Bean, aka Beanface the Fearful, is terrified of thunderstorms. She becomes a panting, pacing, drooling, shaking, super-sonic-whining ball of terror anytime it even begins to rain. She likes to stand directly under my feet, or under my armpit, or wherever is under some part of my body. I love her to death, but there are times (like when going to the bathroom) when this arrangement of fur-to-flesh is definitely sub-optimal. If I leave fur/flesh contact with her, even to be a mere two feet away in the bathroom, she’ll stand as if paralyzed wherever I leave her and act like she can’t move until I resume contact. There’s also the other stuff that comes with nerves, like shredding things or digging furiously at the carpet or relieving herself inside that is really not awesome at all (she can’t help it, I understand and she never gets punished, but still… not only do I have leaky windows, but I have a leaky dog! I ought to buy stock in Bounty paper towels for how many we go through in the average storm).
Since Virginia is in the middle of thunderstorm season, I ordered Bean the ever-popular Thundershirt (in pink rugby, of course). This really does help – it cuts down on the shaking and pacing and she no longer needs complete contact – but it wasn’t cutting the drooling and whining.
I’ve been meaning to give Through A Dog’s Ear a try for awhile now, and tonight seemed the perfect chance – we’re having a pretty ugly storm right now, and bonus: they have digital downloads. Perfect since I’m working on the computer.
No lie: Bean is sleeping ON THE FLOOR. DURING A THUNDERSTORM. I still can’t believe it. She has her little Thundershirt on, and is currently listening to Reverie on the “Calm Your Companion: Vol 2” CD. In the year and a half I’ve had her, we’ve spent every thunderstorm either holding her or sitting next to her and petting her or having her pace around the room with her ears flattened to her head.
And she is sleeping right now.
Under my desk.
During a loud storm.
Listening to piano music.
If you would have told me with any degree of seriousness that my dog would be sleeping during a thunderstorm this morning, I would have laughed at you. I mean really laughed. Not just a mere chuckle, no. I may have actually fallen over laughing, because my dog has never even SAT DOWN during a thunderstorm.
We all have to be wrong sometime.
If you’ve got a dog that has anxiety, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Go, check it out, and be amazed.