There must be a lesson in here somewhere…

Two of my favorite things are fireworks and thunderstorms.  Two of Cooper’s least favorite things are fireworks and thunderstorms. Go figure.

Cooper is our big orange dog – the one that barks at anything and everything relentlessly.  I often marvel at the fact that none of the neighbors have wrung his neck yet as he can be more than a little annoying at times.  To be fair, he has improved over the years as he has grown older, but he still easily and frequently crosses the line into annoying.  I think it is a good thing that we adopted him from the shelter (with his cell mate – Chompers) as we are not the kind of folks who go back on a commitment.  Others who had adopted Cooper in the past had returned him – I can understand why.  He about cost me my sanity for the first couple of years we had him.   Even now he often tries my patience, but he is saved by my recollection of the dog he was and how far he has come.

Alas, when there is a thunderstorm or fireworks -or other noises like the air compressor  or the nail gun – Cooper comes unglued.  He whines, whimpers, gets distraught, and tries to find a small contained area to tuck himself into or under. This behavior is a stark difference from the giant, seemingly aggressive dog that bounds across the yard barking relentlessly at anyone within eyesight or earshot.

As the fates would have it, it isn’t enough that the girl who likes fireworks and thunderstorms ends up with a big dog who doesn’t.   To make the situation even more interesting, our house is in close proximity to the Red River Vally Fairgrounds, and you’ll never guess what they regularly do – yes indeed, you guessed it – shoot off fireworks.  That is what they have been doing this very evening and instead of being able to enjoy them like the firework lover I am, I am forced in these moments to pray for their swift conclusion.

I am sure there is a lesson in this whole thing. Perhaps this is a divine message from God about tolerance, patience, and understanding…perhaps through my time with Cooper I will become a better person.  Or perhaps I will just become a crazy person who mumbles to herself whenever  she hears the word “fireworks” – that one is a little too possible for comfort.

Now the fireworks have stopped and my household can go back to normal (or at least our version of normal).  Hallelujah for that!  Back to the maniacal barking dog that drives everyone crazy…yes, there must be a lesson in here somewhere. ;-)

Day one thousand three hundred and ninety-six of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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2 Responses to There must be a lesson in here somewhere…

  1. Sharon says:

    Please get Cooper a Thunder Shirt. They are available at most pet supply stores, some veterinarian clinic, on-line, etc.

    Things that help are to close up the house, close drapes, turn on the air conditioner, turn on TV or radio, rather loud. It also helps to try to “condition” him to thunder/fireworks. Get a cd of Star Wars, and have lots of Star Wars “parties”, complete with popcorn. Start with it only as loud as Cooper can handle, and as he adjusts to it, raise it up.

    Good luck,
    Sharon

  2. B-dubya says:

    Poor Cooper! There was a time when I felt that very same way when it would thunder–absolute terror and pain. That sounds like very good advice, Sharon. I’m always amazed at the things the Dog Whisperer does–and this sounds like something he would do.

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