We’ve begun hearing the first claps of springtime thunder around here and it makes us miss Kylie even more – if that’s possible. She had always been especially scared of loud noises, which is why we called her Chicken Little. Of course then when we found out about the drive-by we felt terrible and once again realized we had been really bad parents!
Anyway, once we moved to the mainland and had thunderstorms to deal with regularly, they didn’t just frighten Kylie, they would send her under the bed for the rest of the day, shaking and cowering. It was heartbreaking and absolutely nothing would console her, until…
One day, I don’t know how we got the idea, but during a particularly thunderous thunder storm we started encouraging her to BARK back at the thunder. And she did! Meekly at first, but with encouragement she got braver and of course louder! And louder, and louder, and louder, barking, howling, and carrying on like a lunatic!! All the while we would cheer her on and she loved it, and we loved seeing her brave and empowered instead of terrified. Knowing that thunderstorms are a common fear for dogs, we thought we should do an infomercial or something about how to empower your pooch, and get rich.
Then we went on vacation to hawaii – the only place we went on vacation without Kylie – and a friend of ours stayed at our house to take care of Kylie. One day when we called to see how they were doing, the friend who sounded very tired told us they were fine but there had been a series of storms the night before, in the middle of the night, and well therefore she was pretty tired at work that day.
“Oops, sorry about that,” we apologized. We felt a little guilty, but we explained our motivation for encouraging the foul-weather ferociousness. Fortunately there weren’t any more stormy nights during our trip and we brought our friend a large quantity of macadamia nuts and all was forgiven!
We of course continued to instigate the insanity, especially in colorado where thunder comes almost daily from late May to early July.