It's no secret that our dogs are just as neurotic as their owner. In a weird way, I wear that like a badge of honor as only a mother would. I thought I was dealing with one nut job (cough, Tripp, cough), but then we introduced another to the mix. Aww, we were young and clueless! When we got Beesly, it felt like we were working with a blank canvas. We had an adorable puppy and a fresh start — an opportunity to mold the PERFECT dog. Boy, were we wrong!
The first three years with Miss B were a walk in the park. Our well-behaved and fluffy furry being was just as lovely as we hoped she'd be. Then we moved to Hawaii and settled into a secluded rental on the top of a steep hill. Enter Lil' Puna. Aside from the mold, ginormous cockroaches and centipedes, it felt like a slice of heaven, our own little island oasis. The only noises you'd hear were C-17s doing pattern work, a fountain trickling peacefully outside the house, or the occasional lost vehicle, which inevitably ended up stranded on the hill. But, I digress...
Our current living sitch consists of an apartment. There are three floors, and we live on the second. We hear EVERYTHING, my friends. It never occurred to me that this might be an issue. When we moved in, I could see that both dogs were a little anxious and easily startled by sounds. I reasoned with Flyboy and we concluded that as soon as we got furniture they'd feel more at ease. Ha! Any time the neighbor above us started walking around or dropped something, our mutts would act as though they'd heard thunder or the sound of a gunshot. Whenever this occurs, Tripp finds a corner and hides. Who knew he could be so low-maintenance? Beesly, on the other hand, paces back and forth panting heavily. It drives me bonkers, but I figured she would eventually get used to the new sounds.
Since I spend the better part of the day with both hounds, it started wearing on me. Call me dramatic, but Flyboy would come home from work and I'd look at him like a worn-out mother just ready for the hand-off. I needed a moment of sanity — and maybe something mixed with gin. They were driving me b-a-n-a-n-a-s! When I'm home during the day, I don't turn on the TV. It can be too distracting, and I like a quiet working environment. I tried playing music, but even my eclectic mix of George Strait meets Jay Z wasn't cutting it for these two. How could I desensitize them? I thought about banging pots and pans. I started clapping randomly and opening/closing cabinets and drawers. They would look at me like I was crazy and then proceed with their naps, but the moment they heard a chair move upstairs, they were in panic mode yet again.
Because I think Google is the solution to everything, I searched the following combination of words: dog + noises + anxiety. I was amazed at what I read, but most people recommended a white noise machine. I've used the app before and I honestly didn't think it would help, but in a moment of complete despair I revisited it to check out the various noise options. I scanned the catalog, but they all seemed too peaceful. I tested several options, but nothing phased them. The only noise I hadn't tried was "Clothes Dryer." You've got to be kidding me?! Curious and out of ideas, I gave it a shot. So I sat at my computer, with both dogs at my feet, and the sound of an imaginary tumbling dryer seemed to do the trick. Neighbors come and go, but Beesly is only partially phased. It's not a huge success, but I'll take what I can get! I didn't realize it was all that silly until I told my mom about my remedy. When I explain it, it sounds cray cray, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Thankfully, the only panic in the apartment these days, is the look on my face when I'm confused as to whether or not I'm ACTUALLY doing laundry. Gawd forbid, I leave my jeans in the dryer too long! Phew, it's just the white noise...
So, what's the craziest thing you've done for your pet?! C'mon and make me feel a little sane.
P.S. While my doggie duo is far from perfect, they're perfectly imperfect for me. We find ourselves doing the craziest things for them, but they love us unconditionally and bring us oodles of joy. And in Beesly's defense, I do make her play dress up a lot, but it doesn't appear that she hates it. The photo above says it all! For more background info on our dogs, Tripp and Beez, you'll want to read this post from the One Fine Day vault.