Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Stella's Fear Of Thunder

Can't quite see the rain drops
Since it had not thundered much between the time Stella arrived here in 'the tropics' (Aug 30) and now, she had to remind me this morning that her previous owner had told me "Stella's afraid of thunder". I hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary in last fall's storms so I didn't think much about it when the thunder started pounding loud this morning.

The skies were getting really dark, some lightning strikes near by and a blast of thunder ... just as my morning blog post was published, I lost my satellite internet connection. It wasn't a second after it published it went out. By that time the house was dark as night and Stella was pacing and whining. She ran to the door a few times and nudge the door handle with her nose as if she needed out -- it was just needing to 'escape' that loud noise.

View from the Mahjong game
While having a reassuring chat with her, Sadie came over and placed her nose on top of Stella's head to let her know that all is well inside the house when it is storming outside. Compared to my first basset hound, Harry, this was nothing in terms of a storm. Stella did not freak out, did not pace but stood in place a few times to listen. Harry would have been pacing a hour before the storm arrived and then he would have tried fitting his basset hound body under the couch, behind tables and crying the whole time he paced.

Stella decided this was the best alternative ... let it rain all it wants outside.

With my computer turned off due to the lightning .. I fired up the laptop, running on it's own battery, on the kitchen table so I could play Mahjong and watch it rain at the same time. Here is a screen shot of my addiction .. Mahjong Deluxe, the only app I've ever paid for ... 99 cents. I started last year to get each game completed in less than 7 minutes, then 5 minutes, then under 4 minutes, under 3 min 30 seconds. There are 4 different sections with each being progressively harder and more tiles to remove per game. So about 160 games are included. I play them over and over trying to remove all the tiles as fast as I can. My time ranges from 2:15 to 4:40 with most of them being between 3:00 - 3:15.

Along with that I had to do some weather research. Under normal sunny skies there is always a chance of Stella's separation anxiety going active while I am gone. Now with thunder and her being alone I might get the double whammy on this. She was going to be left with Sadie in the bedroom as usual while I went to the store for groceries and a stop by the library to check out some books.

Taking Sadie and Stella with me was not an option on this trip. They would have been okay in back of the FJ while I was inside but about the time I would have opened the back door of the FJ to load groceries ... I would have had two loose bloodhounds in the parking lot. I didn't want to chance that. Yet, what would I do if I were traveling and needed to buy groceries?

I put my weatherman's hat on, studied the local weather on wunderground, then checked the radar out to St Louis to see what was coming towards 'the tropics' ... it looked like I had a window of opportunity to 'escape' and buy some groceries. Heidi moved out the living room where she can roam the house while I am gone. She can drink all of the bloodhound's water, check their food bowls for any pieces of kibble that might have been missed. It also prevents the bloodhounds from playing too rough with her while I am gone.

I must admit when I pulled the FJ out on the highway I was expecting the worse when I got back. Stella had been okay during my short store trips at night only a mile away and my short trip to the library downtown and back ... so this two hour vacation I was going on would be a good test for her.

When I returned, there was NO damage when I slowly opened the door expecting the worse. All of the dog bones that were left were in a different location, the dog bed on the hardwood floor was slid across the room and Sadie's tongue was hanging all the way out of her mouth as she was out of breath and panting. Obvious signs that some bloodhound wrestling had been taking place.

We headed outside for them to dump tanks and I could get a few photos after the storm had blown through. Heavy winds the other night had gusts up to 45mph, it looks like that took out part of my fence .. where did that top piece go?

I am not sure how much rain we received. I don't have the high tech rain gauge that Greg has down in Texas ... it either rained a lot or I have a low spot on my makeshift patio.

Sadie and Stella took a while to find that perfect spot ... dog owners will know what I am talking about ... these two walk forever sometimes just to find it. Luckily they have plenty of room to add new spots if they choose to.

Heidi had gone before I took the trip to buy groceries. She was only out long enough to stay out of the rain (behind the yews) and get her job finished. There wasn't time to lock and load the camera. By the time the bloodhounds had gone outside Heidi was asleep for the afternoon.

I decided to follow the Paleo Diet shopping list. That makes shopping pretty easy. It consists of the aisle for meat/chicken/fish, straight over to the the vegetables and then the fruit section as you proceed to checkout. I had to make two trips into the packaged food aisle ... Seattle's Best Coffee #5 and some extra virgin olive oil. I like that kind of shopping.

Of course since I have not decided yet if I or they will change the FJ oil, today the line and time to wait at the Walmart Automotive department was zero. I found that out with a basket full of groceries and no time to get my oil changed. If I decide to get my oil changed there, the place will be packed and the wait long. Maybe I'll try on some Sunday morning when 90% of the county is at church. Otherwise I might stop at the Toyota dealership or just do it myself.

So the fridge is stocked, a couple of new books to read plus finish Area 51. There is an IU basketball game to watch tonight. All of the hounds are in their deep sleep mode ... should be quiet here the rest of the day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.


  1. Used to play Mahjong on the Kindle all the time... NEVER got that fast, that is pretty darn fast, if I must say!!!!

  2. How very sweet of Sadie to comfort Stella.