My shih tzu, Houdini (aka Houdi, Boodie Boo, Booder, The Boo), is terrified of thunderstorms. Rumbling in the distance gets his heart pounding, and lightning and strong rain sets off a full scale panic attack. My fear is that one day he'll die of a heart attack. The only thing that calms him in these times is to sit right by your feet--any person will do. He just wants to be near someone. Of course he prefers being cuddled and petted, but being near is enough.
Now the only problem is, dogs are not allowed inside the house. The Hubby and I agreed that they get deluxe accomodations outside the house, but they are not allowed to set paw inside (the dogs were mine before we got married). So when a storm comes, it's a battle of wills as Boo insists on coming in and we insist on putting him back out. Our first few storms almost made me cry, actually. Since Boo has always been an indoor dog, I suppose in his addlepated brain, he can't understand why he can't come in. I know he's terrified, and only wants some comfort and security, but I have to be firm that the dogs can't come in. It isn't easy for both of us.
Last Friday was the worst storm we've had, and the longest one too. Boo was in full blown panic, so I was going to sit outside on the lanai with him. I closed the french doors to keep him out while I went to get a book, and while I shut down the laptop and PC. He was desperately clawing at the door and I was desperately steeling my heart against him.
Then--blackout. Total darkness, save for the flashes of lightning. By the time I got out the candles and the miniscule flashlight, The Boo had disappeared. I looked for him everywhere. Difficult in total darkness with a pipitsugin flashlight, coupled with the flashes of lighting that blind you momentarily. I tried calling for him till I was hoarse, and I went out in the rain out front and the sides of our house--he was really gone.
I felt horrible.
When The Hubby came back at about midnight, the power was back on and the rain had stopped. We walked around the neighborhood, with our other dog Chloe, who obviously has no future as a tracking dog. No Boodie.
The next day, I hoped that when I got up, Boo would be scratching at the french doors, but it was just a sad-faced Chloe who greeted me. I went around the neighbors' houses, the nearby sari-sari stores, the grocery and meat shop, putting the word out. The Hubby and I drove around for another hour, backtracking and crisscrossing our regular haunts. No Boodie.
I texted my close friends and family, asking them to help pray that The Boo come back safe and sound. And I was really praying. We finally had to put off our Boo hunt, since we had guests coming over, and we had to cook.
At about 3PM, the doorbell rang and two men--village tricycle drivers--asked if we lost a small white dog. They had found one the night before on Rome (that's like 10 blocks down! On Boodie scale, probably 100km), and it was almost swept away by the torrent on the street. Thank God we had reported The Boo's loss to the village security immediately, so when the men had asked the office if anyone was missing a dog, security pointed them in the right direction.
The Boo looked a bit shell shocked (he doesn't bark much now, and he has nightmares), but still ok. The men said that their neighbors were offering to buy Houdi from them for P5,000 but they still decided to look for the owner first.
Thank God for people like that. Thank God for friends and family concerned enough to pray for you and a beloved dog. Thank God for watching over a dog. Thank God for impeccable timing. Thank God that he's the God of all--even small, lost dogs.
Thank you, Lord.
I was out Saturday night, and The Hubby was left home with the dogs. There was another terrible thunderstorm and I was worried about Boo. When I got home, only Chloe greeted me at the gate. No Boo! I was starting my own panic attack. Then The Hubby called out from upstairs, "The Boo's up here."
I was amazed. Not only did The Hubby allow Boodie Boo inside the house, but he let him sleep inside the most sacred of all rooms--the airconditioned home office.
"What about Chloe?" I asked.
"Chloe can't fit through the gate." And that was that.
These are the times that I fall in love with The Hubby all over again.