Saturday, July 13, 2013

Thunder Boomers

Well, that's what we called them in my house growing up.

Recently, we saw this sky:

It was so beautiful yet so powerful at the same time.  Some intense storms followed this amazing photo.

For the most part, I really love thunder storms!  While this was not the case when I was younger (a lot younger if I'm going to be honest), I now think they are sort of romantic.  You may think I'm being weird, but when it gets all dark-ish, maybe the electricity goes out, it's quiet - the thunder can't be too loud or this whole thing goes out the window, so to say - it's a great time to snuggle with your loved one.  Of course this isn't so easy to do when you're alone.  But when hubby is home, I sure do like these times!  I've loved thunder storms since I started dating!  Anyway, back to the topic at hand...

Poly, however, could have done without the whole thing!  The lightening was striking, the thunder was booming... Poly was shaking.  :(   Poor baby does NOT like thunder storms!  We've tried the Thunder Shirt and some all-natural remedies with no success.  (friends have tried each of these products with success; I am not saying that these products are defective or a waste).

I would take video of her, but was too busy trying to comfort her.  While I was doing that, my husband kept busy trying to search for new ideas.  Well, the internet is a dangerous place!  He had heard about giving dogs a very small amount of Benadryl and wanted to check it out, especially since it's not all-natural.  Well as you can imagine he found sites which suggested it was the best thing ever and other ones which said it was evil.  As is the case with many things, I fall somewhere in the middle.  Evil?  No.  Best thing ever?  Sure not.

He also found one site which said that we shouldn't pay attention to her because it teaches her we'll love on her.  Ok, I have to let the cat out of the bag here... I have a degree in psychology and excelled in my behavior modification classes.  I'm no expert but I get that giving a dog attention when he/she is doing something bad they will learn that if they are misbehaving they someone will pay attention to them; that's super-basic, day one Intro to Psych thinking; it's called positive reinforcement.  However, I don't believe for a minute that Poly is doing this on purpose or that she had any control over it.  My heart goes out to her and I will not, I repeat will NOT ignore her her body language proves she is scared!

The storm passed and Poly returned to her usual nighttime position, asleep on the couch:

Casey remains unaffected by the loud bangs and follows Poly's lead:

I'd love to hear your experiences with thunder storms - both as a human and how your dog responds, plus what you've done which helps or doesn't help your canine kid(s).

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Groundhog Strikes Back

So, my husband is a huge Star Wars fan, hence the geeky title of this post.  But I digress (before even getting started).

Yes, it feels like this is all I write about, but it's what our lives have become centered on lately.  The groundhog seems to have taken over here at the Brown household.  Poly will see the little rodent and bark incessantly for hours on end - no exaggeration!  She has a specific bark and Casey knows what it means, jumping up and going into the kitchen to catch a view of this thing.  He will stand at the back door, doing his horizontal jump, and groaning.  "LET US OUT!"  I still figure that the pups are quicker than the groundhog so refuse to let them out while it's in sight.

Yesterday brought our Groundhog Adventures to a new level.  Casey squeezed himself under the neighbor's fence and into their yard.  The Great Escape!  I must explain that Sir Groundhog (as he defines himself, best I can tell from his behavior) not only lives under our shed, but himself goes under the fence, into our neighbors' yards and under their sheds.  I presume that Casey wanted to follow a scent to catch the thing once and for all... for lunch.  Fortunately Keith realized it before too long and went to get him, no less hungry.

Later, after Casey's adventure Mr. Groundhog thought he'd (yes, it's a male - LOL) test the waters, as it were, and see how close he could get to the house without the dogs ramming through the glass door.  They had already seen the thing (from inside the house) once that day but stubborn (see, male) Mr. Groundhog wanted to play games.  Keith looks out and sees him inching closer and closer to the porch.  Fortunately the dogs were unaware.  The next thing Keith knows, the rodent is on our porch, only a few feet from the back door.  Again, we are thankful they were completely oblivious to the groundhog's latest attempt to presumably make new friends.

This creature will move for nothing!  When the dogs see it, and even when only the humans in the house see it, nothing makes him move.  We know Poly's bark is audible through to the outdoors - nothing; we know that our banging on the door gains attention from the dogs, but with the rodent? nothing; we have yelled and screamed and stomped our feet - nothing.  One of these days Poly and Casey are going to have quite a meal when Sir Groundhog doesn't make it out of our yard quickly enough.  When that day comes, rest assured, you'll know about it.

I do pray that day never comes...