Monday, November 7, 2011

Answer #181 - A Thundershirt

“You’ve got to be kidding,” my dog said with his eyes.
“Another party, I’m expected to wag my tail at these
people whom I neither know nor like the smell of?  No.
I think I’ll be in the office, in the dark, under the desk.
In case you’re looking and happen to have a leftover
piece of meat.”

I’m reading Skymall Magazine, enroute from Stanford,
via Salt Lake City (holy mother of Mike but what a
beautiful place this time of year – covered in snow,
surrounded by a ring of mountains), and wondering

How am I going to get my dog to lighten
up already?

And there it is –
The Thundershirt.

Temple Grandin’s a genius, brilliant, evolutionarily-
leaping genius and there it is, among the retail fruits of
her mental acuity: The vest you put on your dog to make
him relax when

·        1) There is gunfire from somewhere in the woods, which
      is often, up here on Fulford Ridge

·         2) There are fireworks, firecrackers, or other small, nonspecific
     explosions, which is often, up here on Fulford Ridge 

·        3) You’re having yet another party and a ton of people your
     dog is unfamiliar with show up and attempt to pet him and/
     or get him to do stupid pet tricks, which is often, up here on
     Fulford Ridge

·         OR 4) you’re the owner of an inexplicably neurotic, but sweet
    laborador retriever, ala the sleek, black lovely my parents are
    enamored with, and a Thundershirt’s basically a good way to
    get through the day.
Thank God for Skymall. I had no idea what to get them for Xmas
this year.

But there’s still the matter of my dog.  He asked for a bark enhancer
for Christmas this year, because the girl dog we adopted from the
shelter is part Shepherd. She sounds distinctly German and scarier
than hell.  He’s having a hard time with this. However, fact is, she’s
just as traumatized by loud noises and strangers as he is.

I think the solution is to get her the Thundershirt and him the bark
enhancer. If such a thing can be found. Yeah, I know, I’m particip-
ating in the whole perpetuation of the patriarchy thing, but if you
heard him bark, well, you’d make the same decision. Woof. 

Maybe the big bark’ll make him braver and more willing to do
stupid pet tricks for my friends.