Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chicken in Wolf's Clothing

This is my enormous golden retriever. Turns out she would be small --for an English Mastiff.  She's not fat according to the Vet.  His little silhouettes of thin, normal and fat put her between thin and normal. She still weighs 80 pounds.  We were hoping for 50.  Most of the time the XL dog is a good thing. People tend to avoid a home with large dogs equipped with a bark that can split your head.

Every year, I forget that she doesn't like thunder at all. Before I retired, most of her thunder-chicken behavior was done in private. Now that I am at home for the wonderful monsoon storms, I'm the recipient of the full fraidy-dog routine. Let me share.

First, as the storms build she sticks to me like glue. Her preferred location is between my legs, even when I 'm standing doing food-prep in the kitchen. Do I need to explain how 80 lbs of dog between your legs and a sharp knife in your hand could be a safety hazard?

As the storm nears, she needs more protection and assurance.  She wants to be in my lap, even if I'm standing.  Forget working on the computer.  It just doesn't work with a dog who wants to be in your lap in an office swivel chair.  When redirected, she crawls under the desk, which is fine until the storm gets a little closer and she decides she needs to dig-in to be safe. After dodging being electrocuted by the dog,  I tried closing the door -- both excluding her from the office and allowing her to den-up in the laundry room.  Both were less than successful. She became frantic and tried to scratch the door down.

Oddly, when we go outside, she calms down immediately, so apparently it's related to being in the house and whatever vibrations she catches. She does not, however, want to be left out alone -- back to frantically clawing the door. Inside, I seem to have two choices that don't make at least one of us crazy.  Both involve being in physical contact with this tiny ball of fur. One is on the sofa with her head on my chest, which means half of her 80 lbs in my lap.  Perhaps she is calmed by the 'momma-dog' heartbeat.  The other is with her on the bed next to me.  This is not my top pick for sooo many reasons. I really wonder what she did when she was home alone.

We tried doggie downers several years ago for long car trips.  Even at higher than recommended doses, they just dis-inhibited her.  She got crazier, so I've not tried them for storm behavior.

The monsoon is less than half over! Any ideas on how to manage a large petrified dog?

No comments:

Post a Comment