I was startled suddenly at 12:15 this morning to the sound of our security system. Now normally when this happens it’s because one of our three Bernese Mountain dogs needs to go outside in the middle of the night and one of us forgets to turn off the alarm. This situation was different, however. My whole family was accounted for upstairs. For some reason I was still not phased, because I found it difficult to believe that someone would break in when we have three huge dogs inside. If there was someone there they were probably scared off by the alarm anyway. The security company called. “Our system says that your kitchen door was tripped. Do you need the police?” At this point I was still trying to get my bearings. To be sure I asked them to come.
I went downstairs to find our newest rescue Pablo panting frantically by the kitchen door. Had he seen something? No, I thought. This is just the result of him being scared to death of thunderstorms. It was extremely windy at this point and thunder was clapping as if someone up there had just brought the house down. We discovered Pablo’s neurosis for thunderstorms the last time one happened. In the interim we had purchased a Bach Flower remedy for him (yes they have holistic soothers for dogs). Apparently my wife had given him a dose before bed. It definitely wasn’t working.
The police came and asked me why I didn’t just tell the security company it was a mistake. I told him I just wanted to make sure so he politely checked out our back yard. Since I found Pablo by the same door that was tripped, I just imagined he tried to do something to get out in a fit of hysteria, so he must have been the culprit. Poor guy.
So at this point it’s 12:45 AM and we have a frantic dog on our hands. ”More Bach Flower remedy!”, we thought. Too bad he was so beside himself he would not take in any food. Unfortunately there is no simple solution to this. We put him in his crate before the police came just in case they wanted to come inside. He has somehow learned that if he rams his head hard enough against the door of the cage, he can bend the frame and get out. How about the garage? Michelle said no as there is “too much stuff he can get into”. I was slowly realizing what must be done. “You guys go to bed and I’ll handle it.” So I took Pablo in the master bedroom alone (I also brought in Lily our #2 Berner hoping that would comfort him) and tried locking him in the bathroom. I was pretty sure that wasn’t going to work, as I could still hear the panting through the door. And besides, he was panting not for the fun of it, he was scared half to death. Poor guy. After a few head butts at the door (I bet if I let him go at it he would have broken the door down) I let him back in and turned on the TV. He immediately jumped up on the bed and sat on my leg. He had to be close to me. I was afraid I had the TV up too loud as it had to be raised so I could hear it over his panting. He was breathing so hard and fast that I felt I had just put a quarter in one of those old vibrating hotel beds. (I know. Sadly most of you are too young to get that reference.)
So this would finally give me a chance to watch the Jimmy Fallon show. I am never up this late any more. Sadly I was a bit disappointed as it was just plain boring. That is except for when the animal guy took a live badger and pretended to have it attack Jimmy’s face. His expression and reaction were just too funny. I spend the next hour or so flipping channels and waiting for the storm to die down. Eventually it did and we all drifted off to sleep.
So this morning I put an ad on Craigslist: “Lovable, well adjusted, laid back dog needs a good home…” No I didn’t. We all love that dog. He sure keeps it interesting around here.