THE CLAP OF THUNDER CAPER

by Cheryl Poulin
(Ottawa, ON Canada)

Gus and his Thunder Struck Mom!

Gus and his Thunder Struck Mom!

I have a fear of thunderstorms. Darkening skies make me anxious. I even nag my husband to not go out in them. Of course he does not listen.

When we picked up our Great Pyr puppy we were told in passing that he comes from a long line of dogs that fear thunderstorms. Oh, and his mom and grand-mom are both “counter jumpers”, but that’s a story for another time. We gladly took our boy, Gus, home in any case.

Now I have watched enough episodes of the Dog Whisperer to completely understand the whole energy thing. If I’m anxious my dog will likely be anxious. I get that. With much work I have almost overcome my irrational fear of imminent storms. And that fear has never been transferred to Gus.

Gus is now 4 years old and has had no issues even from some very severe storms. Thunder does not bother him at all. Maybe it is due to all of the years laying next to the big sub-woofer speaker in our home theater. Who knows? He is a Pyr! But now he has a new quirk that puzzles me.

During the last 2 storms he has asked to be let out using his signal of pawing at the back door. That usually means: "Take me to my kennel to do my “business”. But this was not quite right since his routine is usually earlier or later than when the storms came. So here it is. It’s raining and thundering and my heart is beating... did I mention that I am not in love with thunder storms? And he’s barking his warning bark and he's looking pretty serious about getting out.

Of course the idea of going outside into a storm is way past my comfort zone, plus it’s downright dangerous... Isn't it? Still, he insists and I’m thinking, “Holy smokes, if he doesn’t get out now I’ll have a heck of a mess to clean up! He's really got to go!” So I wait until the thunder is somewhat distant and with a little prayer and a rain slick and my waterproof boots on I decide to brave the elements and take Gus out there.

So here I am in the kennel (surrounded by a lightning conducting steel fence), offering up yet again a little prayer. The serious guardian that he is, Gus stands guard. He moves slowly and deliberately and he’s listening, nose up. What does he smell? What does he hear?

The thunder rolls and he’s on it! Bark, bark, bark. A few more steps, he listens, eyes squinting against the rain... completely focused and intent. CRACK-BOOM-BOOM! Bark, bark, bark! Snort! Harumph!

I swear if he had a fist he would have been shaking it at the bruised heavens with a stern message “Get back and stay back!!! This is my last warning!” And with that he came back to me and gestured that he wanted to be hitched up to go back indoors. No pee, no nothing. Okay Mom. You're safe.

I do believe my fearless Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog is guarding me against thunderstorms. Amazing guardians aren't they?

Comments for THE CLAP OF THUNDER CAPER

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Aug 07, 2010
Pyrs are FEARLESS!
by: Martha

Oh Cheryl! Great story! Gus is taking care of you...instead of picking up on your anxiety and taking it on, he is probably going into "guardian" mode.

We have a Cairn Terrier that shakes, squeaks and hides under furniture during storms. Like Gus though, our Pyr FRANK seems to challenge the storm. She barks into the sky when it gets too loud. She even growls sometimes!

Great story! thanks

Aug 07, 2010
Martha and Frank
by: Cheryl

Was so hoping to hear from you!

Frank (my hubby who looks after the Great Pyrenees website) and I are completely enthralled with your Great Pyr Frank stories.

I thought, "geeze, here goes", will Martha like my story the way I like hers? And there you were completely validating my story.

Please keep on writing and some day, publish your doggie memoirs. You have an awesome gift!

Cheerios,

Cheryl
Frank's wife and Gus' Mommy. :o)


Aug 08, 2010
Everyone with a Pyr writes with love....
by: Martha

At least, I think so. You cannot help it. When you type out the stuff that flows from inside you; and your subject is a creature you love; then the result is always heartwarming and often entertaining too!

Cheryl it is so good to confirm the connection between you and your Frank and Gus. I love how we can smile and nod about the traits our dogs display. That's the fun about having a CLUB!

Sadly, our Frank went a bit overboard on "guardian" duty this week at the cottage. A black bear came onto the property while Frank was outside with the kids at dusk. I did not see what happened as I was in Wilberforce picking up groceries. Nana and Papa and the kids were there, and not one of them has the exact same story to tell.

The only thing I can confirm is that there was a lot of awful noise while bear and Frank got into it; and the bear then ran into the woods.

When I got home, Frank was lying exhausted on the deck surrounded by all the kids and Nana. To make it short, that thick mane of fur around her neck saved her. There were shallow puncture wounds, a bite on her tongue of all places, and she broke a few "toe nails", but otherwise okay.

She is on oral antibiotics, and we are using an antibio spray on her wounds 4 x per day.

I think I will get Dan (Daddy/Cop) to "interview" all the witnesses so we can get the story straight.

By the way, since the incident, Frank has been getting salmon, t-bone steak and liverwurst - that's where I hide her antibiotic capsule.


Aug 08, 2010
Fearless Frank Indeed!
by: Frank

Wow! What a story! Frank and a Black Bear.

Martha, we can hardly wait until you get the "full" story and publish the whole account as another chapter in the ongoing saga of life with your Great Pyr Frank.

Here's wishing her a quick recovery.


Jul 24, 2011
Thunder storms and Pete
by: Monica

Our 5 year old Pyr Pete, is really not a fan of thunderstorms OR fireworks. We had 3 collies before we got our first Pyr and they were not afraid of thunder, but Pete, even as a puppy would become quite dysfunctional at the first clap of thunder or the first crack of a firecracker or fireworks. He even tries to climb up on the lazy boy chair with me! When our kids were small, we would love to sit out on our covered front porch, listening to the storms coming and going, the dogs sleeping by our sides. Not anymore. Now we have to make sure all the windows are closed and the air conditioning fan is on high AND the TV is up loud, just to keep Pete from getting that panicked look, panting and drooling all over everything.
We now also have an 18 month female Pyr who is totally non plussed about thunder or fireworks, in fact she just barks at the noise and carries on, totally fearless. Strange animals, but we love them!!

Dec 20, 2012
Sandy
by: HueyT

That reminds me that the 1st plus week I got Roman home, we went through "Sandy" (silent prayers for those affected).

The wind was so bad that I was deathly afraid that our trees are going to come down and (TY God, that we are spared) many trees did in our area.

We were just getting Roman into his "routine" for his potty training, thus have to walk him ever 2-3 hours to "get the gist of his schedule. Both hubby & I took turns walking him in the howling wind & ice cold rain blasting in our faces even during the height of the storm. We were huddling so close to our house structure the wind was so bad.

Roman, our dear Roman is such a little chicken sh!tz (per my hubby) that he was whining so bad having to be subjected to that "water & wind torture" being forced outside on his leash... he would so quickly do his business & came rushing back into the safety of his home.

It was quite a funny sight to watch actually & boy did he not want to head out into Sandy.

Sandy was quite some storm.


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