Sunday, July 3, 2016


Friday night a severe thunderstorm came through the county. I am glad I was home. Gibson, my six-year-old, Border Collie is still terrified of loud bursts of sound. When a thunderstorm comes he doesn’t jump into the bathtub (I don’t have a bathtub); instead he pants heavily inside his crate or comes looking for me. Since I was home, he wanted to be beside me through the storm. So while I was drawing and watching new episodes of Chelsea Handler's Netflic Talkshow, I put down my pencil and embraced him.

I don’t know how common this is, but Gibson uses his front paws the same way you and I use our arms. He doesn’t set his paws onto my lap but wraps them around my hips in an embrace, or loops them around a calf to grasp me, literally holding on. When he is scared he wants to be close because he doesn’t understand; but he knows that so far every time he was confused by sky violence he made it through if he was close to me.

I believe in tough love when it comes to primates. I don’t believe in it when it comes to canines. I’ll ignore a person to teach them a lesson, but if a dog asks, I am already hugging back. And through the wind and hail, the thunder and lightening, I held that dog. I felt his breathing go from rapid to calm. I watched him fall asleep in my arms from the exhaustion of panic. I know that transition far too well. He's such a complicated and beautiful thing, but he gets so confused by the noise. He just wants to know he will be okay, and he'll accept the lie of a hug if it gets him through twenty minutes. That's addiction culture in a nutshell.

That's love in a nutshell.


Blogger edie batt said...

Love this....reminds me of a dog I had years ago. He did the exact same thing. He was terrified of storms and started shaking way before they actually started. He knew they were coming. And they terrified him. Loved him so much!

July 3, 2016 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

What a good Mama you are.

July 4, 2016 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...


July 5, 2016 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Ben, the goat you are drawing has, more than once, when injured and in a total panic because he couldn't understand the pain has done something similar. If I squat down he will enter the space between my knees so we are chest to chest, then he tucks his head under my chin. At first his breaths come in frantic huffs, but as I coo to him and hold him he calms down to normal breaths and then we can get down to the business of putting him back together. That is not something I'm capable of doing for humans, but I consider it a special gift that I can do it for my animals.

July 5, 2016 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My border collie does this too. <3

August 3, 2016 at 12:39 PM  

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