the comforting pat on the head
Just when I thought the storm couldn’t get scarier, the Tornado Watch alert blasted from my phone. I have never been a big fan of Thunderstorms, I’m perfectly ok in admitting that I’m terrified of them, but this is my first Florida T-Storm and it is a beast. In NH, they can be severe but they pass quickly. Here, they come on strong and stick around way too long.
Today’s storm is a continuation of a serious system that came through last night. It flashed and boomed for hours. Just when we thought it was over another wave came through. It being my first real Florida storm, I was shocked at its intensity. But as uncomfortable as I was, and am right now, I am not upset or fearful. My dog, however, is not faring so well.
Sammy is not a shy dog and he is adaptable in most situations. He even tolerates gunshots when I am doing target practice in the yard. Thunder brings out absolute terror in him. It is loud to us, I cannot even begin to imagine what it sounds like to him with his advanced hearing. In addition, dogs (not nearly as brilliantly as cats BTW) can detect changes in atmospheric pressure. All of these factors combined equal a prolonged state of terror for the little guy.
I have been comforting him the best I am able. I have to restrain him by his harness but I do so without holding his neck. Between last night and this current wave, I have been petting and reassuring my wonderful little guy for hours. Occasionally he takes a second from the panicked behavior and turns to look at me. I can’t say for sure but he seems to be grateful for it.
Lean on me, buddy. I got you.
I am logging this today because it occurs to me that the time spent, as unpleasant as it may be, providing and comfort to another living, breathing, feeling creature with a soul, is a cherished moment. To give love unconditionally without seeking something in return is time well spent.
I only wish people felt as inclined to help each other in those moments of fear and uncertainty.
One thought on “The storm”
Having owned dogs terrified of thunder I can sympathise with Sammy. We can only comfort them without being too restricting, and if they can find somewhere they feel safe, all the better. Barney used to hide in the bath, until we took it out and put in a shower cubicle, then he took to hiding under the pillows on the bed. He could get a little nippy if you tried to move him, but that was fear, not aggression. Maggie was not so bad, and would pick up on the change in atmosphere and be fretful and restless. She would get close to one of us and tremble, but we’d put on a classical CD that soothed her to sleep as a pup and it helped. With fireworks, we’d put the DVD Battle Los Angeles with Aaron Eckhart on and with all the bangs and pops on that, it seemed to balance things out for her.
Maya couldn’t care less. She’ll acknowledge the thunder by raising her head, but then ignore it. So far the thunder we’ve had hasn’t been for long periods so we can only see how things go with her. Fireworks? She’s OK thank goodness.
Love, reassure and comfort Sammy as you are doing, just knowing you’re there, they know they are not alone with noises they can’t understand or work out where they’re coming from.
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