Thursday, September 19, 2013
After calling for thunderstorms with much fanfare and very little follow-through all summer, it was bound to happen eventually. Last week we got hit with a storm like I don’t remember seeing ever before in this hemisphere of the world. Cody knew it was coming.
Like many dogs, our Gordon Setter is afraid of storms. The Farmer says the dog ‘developed’ this behaviour only after I arrived and showed concern but I think Cody probably was always afraid of storms and just wanted to appear tough. When a storm is simmering in the distance, he starts jumping up and down on the back porch where he can be seen from the kitchen window.
Then the high-pitched whining begins. Cody is an outdoor dog. He loves being in the house for a visit and a nap but he isn’t housebroken (at 14 years of age) and can’t control his urge to eat everything in sight so he can’t be left alone in the house. So when we go to work or leave the house for any reason, out he goes to his back porch and doghouse – whether a storm is coming or not.
A storm was coming the other day, but The Farmer and I had an event to attend for the hospital at the golf course. Ominous clouds rolled in out of nowhere and cracked open, pouring rain down onto the party tent. The light was flashing on my phone so I opened the email and there it was. Severe thunderstorms eminent with the possibility of a tornado for our area. Great. And here we were, under a party tent that was being held up by a huge electricity conducting steel pole. Suddenly an image of Cody cowering in his doghouse crossed my mind.
The winds whipped at our golf course tent and Lowell Green himself held the wall flaps together as the buffet table threatened to topple over. We got through our festivities as quickly as possible, and excused ourselves to return home.
Dogs are extremely sensitive creatures. They have been known to predict earthquakes and to save people from fires. They take the whole storm / natural disaster thing very seriously and they trust their instincts.
Cody probably waited a few minutes for us, watched for a sign that someone was coming from the house to rescue him, then he just took off. No chain can hold that dog if he really wants to go. And go he did, down O’Neill and around to McDonald and up to County Road 20, where a nice lady opened her front door and he just ran right in, thank you very much.
Finding no tag on him, she and her daughter made a sign and put it at the end of their driveway. Both the Farmer and I drove by said sign about an hour later and didn’t notice. Then she piled Cody and her daughter into the car and off they went, to the vet for a microchip reading. We didn’t even know he came with a microchip. But then, the Farmer had him scheduled for a neutering before he realized he also came without that particular set of equipment. I guess he didn’t spend a whole lot of time poring over those adoption papers.
So Cody got a ride in to town and back, which I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed. Before they even returned from town, the vet had tracked us down in her system and called us. We called the keeper of the dog and she kindly agreed to drop him off to us. Her daughter was more than a little disappointed that we had been found. She was already formulating plans to keep Cody as her very own. The Farmer and I exchanged a look over that comment.
At about midnight, six hours after Cody’s original panic, the storm really hit. The flashes of light ran one into the other, illuminating the sky for several moments at a time. I climbed out of bed, opened the back door and there he was, our storm chaser, drenched to the bone and looking quite distressed. I rubbed him down with a towel and ushered him up to our room, where he dozed the rest of the night in contentment at the side of our bed.
Posted by Diana Leeson Fisher at 5:33 AM