Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Lightening Barker

Ben, our dog, is a cautiously serene creature. There are, of course, things he clearly DOESN'T like, including, in no particular order of abhorrence, trips to the dog groomer, rubber bands and the laundry chute.

But, on the other hand, he demonstrates remarkable sang froid in situations like thunderstorms (windless, please and thank-you) and the 4th of July, which can send lesser dogs into a blind, furry frenzy.
Until now.

We had our first thunderstorm of the season about a week ago, a rumbly old thing that began around midnight. It was actually two storms, one approaching from the south, the other from the north. Faint grumbles of thunder heralded the storms, but as they converged over our neighborhood, lightening began making its presence known.


"Urruff," Ben whispered from the foot of the bed.
What? The dog has never paid the least amount of attention to lightening before. Must think it's a car.


"Urruff-ffff, ruff!" Ben mutters a little more emphatically, this time raising his head and throwing a I'm-all-over-this glance my way.
You're really not barking at lightening, are you?

Flash. Flash.

"Grrr-ruffff! Ruff! Ruff!" This a full-fledged, menacing "Not in my 'hood!" bark.
Shhhh. You're going to wake up the WPS!

Flash. Flash. Flash.

"Grrr-ruffff! Ruff!" FLASH! "Urr--OWLP!"

Startled by an extraordinary blast of light that paints our room white, the mighty Lightening Barker yelps, scurries off the bed and -- ears back, eyes rolling -- assumes the "OK, I'm ready for this to be over" position, wedging himself between the bed and my nightstand.

I touch his head for a moment, slip out of bed and head for the basement with my hero.

At top of the basement stairs, we watched a few faint flickers of light in the sky -- now far off to the north of Bermtopia. One last roll of thunder murmured in the distance. And, then, a spring rain started to fall.

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