On The Soggy Side Of The Street. Loyalty Goes Two Ways.

I wrote the other morning about my beloved/annoying dog Stormy and her demands that I protect her from thunderstorms. This morning was a repeat. There is, however, a twist and a realization that went along with it all.

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I had a migraine yesterday that laid me low. Not only was the headache a pure misery, but the cure was almost as bad. It’s a tough choice: blinding pain or nausea and the jitters from the medication. I suffered through the ordeal at work and slumped home, rather a wreck.

Upon arrival my little friend comforted me on the back steps where we spend some time each day. Much like her following me around the house a week ago when I was doing prep for a procedure, she showed her loyalty once again. If I’m hurting, she’s there with me. Maybe not on my lap, maybe not at my side, but definitely in the room watching over me. She’s biologically programmed to do these things and she does them well.

Early this morning the storms rolled in again and she was upset. Loud noise is her enemy. One she can’t fight. One she wants to flee. But with no thumbs the doorknobs stop her cold. So she wakes me up to warn me and seek comfort.

Once again I pulled her on the bed in an effort to quiet/calm her for a time. I needed more sleep. It worked for an hour or two, but again she got me up (this time with a rake of her claw) to alert me to the impending danger.

Okay. Within half an hour of my alarm so what the heck. Brush teeth, turn off alarm, open door so she can go out and do her business. Outside that door the storm is raging. Thunder, heavy rain, the whole enchilada.

Three steps out the door and an about face. She’s sweet, but she’s not made of sugar. I know that, but she evidently melts when the thunder and rain are out there. Following my tenth admonition to “go poop” it was quite clear that she wouldn’t leave the top step.

That’s where the two way street comes in: I don’t want her holding her bladder for twenty hours. She doesn’t want to leave the safety of the step. Answer: go down the step, stand under the tree in the thunderstorm (yeah, genius level work) and encourage her to follow and do her business. It works.

I was wet and smiling when we came back inside. Her bladder empty, my heart full. Sometimes you need to do the unpleasant or difficult thing for a friend in need. It’s part of your DNA if you’re worth anything as a human – or a dog.

Consequently my favorite smell in the whole world permeates the living room as I write this: wet dog. Seriously. It means comfort, memories of my first dog, and the joy that a good hug from your dog brings.

Get out there and hug your wet dog (what ever that may be) today. They’re counting on you.

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