I awoke at 6 in the morning as it was my habit to do. I was even able to get partially dressed before Mrs Dog decided that she heard me and came to investigate.
The pleasures of an older dog. When they’re puppies they’re under foot and don’t know why it is a problem. When they’re adults, you tell them they’re under foot and learn not to be quite so close. Now that she’s 10 and her hearing is getting selectively worse, I’m noticing that she isn’t quite as aware of what I’m doing any longer. I can even get out of The Poang Chair and get standing before she opens her eyes. Sleep is the number one activity.
I got out of bed, dressed, and padded my way into the Kitchen to roast a half cup of coffee beans. Seven minutes in the roaster cum popcorn popper and I had time to feed her and grab all the gear we needed for a walk.
Finally, we were able to step outside and were greeted by a light mist of rain. More like someone was standing on the roof and spraying a bottle of water into the air above my head. I called to Lettie, and she decided that she didn’t hear or really didn’t need to hear what I was saying so I pulled her back into the door. Inside the door is where we keep our umbrellas and this was going to be a wet walk. We got to the corner where the 25 year old grey and maroon umbrella was opened and we walked into the progressively degrading conditions.
By the time I rounded the corner the fourth time, I could see the sun rising over the ocean front condos, the ocean itself, and the Bahamas. It was still raining but not so hard as I didn’t take the time to close the umbrella and use it to knock two mangoes off the tree on the corner on the rental property. The people who live there are from Minnesota, they won’t mind, they don’t know what good mangoes are!
I walked inside and prepared a mug of coffee, a biscuit and a chicken pattie and continued to watch as it got progressively worse. The rain danced across my swimming pool making the little rubber duck thermometer that floats there look as if there was someone draping some gossamer sheers past it in rapid succession. The pool lost its sheen and the water’s surface became a uniform layer of grey from the droplets.
It was this time that I realized that this little storm would have the weather alert radio in Philadelphia sounding off about heavy storms and low visibility, but here in South Florida, the land of Hurricanes, nothing.
Then it began. My little summer shower flexed its muscles. While I had a mouth full of biscuit, chicken, and coffee, the world flashed brilliant white and the note of a giant bass drum sounded off. The lights in the house flickered off, then on again. My power conditioners snapped into use while the shoddy FPL infrastructure surged into the forefront of my consciousness.
And the dog started to bark. Barking from Mrs Dog is a rare thing. Even when she was young she almost never barked. I never quite understood why dogs bark at thunderstorms but it is a thing I’ve grown used to and accept as I have this wonderful creature living with me. If she barks, I pay attention. There’s a reason for that.
One dog trainer I read at some time in passing said “Make Storm Time, Fun Time”. So I reached over onto the counter and found the Pumpkin Orange bottle of soap bubbles. Now Lettie was barking for joy. Not just one bark when the BOOM! happened, but a steady stream of baritone barks that showed she was really happy to play and take her mind off of the horrible maelstrom outside.
Not really a maelstrom, I can only imagine how she’ll be when we get a hurricane…
Holding the bubble wand near my lips I blew out a stream of about 20 bubbles and she leaps for joy snapping at each and every one while jumping like a puppy. Reminding myself to blow bubbles out away from my body, I watched her ivory teeth chomp each impending bubble as a lightning strike happened with the BOOM! and she merely went on happily chomping away at soap.
I doubt that having a dog eat soap is a good thing, but the tiny amount that she gets in from snapping at bubbles and only occasionally getting one can’t be a life threatening situation, I swallowed more shampoo last night after I climbed out of the shower after using the pool. She seems to enjoy it greatly, and its mental health benefits outweigh the little bit of soap that are in those shimmering spheres of soap that mysteriously fall from the sky.
Here we are, an hour and 45 minutes later, the storm is beginning to fade. The sun is now higher in the sky, the Bahamas are sunny with only scattered red blobs over the radar near Freeport, over 60 miles away. Our own rain storm will fade away into canine memory and the rainbow over Wilton Manors won’t be so redundant.