Sunday, July 5, 2009

Krispy Tizzy, Bang! Bang!

For Krispy Kreme, the Fourth of July fireworks might as well have been the Landing at Normandy …by Hannibal’s Army… and she was on the beach (figuratively) in search of a bunker! Krispy had just emerged from her safe haven under my bed, having woken from a refreshing early evening nap. And just as she snuggled up with me to enjoy the last of a Clive Owen flick in the living room, the siege began. It started innocuously enough with a few pops, whizzes and bang, bang! Though not unusually loud at my humble abode (approximately a mile from the festivities), the booming effects of the fireworks finale sent Krispy into quite a tizzy.

We had gone out for a stroll on the lawn (the dachshund equivalent of a night cap) before it started, but then the show began and her leash snapped taut. She wanted out of the yard and down the street -- fast. She was off like a shot (pun intended), out the gate, and across the parking pad with me in tow. After previous jaunts at top speed (in a similarly panicked state of mind), I had a firm grip on the leash with the loop around my wrist.

I’m forever amazed at the strength of small pets. It would be so embarrassing to lose a tug of war with a ten-pound doxie. But she was determined to go, go, go! …Anywhere but there. And with her track record, I was determined to do the opposite: We were not leaving the compound. If she accidentally broke loose in the dark, that would be the last I’d see my four-legged sweetie. I opted to pick her up and bring her into the house rather than wrestle with her on-leash. (What if she pulled out of her harness? What if the leash or harness hardware snapped out of the sewn seams? It was better to haul myself in to her on a taut leash than the reverse – a bit like heaving-to in a small sailboat rather than combat gale-force winds. You can hold position but at least not feel like you may capsize at any moment. And Krispy can be a force to be reckoned with!)

Once again indoors with slightly muffled bangs and booms going on outside, Krispy proceeded to do her usual panicked run-walk. She sped back and forth from the bedroom (where her crate and under-bed safe haven are) to the front door or couch, over and over. This quickly escalated into greater panic as she jumped in my arms and then immediately wiggled to get out of them, repeating over and over. She kept trying to find better hiding spots, attempting to squeeze under shorter and shorter furniture, even running behind the toilet in the bathroom for refuge. At this point I opted to put her in her crate and stayed with her for some time to alleviate her fears. (The last thing I needed was for her to squeeze under (or behind) some piece of furniture that I couldn’t later move – or that she couldn’t extricate herself from.)

The crate, of course, did help calm her. But the process of alleviating her fears took more than an hour since the fireworks show ran quite long and various illegal fireworks continued to be set off around the neighborhood after that. In the crate she could console herself with the tight quarters and roof overhead. (Swaddling for dachshunds?)

When it was all over she left the crate of her own volition to seek me out. I gave her time and space to choose her own emergence back into the taller world. I would have been willing to bet while the fireworks were going on that she would have preferred sharing a den with a badger than being anywhere above ground. Ah, the life of a dachshund!

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