Bless her heart! Rita is so afraid of thunder and there seems to be nothing that will help her much . . or what might help her, I fear will also hurt her.
The Thundershirt works so long as the thunder isn’t horribly loud and doesn’t last more than 20 minutes or so. We’ve tried Benadryl with very little success. The vet gave us a prescription but it makes her so unsteady for hours! She loves being on the back of the sofa and the sofa isn’t against a wall. When she’s in a panic, she jumps down from the sofa, runs around the house, jumps back onto the sofa and up on the back of the sofa and I’m so afraid she’s going to fall off and hurt herself that I’m hesitant to give her those meds. I figure a little panic attack will end as soon as the thunder is over . . a broken bone or injured back or neck . . not so much.
I’m a firm believer that every dog should be crate trained. Since Rita came here as a young adult and had so many issues and we knew nothing about her past, she really flipped out when I put her in a crate. She was afraid and upset and not knowing if she related the crate to bad treatment in her past, I chose not to pursue the crate issue. Speck loves his crate and if he’s hurt, feeling bad or just not wanting to deal with us, he goes to his crate. Rita will not even go near the crate. If I could give her the meds and put her in the crate where I new she wouldn’t get injured, I’d do that but . . as of now, that isn’t an option. Once Speck is gone, I will try the trick we used with Speck — put a sheet in the dryer, get it nice and warm and put it in the crate. That’s what made him love going in his crate. Even now, 16 years after we did that, when I take clothes from the dryer, he will often run to his crate and I’ll often sacrifice a clean T-shirt or towel — anything warm — to toss in there for him
Last night, we knew the bad weather was coming. They said 9 p.m., then 11 p.m., then 1:30 a.m. I can sleep through anything and Vince cannot so he went to bed about 10:30 p.m. I figured I’d stay up and keep Rita quiet so he could sleep. After about 1:30 when the weather looked like it might split and go around us, which it often does, I went to bed. I think it was about 2:30 a.m. when Rita woke Vince up scratching on the door. I would never have heard her but Vince kept saying “We have to give her something to calm her down!” I explained that the weather would pass and it would be quiet again in an hour or so but, if we gave her meds, she’d still be groggy 8 hours later and we’d be watching her every move so she didn’t get hurt. Vince got up and went and sat in the living room with her. He tried to sleep in the recliner but she was up and down, panting and falling apart!
It may sound cruel but my suggestion is for Vince to sleep with ear plugs. No matter what Rita does during the night, it isn’t going to wake me up . . unless Vince wakes me up! Nothing we can do for Rita will help her, except giving her the meds and honestly, they don’t make her immune to the thunder, they just seem to make her groggy. She is going to pant and flip out, run around, up and down off the sofa . . whether we’re awake or not. My feeling is . . if I can’t solve your problem, let me sleep through it.
Rita is sleeping.
Speck is sleeping.
Vince is sleeping.
The only reason I’m not sleeping is because I have a road trip tomorrow and if I take a nap today, I’ll be up late tonight and then may be sleepy driving tomorrow so I’m going to try to stay awake and go to bed early tonight . . which almost never works for me.
Oops! I just looked at the weather and anyone sleeping better enjoy it while they can because we may have thunder again soon.
I would never wish away the rain here but I can wish for rain with no thunder, right? It’s weird because I love a good thunderstorm. Living in Missouri, it seemed with thunder came tornado sirens so I dreaded the thunder. Here, thunderstorms mean a little dog is scared to death. Will I ever get to enjoy thunderstorms again? Oh well . . I’ll take no tornadoes and a peaceful dog any day over a thunderstorm.