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Caught in a Hurricane

Twinkles is my ten year old, female Papillon and she is an amazing dog.

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Ever since she was a puppy, she became a member of the family, with her unique personality and quirky idiosyncrasies.  Whether at home, the beach, or at the dog park, she has always been easy going and LOVES people and most dogs & cats.  Nothing ever seemed to bother her.

I’ve heard and seen other dogs show anxiety or fear, but never experienced anything with Twinkles.  That is until I was vacationing in Florida and was caught up in a hurricane.  While it was not catastrophic, and there was no damage to our home, it forever affected Twinkles and left me feeling helpless to soother her.  During the 4-6 peak hours of the storm, my happy go lucky dog was shivering in my lap and at times seemed like she was trying to crawl into my skin.  I tried everything I could think of, including soothing music, and calmly holding her, but nothing helped.  We got through the storm and she returned to her old self.  I was happy it was over and hopeful Twinkle had fully recovered.

About a month later, I found out it wasn’t over.  A mild thunderstorm moved in, similar to others she had experienced with no problem.  Post hurricane experience, she immediately reverted to a high state of anxiety with all the same symptoms, plus  crying out and whimpering.  Once again I did my best to calm her and relieve her fear, but had to wait out the storm.

Since the first traumatic experience I have worked with my vet, tried suggested training techniques, and experimented with supplements and medications.  I have seen some progress, and continue to work with Twinkles every day to help her.  It has been a long journey and I think she will struggle to some level the rest of her life.

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