Enjoy the silence.

Most dogs tend to be skittish about storms. I feel the same way. Melvin has always slept soundly through thunder and whipping winds, even a minor earthquake. My panic does not seem to cause him the least bit of concern. Last night, during our first ever together power outage I found out that silence is what terrifies him.

The power went out (and immediate darkness set in) about 9:15pm and coincided with a loud boom. Melvin didn’t move a muscle. He didn’t even really budge when I ran into furniture piece after furniture piece cursing in my quest to find a flashlight. It was about ten-minutes into the outage when I noticed him flinching at the slightest noise. He started looking back and forth in a ‘what’s that? did you hear that?’ fashion. Normally, when the house is making its usual noises (fridge hum, AC, TV etc.) he can drown out the less important noises (crickets, floor creaks, planes) and focus on the noises that need his full attention (dump trucks that have the nerve to drive by our house or the doorbell). During his first blackout, every noise became overwhelming and left him looking terrified, unable to move and breathing heavily. About one hour into the silence he had a minor panic attack, complete with hyperventilating. I tried putting on music but it had no effect.

Thank God for phone apps. I ran a ‘white noise’ app for him and within minutes it calmed him. He sighed, laid down and went to sleep. And at 2:30am when the power came back on and all the hums kicked back in (and I leapt out of bed startled), Melvin just continued snoring. All was right with his world.

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