I have been properly trained in storm safety. When a storm is coming, you herd your pack and get them all into the garage. You stay there until it is over.
But my human refuses to comply with these simple safety precautions. I hear the thunder before she does, so I try to warn her. She thwarts me with a condescending pat on the head and a nonsensical, “It’s okay.”
No, it is not.
Lightning will flash across the sky. The whole world will vibrate with the rumble of thunder, the wind will whip through the trees, and torrents of water will fall from the sky. What part of that does she think is “okay?”
True most of the storms I warn her about are not so bad, but they could be. And we should be in the garage if they are.
She almost did it once. It was a really bad storm and I went to the door and barked. Thankfully she agreed - I thought- and put on my leash so we could go out to the garage.
But oh no, she wanted me to potty. In the middle of a storm? Really?
I tried herding her toward the garage door but she caught on and told me: “No. Blah, blah, blah, house.”
I couldn’t leave her alone so I went back inside the house with her. Of course then there was the drying off which would have been unnecessary if she had listened to me. We could have made a quick run to the shelter of the garage instead of standing in the rain while she waited for me to potty and I waited for her to come to her senses. But whatever. We wasted several towels on that ordeal.
Giving up on the garage, I switched to shelter in the bathroom. I try to work with her, really I do. I am a good herder, but she has a mind of her own. When herding her in that direction fails, I go lay down in there. I show her by example what I want. I show her how comfy -and safe - it is, but she ignores me. I get up and pace. I stop and pant in her face. I paw at her. I give her my most imploring border collie eyes. Finally she figures out that she should join me.
But wait! Now she wants to decorate! She cushions the floor with a squishy mat, which I have since confiscated, and piles up blankets and pillows. She lights a candle and I have to admit it is quite cozy. At last she settles in and I can relax.
It is still storming, but I have done my job. My pack is safe.
She lays by me and I fall sleep. Finally.
Sometime in the night, she sneaks out. I shift positions and realize I am alone in the bathroom. I can see her sleeping in her bed from here. But the storm has passed and I am too tired to deal with this now.
Teaching her proper storm behavior is going to take time.
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