It is raining quite hard right now. Normally I would not be awake yet, but I’m up and working in the living room with our largest, oldest dog on her leash attached to my ankle. If I let her off the leash, she will go into our bedroom and pant in my husband’s face in an effort to get his attention, or she’ll go upstairs and wake the kids for their attention. Instead, I get up, give her a little sympathy and scratches (not enough, she thinks), and get some work done.
It started with her being a little anxious with the loudest thunder and fireworks. Then she slowly, over the course of several years, grew to fear all thunder. Even distant thunder that was quiet and clearly no where near us. And then just a heavy rain would set her off, thunder not required.
That’s the problem today: it’s raining hard, and she doesn’t like it. We’ve tried sedatives and anti-anxiety meds, we’ve tried various training techniques, but when she’s upset, nothing will calm her down. She pants, she paces, she paws at me. She crawls onto our bed—she’s not allowed on any furniture, normally—and tries to lay on top of my face. And if I’m not properly sympathetic, she makes the rounds to the rest of the family to find someone who is. In order to let everyone else sleep, I usually get up with her like I did today, and then try to go back to bed once she settles down.
It makes stormy weather, and even rain, a bit of an ordeal.
How often am I just like her? I let something get so out of hand inside my head that I am completely freaking out and unable to function normally. I would do anything to avoid what I’m afraid of, and try desperately to get rid of it. Except it isn’t really a problem, or only a small one, but certainly not the epic disaster that I’m making it out to be. Really, if I just took a minute to put things into perspective, I would realize that I have no reason to be so afraid.
In the time it took to write this, the rain slowed enough that the dog stopped panicking and laid down to sleep on my feet. I’m going to spend some time thinking about some of the things I’ve been fretting about, and lay them to rest as well.