Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's Raining. The Dog Goes Nuts.

It's been raining ducks and alligators here, and my dog, who is afraid of thunderstorms but won't go in his dog house, has been outside going nuts. Furthermore, I postponed a trip across the lake partly because I don't like driving over the Twin Span when the rain's pouring down, but also because I'm functioning on little sleep today.

Verizon Wireless called me this morning before my wake time and woke me up. The agent tried to get me to renew a contract I just cancelled on the HP Mini. She was nice, and I was polite, but sleep would have been better.

Anyway, on Facebook, where WDSU anchor Norm Robinson does a good job leveraging social media, he talked about enjoying the rain. Then somebody mentioned the song "It's Raining" by Irma Thomas, and I thought of the song "Louisiana 1927," Aaron Neville's version, about the great flood of 1927. However, I also like Randy Newman's version; he wrote the song and his is the first version I heard.

And then I talked about our family's neurotic dog, Bolt. He's afraid of thunderstorms (I've learned many dogs are) and we're trying to only bring him inside if the temperature drops below 34 degrees, not a common thing in New Orleans. When he's been inside in the past, however, during a thunderstorm, he's tried to hide under my dad's recliner while Dad, 90, is in it. And if Dad's not in his chair but in his room, Bolt's tried to get into the room to get under him. We don't really understand this since we've had Bolt since he was a puppy. We got him in New Jersey from the Humane Society for my son. Bolt grew up with a few blizzards but also quite a bit of rain and even snow with thunder. We can't pinpoint when he started to be afraid of thunderstorms with rain, and I don't recall him being this nutty in New Jersey, except he was afraid of stairs. That's a long story.

Bolt didn't come to know my father until I moved back to Louisiana more than three years ago and my mother, who's passed on, and my father came to live with me. So, why does he feel this elder can protect him from the storm? Or is it that my dad has metal in his body (artificial hip and femur) and that somehow changes the electromagnetic force around him? Or maybe it's, as Cesar Millan might say, my dad has "calm assertive energy"? I don't know, but I wish this dog knew how many less desirable places we've lived just to keep him. He's about 65 pounds, a Lab Retriever mutt. Most landlords wouldn't allow him when I was renting, which is one of the reasons I bought a house in 2007 shortly after I moved back. I thank God for that miracle, considering my post-divorce credit rating.

Someone said I should get him doggy downers, but I think I'm going to have to find a Cesar-Millan-like way to rehabilitate him and help him at least love his dog house. He is, after all, in New Orleans now. There's no way for him to escape the sound of thunder and raindrops, and if he doesn't go in his house, he'll only get drenched.

Here is Aaron Neville singing "Louisiana 1927" during the Hurricane Katrina telethon.

This is Randy Newman's version with some pictures and history about the flood of 1927.

While looking up Neville's version, I had good laugh when I came across this Tyra Banks Show video of Beyonce imitating Aaron singing one of the songs he recorded with Linda Ronstadt, "Don't Know Much." After the dog's fit outside—his desperate attempts to throw himself against the back screen door—my waking up too early, and oh, I think I just heard my dad drop something in the kitchen, I needed a small chuckle. Blessing of the day is no sinus headache with the tiny bumps of life, and in about 12 days it's back to UNO.


Anonymous said...

LOL! Reminds me of my dog! She can't tolerate any loud or sharp sounds and I have to bring her in, But she does stay in the hallway, she won't go in the bedrooms unless invited! We once had to re-fence a rental property at our expense no less, because we had a Husky that would climb the six foot chain link. What a pet will make us do LOL!

Stephen B said...

The rain came on through here (FL panhandle) after visiting there in LA. I suppose we needed it...

We had our own devastating flood in Florida in the late Twenties when the Lake Okeechobee overflowed during a hurricane in 1928, killing an estimated 4000 people, many of them field workers. There's a song about it by Will McLean, 'Hold Back the Waters of Lake Okeechobee,' that is somewhat well known in the folkie world.

This did lead to better dikes being built around the lake but that was probably more to protect the large farms and sugar growers than the people who worked for them.

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

DSF, your dog sounds like she has better manners than mine. He needs an obedience refresher, but all and all he follows commands.

Stephen, I'll look that song up. We've seen that same phenomena here, levees and contraptions to protect the wealthy not the workers.