Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pups: Dogs and thunderstorms

With the recent thunderstorm activity in our area (last night saw pea to baseball sized hail) it has made me wonder how people in general feel about thunderstorms. I used to love thunderstorms. Love. Then I got a dog.
The sky outside our house last night

Kirbster Jo doesn't like thunderstorms. At. All. She shakes like a maraca when that first clap of thunder hits, and doesn't stop until the next day. And sometimes not even then. This morning she was sitting in the bathroom while I showered, shaking. It's heartbreaking. In the summer when there's a doozy of a storm (I'm never saying doozy again. Seriously.) we frequently sleep in the basement, because our attic bedroom is too close to the action for the Kirbster. Our vet even gave her a prescription for Xanax, though we've never used it. (Benadryl is cheaper)

The sky the other direction


Yoshi hasn't demonstrated any issues with thunderstorms, he's definitely more concerned about the trespassing bugs flying around outside his window.

When leaving the house on Monday morning, we knew there were thunderstorms forecast for the day. Yoshi is still crate training, but Kirby usually has free reign of the living room during the day instead of being sheltered in a crate. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we didn't have a second crate available for Kirby Monday morning, and needed to make her a peaceful space to ride out the storm in.

We usually have two beds in the living room for the dogs, one under the dining table and the other in front of a floor bench. Kirby has always liked being under the table, I assume because it reminds her of a den, and dogs are den creatures. So on Monday morning, I decided she needed even more of an enclosed space to spend the day in. So we created this:

We grabbed the green bed scarf (really a twin bedspread, more on that if I ever post about our bedroom) and threw it over the dining table. Kirby seems to enjoy it.
I actually had to pose her for this picture, since she was a little amped last night as we'd been gone to puppy class and there was another storm going on, but she really does like it.

Do you have dogs? Do they hate thunderstorms? What do you do about it? How do you feel about thunderstorms?

2 comments:

  1. Nemo doesn't like thunderstorms either. It's the saddest thing. He shakes and tries to hide and is generally anxious. It took us a few months of trying a hundred different things, but we finally figured out that Nemo loves playing fetch more than he's scared of thunder (does that make sense?). So now, when a storm is approaching, we take him right outside to play ball. We stay out there for as long as we can (rain is okay, but high winds and lightening mean we go inside) and that really seems to work. Once we go back inside and the worst of the rain is comes through, he's much more relaxed and at ease. I don't know why it works, but it does!

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  2. You've seen what happens to my wall when the heat comes on and Gracie's alone. Thunder is about 18 million times worse (along with fireworks). There is an upside to thunder though. Last summer, Gracie got out and was playing "you can't catch me", so I was trying to at least chase her away from the highway when there was a giant crack of thunder. I don't think I've ever seen the dog move so fast. She was in the garage and under the truck in about ten seconds. I now freely admit to having firecrackers on hand to set off when she gets loose. Works like a charm.

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