He would start crying when we would get thunderstorms. I was not unsympathetic, but he was not a house dog. He was a big buff outdoorsy dog. I would try to show him in the dog house and then go back to bed. He would be barking again before I made it up the stairs. Back outside I’d go. “Shut up.” Yelling never helped. I’d try to go back to bed and only make it half way up the steps this time. Back down and outside. This time, I would be storming as much as the weather. I’d chase him and yell and swear I’d kill him when I caught him. Of course, this was just what he needed–a fun game of chase to forget the bad weather. Finally, I realized the only way I was going to get any sleep was to bring him in the house.
He was a big outdoors dog, though, so I figured I should sleep downstairs on the couch, hoping I’d wake up if he started doing anything naughty. He curled up on the floor beside me and never moved. He was very well-behaved. Once I figured out I could trust him, I’d let him in when it thundered. Then it was when it rained. He was always good, so I finally got to where I would leave him downstairs, and I would go back up to bed. Always, he was perfectly well-behaved and grateful to be out of the storm.
Soon, I would wake up to Mushu’s barking, stumble down the stairs thinking that I hadn’t heard about rain in the forecast. I’d open the door and he would happily come in. I’d notice the couple of wet drips on the wooden deck, so I’d go back to bed and not think any more of it. Of course, the next morning it would look awfully dry, so maybe it was just a few sprinkles. I’m not sure how many of those nights I let him in thinking his big dog slobbers were raindrops before I actually was awake enough to figure it out (Yes, I am blond).
Now, eleven-and-a-half-years later, I can tell you exactly when the thunder starts because Mushu starts whining and barking. I am back to sleeping on the couch during bad weather so that I can hold his paw when it gets too scary. He a big chicken dog. We don’t even pretend he’s an outdoors dog anymore. He claims my entire home as his dog house. Who wouldn’t be happy to have a black sled dog shedding his undercoat all over the carpet? My mom spoils him by coming and letting him out to the bathroom when it is too cold or too hot or too damp or… Can a dog get any more spoiled? I buy him apples and keep them in a bucket for him to pick out and snack on whenever he wants.