Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Steal My Thunder. Please.

As with any new event that changes the dynamic of a family, there are things that can be anticipated before the change, and things that cannot. Because we adopted Flash in the winter, we anticipated lots of 'indoor time' with both dogs as they got to learn how to live with each other, figured out the new pecking order and were taught the rules. There would be logistics to negotiate, such as feeding and sleeping areas, walking schedules and pet toy storage.

But one thing we didn't consider, because it had not been an issue for almost a year, was weather. Or, more specifically, storms. Not blizzards.


Last night, with a house full of us and family visiting from out of state, we got our first, albeit mild, thunderstorm. Our guest room is in the basement, right next to the playroom, which is where we usually send Bailey during severe thunderstorms that rile and torment him. Downstairs, he can bark, pace, howl and moan at what we assume he perceives to be a fleet of big trucks going by on our road. Endlessly. Thankfully, once the, thunder stops making noise, so does Bailey. But with actual guests in our guest room, this wasn't really an option (although I did consider it very briefly).

What we discovered during this 30-minute, middle-of-the-night storm, though, was that Flash hates thunder. REALLY hates it. Like, he seems to think dozens of scary people are trying to knock down the walls and get into the house to steal the big, white box in the kitchen that holds all that awesome food. And like any good watch dog, if someone is trying to break in, you sound your alarm.


Flash's alarm, normally a cute little, high pitched bay, is, shall we say, not quite as cute at 1:30 in the morning as it is in the light of day. And for every ten minutes of alarm that plays without a snooze button option, the cute factor drops exponentially. After 20 minutes, I was praying the thunder would stop. After 30, I wanted to take Flash next door to his old, empty house and let him make all the noise he wanted. After 40, though the thunder had stopped, the alarm played on and I had my head buried under my pillow to no avail.

When he finally decided that the house was secure and the bad guys were gone, Flash finally gave up barking. Thankfully, it didn't take long for me to get back to sleep. Had the thunder continued though (or, dare I say it, had there really been bad guys trying to break in), I am certain that this little guy, with all the energy and passion and sense of duty he possesses, would have continued to warn us of the 'danger'. Like a furry postman, rain, lightning, dark of night and even exhaustion would not have caused him to quit. His sense of purpose is strong, and his loyalty high. At least, that's what I tell myself.

But I also know that, come summer, he will likely be getting to know our basement a lot better too.

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