Have I mentioned that the dog is afraid of thunder?
Well, welcome to springtime in the South.
Tuesday night we had some intense rain and thunder in small cells, which scared the bejeebers out of Bander-Boo. He generally reacts by huffing and pacing and panting and trying to get our attention. Jessie can sleep through the antics, but I'm a light sleeper and I can't. On the basis that at least one of the three family members should get a decent night's sleep, I always get up, take the dog into the living room, and close the bedroom door. The dog then proceeds to get on my very last nerve while keeping me awake until the weather clears.
Tuesday, that was bad, but not awful - I ended up going to bed at 10:30, getting up at 2:00, going back to bed at 4:30 and getting up again for the day at 6:00. Five hours, rocky but manageable.
Except that it rained and thundered again last night. Started at around 10 pm and didn't stop until 4 in the morning. So I fell asleep at 4 am and got up for the day at 6:30, a very short 2 1/2 hours later.
Guess what's predicted for tonight?
I can't be mad at the dog for being afraid. He's not doing it on purpose. And the most effective way, we've learned, to handle his fear is to ignore it. Not to comfort him or yell or do anything at all.
And I can't be mad at the dog today, either, because dogs don't go "ooo, I bet she's just cranky over last night, or that time I said mean things about her sister." Dogs are the ultimate Zen masters - they live in the NOW. This is why punishment in general doesn't work well as a training tool, because dogs just don't connect past actions to current reactions.
All Bander knows today, right this minute, is that he's tired, too. He didn't sleep any more than Mama did. He tried to find a quiet place in the yard but didn't get much farther than the back steps.
I am doing my very best to be patient. But god help people who cross my path. I will therefore stay home today, and prep for the coming storm. By napping, if I'm lucky.