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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Thunderstorm Makes Molly Seek Refuge In The Bathtub

This time of the year weather can be somewhat unsettled around these parts. Clear and cooler days are interchanging with some muggy feeling temps, and at night we can get thunderstorms.

Ever since Molly has fallen down the staircase we let her sleep downstairs. She has 2 beds to choose from and it has been working out great. It seems she was quite content with the new arrangement.
And since she did not react with panic mode to the latest fireworks on July 4th we expected her to have settled with the inevitable outside noise.
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However, last night I woke up of some lightning and thunder rolls and I finally got up to look after Molly.
Her beds were empty, so I walked into the bathroom, where I found her sitting in the bathtub whimpering like a baby. Holy cow…..she was not herself at all. When she saw me she came out of the tub and was kind of wrapping herself around my legs. I spoke to her like nothing had happened, but she would not calm down.
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Now, the worst one can do is re-enforcing the dog’s anxiety by starting to pity the animal or hugging it. That way the dog feels its anxiety rectified and will react with even worse symptoms under the next thunderstorm. I know it is our natural human way of dealing with someone’s fear that we want to protect and soothe, but it is the wrong way to deal with a dog. A dog’s wellbeing is very much dependent on repeating routines. Our normal way of talking to a dog is a routine as well. If we change that routine the dog feels unsecure and can develop fear.

4 comments:

  1. Well, we've spent a time or two in the bathtub during tornado warnings. So, I can't blame Molly.

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  2. Skittlez would be in the tub with Molly and Scooter would be trying to attack the noise. I just feel bad for all of them because they are so helpless. I hope she settled down and that you don't have any more bad storms.

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  3. I've had dogs who were afraid of storms and especially fireworks, but thankfully Katie is fine with them. She does want to sit right next to me, usually leaning on me, though, when it's especially windy. Something about the wind seems to bother her. I always felt so bad with dogs who are like Molly - there was nothing I could do for them except "be there." They were in such distress, it was terrible. My ex husband Pete used to drive out into the country with one of his dogs on the 4th of July, and stay in the car in the peace and quiet. Then he'd come back home later in the evening when all the neighborhood fireworks were done. I thought that was such a caring thing to do. :)

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  4. They sure have their ways and healthy response/

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