Saturday, August 22, 2009
The pups and I had an interesting socialization opportunity yesterday. Our county got hit by a very serious thunder storm in the late afternoon. The pups had weathered regular storms without missing a beat but this was a big one and it passed right over our house, complete with thunder, lightening, torrential rain and very strong winds. The EZ-Up that provides shade and shelter in the puppy yard got picked up and tossed about 30 feet onto our patio. Trash cans and lids were thrown about and leaves were dumped into our swimming pool but thankfully we had no serious damage.
The pups were a little unsure when I came running over from the office. The noise was loud and the lightening bright. The electricity in the air was so bad that the hairs on my necks and arms were standing up. The pups were debating whether to hide but our adult dogs are calm in storms so the pups were reluctantly taking their cues from them.
We focus pretty heavily on ensuring our pups and dogs are not afraid of thunder but we usually do that by playing tapes and CDs. Alas, this was no CD. So, I started playing games with the pups. I let them loose in the porch, dumped the bag of toys on the ground and threw kibble whenever the thunder or wind shook the house. Treats rained from the sky at every scary moment and soon the pups were scrambling around to get the treats even when the noise was at its loudest. We played tug, fetch and "climb all over Gayle" (a traditional favorite). The pups played keep away and WWF wrestling with each other. They ended up trashing the screen porch but having a great time in the process and forgetting about the storm. To be honest, I'm pretty afraid of lightening so it did me good, too.
The only repercussion from the storm that I can see is that the pups are using the litter boxes more than before. I suspect it is because they are somewhat reluctant to go outside to pee and poop. Any that were outside when the EZ-Up took off may take a little bit of time to get over that event. We'll spend lots of time out there over the next few days, when it isn't raining that is. The EZ-Up goes back in the yard tomorrow and we'll have a party with our sister-in-law, niece and anyone else that comes to visit.
One last story before I go. As I'm sure you have noticed, we teach our pups to climb for many reasons. They learn they have a rear end when they have to go up or down things, thus developing the nerves that fire their back legs. They learn they can fall off of things so they should be careful around edges. They learn to problem solve, how to get up and how to get back down. And, its very entertaining to hear the stories from their new owners when they find their pup climbing on every surface in sight--picnic tables, agility tables, etc.
Yesterday after the storm, the pups were having a great time playing on the small goose decoy in the inside pen. They were balancing on it, lying on it, chewing on its beak. As I was watching, I saw Miss Yellow starting to ponder something. She climbed on the goose, stood on her hind legs and reached for the chair that holds the x-pen in place. Sure enough, she hauled herself onto the chair and started exploring the window and sill. She contemplated trying to get over the x-pen but decided that wasn't going to work. She had a grand time before hopping down. I enjoyed watching her but decided to move the goose out of the pen for a while :-). You can see a photo above of her on her perch and more in the Week 7 listings.
Still hot and sweaty in NY,