09 June 2010

Oliver and Thunder and Lightning

Incidentally, before the storm Friday night I tried to take Oli for a walk and it didn't go so well. I knew he was bored and I knew it might rain in a little while, so I saddled him up with the Easy Walk Harness- which works great, but he doesn't really like it. Turns him into stiff doggie. I think it is because he knows that he can't pull when he's wearing it. He also knows that harness = walks.
Anyway, he usually loves going for walks, but that night he kept stopping, like something was bothering him. He stopped first in front of our next door neighbor's house and refused to move. I thought maybe something was hurting him. I checked the harness, making sure it wasn't twisted, the clips hadn't caught his hair, then I checked all four paws. Nothing amiss. Patted him down and gave him a little rub of encouragement then tried to get him to walk again.

We passed two more houses and he stopped again. He hadn't been walking with his normal gusto and wasn't even interested in the other dog a block away, walking toward us. Something was up. I got down to his level, petting, soothing, trying to figure out what was up with my guy. The the heat lightning flashed a bit stronger than it had been and he stiffened up even more. Hmm. Storms don't generally bother him, but it seemed he didn't like being outside during the thunder and lightning. I didn't think much of it because the heat lightning and rumbles of thunder had been going on for several hours by then.

I asked him if he just wanted to go back home, and he was more than ready. We trotted back to the house at a clipping pace. I made him sit on the porch steps with me for a few minutes before we went in. I wanted him to get comfortable being outside, with mommy's protection, while the sky flashed and rumbled. I did my best to make him feel safe and not make a huge deal over it. We did this with him for the first couple of storms when he was a puppy, and we thought they didn't bother him. I guess that only did part of the job.

So now we know. Oliver is fine with storms from the safety of the house, but he doesn't want to be outside when there is thunder and lightning.

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