I used to enjoy a good rain storm. Thunder and lightning. Wind whipping through the trees. And then I got a dog who was afraid. Excuse me, did I say afraid? I meant to say terrified. Now storms equal long nights of a very large, 70-pound dog panting, vibrating, and gluing himself to my side. Sounds relaxing, right?
This leads me to all things, Goober. Yes, we named him Goober as in “Awe shucks, Andy.” You see, Goober showed up on the farm almost two years ago. Underweight, flea-bitten, scared, and heart-worm positive. But this catahoula hound dog mix stole my heart.
When he first showed up, I wanted to call him Rebel. Since we had a Dixie, I thought it was cute, and they would make the perfect pair. But in about five seconds flat, it was clear that he was no more a Rebel than he was a poodle. Cowboy said, “He’s really more of a Goober.” And it just stuck. He’s Goober.
Which brings me back to the thunder storms. This is one of Goober’s greatest shortcomings. He can hear it coming long before we do. When Goober starts pacing and panting, you know a storm is coming. He’s sort of like our own little meteorologist, except he generally gets it right. When you hear a loud noise and you wonder if it’s a storm, just take a peek at the old Goobs. If he’s calm, no storm. If he’s anxious, you better get prepared.
The first storm that rolled in after we had Goober was an eye opener. It was, of course, the wee hours of the morning. Sleeping soundly, I was awakened to one giant dog leaping into bed, crawling across my head, and promptly burying his head under the pillows. In a sleepy stupor, partly amused, partly annoyed, and partly concerned, I wrapped my arms around Goober and softly tried to comfort him. Nothing doing. Goober wanted one thing and one thing only – the storm to stop. Needless to say, it was a long night and Cowboy was having second thoughts about this loveable pooch who cost us an arm and ten legs to have his heart worms treated.
That episode taught us that storms were no longer going to be something we could enjoy, but rather something we just had to get through. Even worse are day-time storms that last for hours. Have you ever tried getting a dog to go outside to go to the bathroom in the rain when they are terrified? It’s a treat.
During a recent storm, I had finally coaxed Goober outside, since he was doing the doggy version of the pee-pee dance. I stood on the porch, shivering in the winter cold, begging him to go to the bathroom. So when he finally left the porch to go find his spot, I did little back flips insides. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as his feet his the grass the sky lit up and Goober was back on the porch in a shot. No luck.
I even got a text from Cowboy the other day when I was out during a storm, that simply said, “The thunder rolls …” To which I quickly responded, “And the Goober shakes.” Now Garth Brooks should have sung those lyrics, don’t ya think?
The bottom line is that Goober is part of the family. He’s got his issues, as we all do, and we love him just the same. So when the winds blow, the storm clouds pile up on the horizon, it’s time to hunker down. Hunker down on the couch, arms wrapped around Goober, and pray it passes before Goober passes out or I run out of patience.