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!

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Who’s been sitting in my chair?/Lap time

So, I was traveling for work earlier this week (YES, I FINALLY GOT A JOB AFTER 8 MONTHS OF UNEMPLOYMENT!!!!!) which meant Fred was home alone with the dogs.

Normally Phoenix will lay on the couch, the floor or a dog bed but Saturday evening while I was sitting on the LaZ-Boy he came over to me and started nudging my knee.  Since the dogs had just finished dinner I presumed Phoenix was trying to tell me he needed to go out.  So Fred took all 3 dogs out, Fiona went into the brush between our house and the neighbors, Gypsy wanted to walk further back on the property (now that we are down to 4 inches of snow from the 12 inches we had on Tuesday, spring-like temperatures on Saturday—the winter solstice—and again today, Sunday) and Phoenix just stood on the step of the porch.  A bit later I got up to go to the bedroom to change into my lounging PJs; when I came back the LaZ-Boy was occupied!  Phoenix had climbed up and made himself comfortable, head on the armrest, legs tucked under him and eyes starting to droop closed as he started to doze off to sleep.  Apparently he didn’t want outside but wanted me to get up so he could sleep on the chair.  I chuckled and Fred came back to the livingroom wondering what was so comical, told him he had to see it to understand.  When Fred looked Phoenix opened his eyes and wagged his tail.  In my absence Phoenix decided he would sit where I normally do and wasn’t ready to relinquish the chair back to me.

Fiona, on the other hand, missed me as well.  BUT Fiona will “share” the chair with me, meaning she likes to lay on my legs while I sit in the chair—her lap time.  Friday evening she was on my lap for the majority of the evening, same thing Saturday morning which is not normal.  Usually she will climb up for a short period then decide it’s time to lay on her dog bed—not this weekend, she was into some SERIOUS lap time.

You may wonder what Gypsy did; well, she just wanted belly rubs and for me to pay constant attention to her when I first got home.  She did do some snuggling when I went to bed on Friday because, you know, she is our “snuggle puppy.IMG_0034