Who’s afraid of the big bad…..cold?

As Fiona has gotten older she has become more sensitive to sounds…thunderstorms, high winds and the house creaking, settling.

With this recent cold snap (very recent as of last night) she is beside herself.  Despite the walls of our house being concrete blocks our inner walls, ceilings and roof are wood.  A couple of years ago during a cold snap we noticed Fiona would get agitated as the house contracted in the cold.  However, last night was the triple whammy-the high winds, the house contracting from the cold & the CO detector went off-….for some unknown reason after I went to bed (she followed me into the bedroom) the CO detector in there went off, levels were fine but we wondered if the high winds were forcing gases back down the chimney since it only went off once.  But that started it, Fiona freaked out at the high piercing sound.  Fred told me she then started pacing.  He tried taking her out but she ran from him as if trying to get away from the noise of the wind.  Then as the temperatures plummeted the house started to creak (loud popping noises actually.)  When he came to bed Fred mentioned Fiona had been shaking and going to her safe places for the past 4 hours (in the bathtub, in the corner of the living room behind the furniture).

I got up and gave her a Benadryl which seemed to help, then invited her up onto the bed with us where she laid getting her belly rubbed for awhile.  When my alarm went off she followed me into the kitchen and is currently under the computer desk because (you guessed it) the roof creaked again.  I feel like a mother with a sick baby, don’t know what to do to soothe her and keep trying different tactics without only temporary success.  On top of it all I have an evening class to teach today so I won’t be home until early evening leaving Fred to have to deal with Fiona’s anxiety (and we all know “dads” just don’t’ have the same level of compassion at times as “moms”).   I have instructed him under NO conditions is Fiona to be let out loose (as we normally do) because I am concerned she will run in an attempt to flee the “big bad house.”   I can only hope this cold snap won’t be as long-lived as predicted but I think that hope is in vain.

Fiona in warmer weather!

Fiona in warmer weather!

Just whose bed is it anyway?

The "bed of honor"

The “bed of honor”

With 3 dogs needless to say we have several dog beds around the house; 2 in the kitchen with a crate that Gypsy feels belongs to her exclusively, 2 in the living room in addition to the couch which Phoenix feels is his while Gypsy sleeps under the dining room table (we have an open floor plan and the dining room is just off the living room forming an “L”) as well as 3 dog beds in the bedroom.  Gypsy and Phoenix like to sleep under the bed while Fiona likes to sleep on our bed (one side or the other OR across the foot of the bed warming both sides for our feet).

Despite all the available places to sleep there is always a competition to see who can claim the bed between Fred’s chair and mine in the living room.  Fiona thinks this is her place, Gypsy thinks she should have priority and occasionally Phoenix gets in the act to claim the spot too.

Last evening I had to chuckle to myself as Gypsy was laying on the bed, Fiona then faked her out acting like she wanted out, when Gypsy got up Fiona doubled back so she could lay down on the dog bed.  Later Phoenix got off the couch to get a drink of water, Fiona followed him into the kitchen AND he doubled back to claim the “bed of honor”.   We don’t know what the attraction of this dog bed is but it sure is the place to be in our dogs opinion.