shaking (her) as the storm rages.
Set dog on bed. Close door. Anxious dog leaps off bed, flops to floor next to door.
Experience tells me that even if the noise of the ceiling fan drowns out the rain and thunder, she’s still going to freak out every time the flash of light hits her under the door. Trust me, been there a few times.
My ceiling fan has a setting where a few small bulbs light, but not the main lights. I click it to that dim setting, and pull the covers up. Thankfully, as a long-time night-shifter I can sleep with the light on. That’s good, because she won’t be able to sleep without it.
Every hour for the next 5 hours I wake up to check the time and the dog. Not overly restful, but when 0700 rolls around, she’s well recovered.
There are things we do for our dogs/spouses/kids/neighbors that go above and beyond. I’m okay with helping the girl out, as she’s my friend.
But why, God, couldn’t she be afraid of the noise of crashing surf. I’m pretty sure she couldn’t hear it from Saint Paul.
Be blessed, and may the thunder that frightens you in your life be silent this night.
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