I remember the days when I loved a good thunderstorm. I used to find it so relaxing and peaceful. Lightning flashing in the sky, the sound of the rain beating against the windows and the crashes of thunder, but sadly the enjoyment of storms ended for me 15 years ago.
Summer, my basset, was a year old and I knew she needed a friend so after weeks of searching, I found Mattie. I don't like to say I rescued Mattie because the truth is she rescued me (but that"s another story). She has been the best little girl any pet owner could ever ask for. It wasn't long after she came to live with me and Summer that I realized she was terrified of storms. She would shake, pant and try to burrow into anything she could to escape the sounds of thunder and the flashes of lightning. The only thing that helped her during the storms was me on the floor with her, the lights on and the volume to the TV up as loud as it could go. Today, Mattie is 15 and has lost a lot of her hearing, so storms are not as frightening to her as they used to be as long as I have the lights on to douce the lightning.
Summer passed away October 2009 at age 14 (saddest day of my life, but again that's another story). I knew Mattie needed a new friend so.... enter Wrigley. I brought Wrigley home February 2010. All was well until the first storms of the season came in late February. Yup, you guessed it. Wrigley is scared of storms, no, let me re-phrase that....she's terrified of storms. The picture of Wrigley above is of her wearing the "Thunder Shirt". You know, the one advertised on TV that promises to keep your dog calm during storms. Save your money...it doesn't work. I have also tried a natural product called "Calm Paste" that a good friend gave me. It doesn't work either. I even went to the vet to get a mild tranquilizer and guess what? It worked but it knocked Wrigley out for the day. So, no more tranquilizers for Wrigley. We are just going to go au natural from here on out and hope that she will grow out of her fear of storms.
Guess what it's doing outside right now? Let me give you a hint...all the lights are on and the TV is blaring in the background. Oh yeah, and Wrigley is in my lap as I try to write this blog post. So, for those of you who can....enjoy the storm.
I have always slept on the right side of the bed. Always! Well, that was until Wrigley joined the family 2 years ago. Mattie has never slept in the bed. She always liked her own bed on the floor next to mine. As long as Mattie was in the bedroom with me, she was a happy camper.
This is how bed time plays out at my house....When it's time to go to bed, I say "let's go to bed", both Mattie and Wrigley get up from wherever they are and off to the bedroom we go. Once we get in the room, I immediately go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. Once I exit the bathroom Mattie is already nestled on her bed and ready for a long slumber. Wrigley, however, is standing on my bed ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE! I walk over and push her to the left then I get under the covers and wait for Wrigley to make her move. It's like clockwork...she comes over and stands on my chest until I push her to the left side of the bed. She then proceeds to walk to the bottom of the bed, outlining my body, then walks up the narrow path on the right. She stands there until I move over. I know what you're thinking "Just don't move over". Yeah, I tried that but it doesn't work. She will stand there until I decide to move. One night she literally stood there for at least 10 minutes before I caved. Since I am not a person that particularly cares for confrontation (unless absolutely necessary) I have learned it's just easier to get used to the left side of the bed. Ok, I will never get used to sleeping on the left side of the bed, but at least I sleep much better on the left side of the bed knowing that Wrigley and Mattie are comfortable. I'm such a pushover. No pun intended.
Today is Mattie's 15th birthday and Wrigley's 2nd. Yes, they share a birthday. I brought Wrigley into our lives 4 months after the passing of my Summer. After a few days of Wrigley being in her new home I called the breeder to ask the exact date she was born. When she told me December 1st, I was dumbfounded. I remember calling a few people and telling them how coincidental that they shared the same birth date. I know the odds were 1/365, but still it was 1/365! No one seemed as shocked or surprised about their shared birthday as I was, but to me it was confirmation that I had not made a mistake.
On the long drive home to Louisville from Columbus with Wrigley on my lap, I couldn't help but wonder if Mattie would like her. I knew that Mattie was older and set in her ways, but I also knew Mattie was very lonely without Summer. I kept thinking Wrigley is so small, what if Mattie steps on her or what if Mattie chomps her in half? What if Mattie hates her? As the first days passed and they became familiar with one another all my fears were laid to rest. Wrigley took to Mattie as her new best friend and Mattie showed great tolerance for this bundle of energy that took the place of her best friend of 14 years. I couldn't ask for a better pair. I am so thankful to have both of these little creatures in my life. Happy Birthday Mattie and Wrigley.