In Which I Hope To Be More Like my Shorkie (Maybe, with better hair.)

Bella The Freaked out Pooch“Scratch, Scratch, Whimper. Scratch. RRRRRUMBLE BOOM! Scratchety, Scratch- Whimper Whimper!” 

No, there wasn’t an earthquake. No, my home wasn’t invaded by a wild animal. Nor was a raccoon trapped in my chimney. (That idea freaks me out.)  Nope. I was just trying to go to the bathroom during a thunder storm.  Bella- my shorkie -would have none of this “closed door between us” business.  She won. I was soon joined by Duncan the Porkie, as well. It was a regular pooch par-tay in the potty.  (And here-  I thought I was past the “not able to pee alone” phase of life. Not so much.)

Bella has issues. Anxiety issues. She’s afraid of everything: The fireplace. Thunder. Rain. Hail. (But -not the UPS guy. Or, the Pizza guy. I’m pretty sure she wants to eat their faces off. Like I said- she has issues.) We’ve tried everything from that calming hormone spray stuff, to a $40 Thunder shirt. Which, she is wearing at the moment. (Seriously? a $40 dog shirt? Ridiculous. I know. With very few exceptions- I don’t even spend that much on my own tops. But- she shakes so hard during thunder storms that I’m afraid she’ll rattle her brains loose. And let’s face it- she can’t afford brain damage. She has enough issues. So I’m trying the thunder shirt. So far? It’s just making Duncan try to chew it off of her. I think he’s trying to set her free.  He also: has issues.)

In addition to shaking when afraid- Bella, and now- Duncan, follow me around the house as if tethered to my ankles. (Where Bella goes- Duncan goes. He’s codependent like that.) This would  be cute if we were training for a dog weaving between your feet- trick at a show or something- but we’re not. And- since my last surgery- I have trouble seeing my feet. So, this dogs circling my feet during anxiety attacks often results in my tripping over them. Or, stepping on them. Sometimes: both. Much human and dog yelping, then ensues.

Yes, I live in a zoo, without a keeper, I’m aware.

This morning involved both the “Let’s try to kill the human by tripping her” game and the “Let’s watch her pee- she’s the source of all security, and something could happen behind that closed door-” game.

Then, I tried to sneak out the door to drive my youngest human- to school. As I double checked for my keys, made sure he had his homework and simultaneously shoved- I mean- encouraged him out the door- (He’s likewise- not a fan of storms.)

Bella- bolted. Out the door. Into the storm. “Wha?????” I know. That’s what I was thinking too.

Apparently- she wanted to go with us. Enough so-that running into the very thing she is most afraid of- a storm-in order to be near her humans of all security and safety- made sense, in her dog brain. Or, maybe- as Noah suggested-  it was the thunder shirt cutting off oxygen to her brain.

Anyway- after a short scene of panic and visions of chasing a shaking shorkie through the neighborhood in a thunder storm- we scooped her up and put her back in the house. (Yes, we- it took both of us. She was on a mission to stay tethered to my ankle.)

As Noah and I dodged raindrops handmade it to the car- I wondered if maybe I need to be more like Bella. see- when a storm hits- literally and figuratively- I tend to  run around battening down hatches- taking care of details, making lists and cleaning random things. Pretty much the woman equivalent of chasing my tail and shaking MY brains loose.

What if- instead of all this shaking and worry  and trying to control and chasing my tail with busyness I create- I spent that energy staying close to the one who can both calm the storm- and calm me? What if I was so convinced that He could- that I was willing to run INTO the storm- just to be near him?

Maybe crazy Bella is onto something.

I think I’ll give it a try.

Dear Lord- there are storms in life. Somedays are more stormy than others. Lately, it seems that one rolls in as soon as another rolls out. I see myself in Bella, I’m high strung- shaking my brains loose with anxiety over things I can’t control. Help me to stay closer to you- than Bella does to me. Help me to not waste energy shaking with fear. When I need to- help me to run through the storm- to get to you- In Jesus name- amen.


“My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;[c]
 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”  From Psalm 55












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