When did my dog turn into a wuss?

So yesterday was the coldest day of Winter so far and I arrived home to discover there was no power! Are you freaking kidding me, Xcel??? A quick glance across the street however showed Christmas lights a-blazing at the neighbor’s house. Ugh.

For some reason my little block seems to get hit by the evil power fairies periodically. Normally this isn’t a problem but like I said, it was the coldest night of the season and it was expected to snow all night long. And while candlelight is kind of groovy in a romantic sort of way when there is electricity, it does nothing for a tired person who just wants to come home to play with the dog, make a nice hot dinner, and catch a couple episodes from the recent Breaking Bad marathon, and not have to eat a PBJ or nosh on a few dry crackers in the dark. When I called Xcel to report the outage and get a sense about when the power would be back up, they said, oh yeah, we know all about it and we’re hoping everything will be back to normal by 9:22 (yup, they were that exact on the timing) but if I had any other concerns or issues, I should ‘go online to report them.’ It was 6:10. Hell-loo people?? I DON’T HAVE ANY FREAKING POWER, YOU MORONS!!! How am I supposed to go online? Does anyone know when companies will begin to understand the concept of optics and how stupid they can appear to their customers sometimes?

One problem with the power going out is that every electric clock in the house has to be reset not to mention a complete reboot for the satellite dish.  Power outages also seem to play havoc with one certain smoke alarm (for some unknown reason) and it was in overdrive chirping its displeasure at the power cut. I had no idea when that bad boy started chirping away but Sam was nearly beside himself when I unlocked the door. When I first got him nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing fazed him. Now it seems that chirping alarms completely wig him out. And there are a few other things that I’ve noticed in the past year or so as well that also tend to freak him out, but the smoke alarms are ginormous in his mind.

020 Trust me when I say there’s nothing like trying to comfort a 60 lb. hound who’s scared out of his wits and trying desperately to either climb into your lap or get as close to you as possible while you try your hardest to keep him from stroking out. I’ve had dogs in the past that didn’t do well with thunderstorms or fireworks, but Sam always seemed immune to them, until recently. Loud noises are starting to become problematic and that annoying chirping sound ranks right up there on the Top-10 wig-out list. Sam was drooling all over, pacing around like a caged tiger, panting like crazy and generally being uber-stressed. Once I got him calmed down (or so I thought), we snuggled together for body heat and comfort and waited till the power went back on. Tick, tick, tick. Ever notice when the power goes out how time crawls ever so slowly? Yeah, super s-l-o-w-l-y.

Eventually the power was restored but Sam’s affable demeanor sure wasn’t. Every ten minutes or so, he wanted to go back outside and check the “pee-mail” or whatever until the smoke alarm reset its quiet self. Did I mention it was the coldest night of Winter? While going potty when it’s needed isn’t a problem (even when it’s inconveniently cold), I sure as hell don’t want to stand outside shivering while he breathes deeply and gets his calm juju back on! He woke me up at midnight, at 1 AM, at 3:22 AM, and again at 5:12 AM. Bastard. By 5:12 I was ready to get up but certainly wasn’t prepared to again stand out in the sub-zero temps so he could survey the length of the alley and take extra time sniffing every nook and cranny. He was still so stressed out he didn’t even eat breakfast.

By the time we went for our morning constitutional an hour later, he was all gung-ho frisky as if he were running the Iditarod (BTW, did you know that back in the 1988 Iditarod, musher John Suter entered the race with a team of standard European poodles but rules were passed thereafter allowing only northern breeds like Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes to race. Seems many of the poodles were dropped off at checkpoints due to frozen feet and hair-matting problems–boy can I relate to that-Sam has to wear boots in the snow). But enough digression…back to the wussy dog.

Keeping Sam corralled so I didn’t break anything on icy sidewalks wasn’t easy but maintaining the quick pace kind of helped keep me slightly warm. After an abbreviated romp, he was finally calm enough to eat and take a big dog stretch and give me that “Hey, I’m going back to bed look.” I, on the other hand needed to re-shovel the night’s snow accumulation and then drag my sorry butt to work. I know he’s gonna sleep 98% of the day, and as payback maybe I should tickle the hairs between his toes tonight. Just thinking out loud here-but who am I kidding, I’m going to bed early! 😉

So bottom line question is when did this strapping, devil-may-care, athletic dog suddenly become a wuss when it comes to noises? Has your pooch’s behavior changed recently?

There’s a New Year on the way and the pawsibilities are endless! Live, Love, Bark <3