Monday, July 4, 2011
Loud noises: Thunder & Fireworks
Saying that a dog is scared of thunder or fireworks is about as trite and common-place as a traffic report. It’s boring but expected. The problem with Andy’s fears on the matter concerned his going to the bathroom. If there were a storm going outside, Andy would not go. Period. I don’t care if he had enough urine in his bladder to fill Lake Ontario, he would not go outside. Instead, he would walk as close to me as he could. I could feel his body quivering. On the times when I tried to take him out but was cut short because of an unexpected storm, I would have to take him back inside and wait the storm. Once the storm passed, I could then take him out to take care of business. But if I did not take him out, maybe because the storm raged well into the night, Andy would sneak off the bed in the middle of the night, go downstairs and pee-pee and poo-poo. I’d remind him the next morning how he was bad but I didn’t punish him: “Did you do that?” or “Bad boy”. But I wouldn’t spank him. The verbal scolding was enough.
On one 4th of July, I was walking Andy in the park when a fireworks display began 3 blocks away in the downtown area. I knew the State Fair Grounds had a fireworks display. It has been a tradition in the Raleigh area drawing thousands of spectators. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about the downtown event and was caught and exposed to the ground shaking explosions. Andy crouched to the ground, almost paralyzed in fear. I thought I was going to have to pick him up and take him back inside. Luckily, I was able to plead him to go back home with me. My poor Baby Boy was scared shitless. I always take careful steps to avoid stressful situations such as firework explosions. I didn’t do a good job that night.