A First For Rocky

Tonight we had the first serious thunderstorm of the season.  Complete with Tornado Watches and Warnings.  No warnings in our area, thank heavens.  Just lots of heavy rain with thunder and lightning.  I saw the dark clouds gathering while I was driving home and I debated about whether to take the dogs out for a walk tonight.  I talked myself out of it and I’m glad I did.  Not a half hour after I got home, all you-know-what broke loose.  It rained so hard we couldn’t see across the street.  Hubby had to take down my hanging basket so that it wouldn’t get blown away.  It would not have been pretty if we had been out in that deluge.   
 
All spring, I’ve been wondering how Rocky would react to a serious thunderstorm.  Luci takes them in stride – loves to be out in the rain unless the wind is blowing in her face.  Blacky, however, was a different story.  He was always horribly afraid of thunderstorms.  He would start pacing and panting sometimes up to an hour or two before the storm hit.  If it was a particularly bad storm, he’d either stick to our sides like he was attached with Velcro or he would go upstairs and hide his head under the bed.  He was a little to big to get his whole body under the bed.  I always thought he figured if he couldn’t see the lightning, then it couldn’t hurt him.  If I knew it was going to rain while I was at work, I’d turn the TV on for him to give him some background noise and distract him from the storm.  It was nice to have the advance notice that the storms were coming, but it always bothered me that Blacky would get so upset about the storms. 
 
Rocky has a lot of Blacky’s personality traits.  Rocky is loving, very smart, obedient, and a bit of a tenderheart.  Even though he tries to boss Luci around and he acts like a big bad boy dog, he’s got a very loving personality.  I’ve wondered if that loving personality included an anxiety disorder and a fear of loud noises (thunder and lightning).  We’ve had a couple of thunderstorms so far this spring, but they’ve usually hit while I’m at work so I haven’t seen how Rocky reacts to a storm.  Tonight I got a first hand look.  Except for trying to figure out where the loud noise was coming from and wanting to go outside to splash in the mud puddles in the back yard, Rocky didn’t pay any attention to the thunderstorm.  In fact, both he and Luci slept through the worst part of the storm.  It was a pleasent surprise. 
 
It was also a little bittersweet, too.  When I was debating whether to go for the walk or not, I knew that if Blacky were here I’d be able to tell if it was going to rain.  Then when it did finally start raining, I kept expecting to trip over Blacky every time I turned around.  It’s been four months since Blacky left and I’m still surprised at the things that will get me teary eyed.   
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