Today, as we feel the remnant effects of what used to be Hurricane Isaac, my animals remind me of what life is like for them. This picture was taken in April 2011 during a horrific thunderstorm. As I lay on our sofa, trying to take a nap on a blissfully lazy rainy afternoon, a crack of thunder from behind the neighbors house seemed to shake the whole house. I was immediately “greeted” by all 5 of our dogs. Their peaceful world had changed. As the lighning flashes and booms continued, like a 4th of July fireworks display in our neighborhood, the dogs crept closer and closer. Each of them jockeying for the best position in the safety of “me.”
As I write this post, I have one dog in the nook of my desk, where my chair is supposed to go. Another is lying beside me, on top of the arms/wheels of my chair so that I cannot move. I am being nudged and pawed at by yet another. I’ve had to take my relentless cat off the keyboard twice now.
I’ve learned a lot from my dogs. They lead such peaceful and happy lives. They get fed twice a day, a warm house in winter, a cool house in summer, snacks, exercise in the big back yard. They have it good here. Until the storms come. Then they become white bundles of worry. Pacing and panting and demanding. Frantic and frazzled. It’s terribly frustrating. “It’s just raining outside. There’s no thunder!” They have become conditioned to know that where there’s rain, there’s scary loud noises.
At times, I am not much different than they are. I see precursors to “storms” and I get scared too. I have conditioned myself to put up defense mechanisms and try to hide from the “danger.” I turn and run the other way, avoiding conflict and not facing my fears. I take the easy way out rather than facing a little adversity and learning from the experience. If only I could have the courage to climb out from under my desk and not rely on someone else to comfort me and tell me it will be alright. If only I could realize a little rain storm with some wind blowing around is healthy. It cleanses, replenishes, and takes away the no longer useful debris in our lives. It feeds us as the rain feeds Mother Earth.
Breaking bad habits and creating better, healthier habits is easier said than done. But you can train an old dog new tricks. It just takes practice and patience. So, what storms are you afraid of in your life? What scares you like thunder and lightning to a dog. Or, are you like our Miss Kanga who is never bothered and only wants to know one thing, “Is it time to eat yet?”