Tag Archives: storms

9/10/14 Flash Floods!

We’ve had all the windows open and have been enjoying the cooler breezes in the evening, but last night Dad checked the weather and it said we would have flash flooding, possibly 5 inches of rain, starting at 1 a.m.

Mom and Dad closed up the house tight.  They were worried about the rain, because the (insert clever insurance jingle here) company had denied fixing the roof, and there is a tiny leak.  (Just FYI, Mom wrote a blazing letter, and sent several copies around, and like magic, the insurance company reversed their decision.  Now Mom and Dad are waiting for the new roof.)  “Maybe the weatherman will be wrong,” Mom said hopefully.  Like she said all winter with the tons of snow.

BOOM! Woofwoofwoof!  “It’s OK, Maggie,” Mom soothed, as the storm hit around 1 in the morning.  (See, “they” are never wrong!) It’s been pouring since that time.

There was a tiny break in the action and that gave me the opening I needed to run to the backyard and “p”.  Then the rain started up again, so violently and the wind blowing from every direction, that it actually looked like snow from the window.  The magic weather also said there was the possibility of both large hail and a tornado.  Mom continues to hope they are wrong.  She turned on the TV (which usually means she is going out) so she can monitor the storm.

As for me?  I’m taking it easy on my chair.  At least until Mom says it’s time to take cover in the basement!

Woof!  Love, Maggie


10/30/13 Off to Bootcamp

It was a dark and stormy night.  The car was packed with chew bones, rawhides, treats, and a two-week supply of food.  All that was left was to grab the blanket and leash Maggie.  “Damn,” I thought, “why did it have to rain tonight of all nights?”  Maggie was due to be dropped off at the training facility by 8:30 p.m., and it was already pitch-black outside.

Jamie took the red blanket, jagged with chewing at the corners, while I hooked Maggie to her prong collar.  Jamie carefully and tenderly placed the soft blanket in the trunk of the Fiat, as though it was fine china that he was afraid of breaking.  Maggie didn’t need much coaxing and jumped into the back seat of the little car, anticipating going for a ride with a wide smile and a tail-wag.

As I backed Zeus out of the garage, the rain began to fall in earnest; bucketing down from the inky sky so hard I thought the car would get dented for sure.  A few makeshift clouds scrabbled to take their place in front of the misty moon.

Jamie cut the music off as I tensed behind the wheel, gripping it firmly at the 10-and-2 position, trying to keep from getting washed into the empty lots that were, at one time, going to be a pasture for rescued horses.  Slipping unsteadily out onto the “busy street,” I drove through the rapidly-puddling water and tried to see where I was going.  Zeus’ wipers beat steadily as Jamie and I tried to remain cheerful.  “This is for the best,” I reassured Jamie halfheartedly.  “Maggie is going to socialize with other dogs, and re-learn her commands.  When she comes home, everything should be fine.”  In the bluish-green light of the streetlamps, my son’s face gleamed an upset pale.  He nodded, but I could tell he didn’t believe me.

We white-knuckled it all the way to the facility.  Maggie remained unconcerned, looking out the window at the torrent of water running down.  Even with the wipers going full-blast, I was only able to see where we were going by the rear lights of the SUV in front of us and the “cats eyes” that lined the sloppy thoroughfare.  By the time we pulled into the lot, I felt like I needed a drink, some migraine medicine, and a Xanax, not necessarily in that order.

We walked into the office and the overpowering smell of wet dog hair immediately hit us like a wave at the beach.  Jamie ran in the steady downpour back and forth to the car, unloading supplies, while I held on to Maggie (who was behaving nicely) and filled out paperwork.  I was notified of which trainer would be taking Maggie home and given a cell number.  Then, all too soon, capable hands took the lead out of mine and Maggie walked away to be with the other dogs.  Maggie was excited and hardly gave us a backwards glance.  I was glad it seemed easy on her for now.

We squelched back to the car, not really caring about the rain anymore, and sat down dejectedly.  Jamie didn’t exactly cry, but he did sniffle once or twice.  I reached over and squeezed his hand.  He squeezed back.  Hard.

The ride home was much the same, except for the gnawing, burning, acidic pain in my stomach, and the stone-silence of my sad-faced son.

Jim took the events of the evening in stride when he came home from work. “She’ll come back and be a better-behaved dog,” he told us, with assurance.  I looked at him.  Jamie looked down at his plate and didn’t say a word.

I went to bed, patting my mattress, looking for the white dog snuggled beneath the down comforter.  But she wasn’t there.  My hands reached out automatically, looking for her this morning; patting, patting, patting the emptiness.

In my heart, I know that Maggie is in the best of hands, receiving the best of care, and this was the right thing to do.  But still, we grieve at her absence, and hope and pray that bootcamp works.




6/25/13 The Derecho

Yesterday we had a severe summer storm called a “derecho”.  It was a very frightening experience for me.  We had had a little rain in the morning, but that soon burned off and the skies were blue and sunny.  However, in just a few minutes, during the afternoon, everything changed.  The sky turned a vicious black color and the streetlamps came on.  The wind began to blow with an awful noise and intensity that sounded like something big and heavy was rushing past the house.  The trees bent over double; branches ripped off and littered the back and front yards.  I put my ears down and whined, tail between my legs.  Something bad was happening and Dad was nowhere around to stop it, this time.

The the rain came, pouring down in thick gray sheets so that I could not see the house across the street.  In the blink of an eye all the lights went out and Air Conditioner stopped his grumbling. Understand that this all happened in a few of your human seconds, one thing right after the other.  Jamie and Mom got a battery-operated lantern and we all trooped down to the basement, into one of the small, spare rooms with no windows.  It was pitch-black down there, and very cold, and the three of us huddled together with the lantern on an old human bed (yes, even I was coerced onto the human bed!) and we stayed like that for a long time.  We were so insulated down there that my people could barely hear the sirens going off or the thunder crashing; and above all, the shrieking of the ever-present wind.  But I heard it all, and although I was afraid, I stayed put to protect my masters.

Eventually, the rain stopped and the wind died down.  We ventured cautiously back upstairs.  Still, no power and it was getting darker.  Soon, dark-time did come and with it, a sharp drop in temperature.  You would never know it had been a hot summer day only a few hours earlier!

Mom fretted about the fish tanks.  She found out the power outage had affected over two thousand people in our small area alone, and the electric company had no idea when the juice would be back on.

The quiet descended like its own kind of thunder.  Mom lit candles but the house was plunged into an inky blackness with no moon or outside light to help us.

Dad came home but he did not magically bring the lights and power with him.  I began to panic at this and started to race from window to window, panting heavily, sides heaving, stopping only to get a drink of water.  The hours dragged on in darkness.  Ironically, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, but like so many others, we didn’t see it.  We knew by the air horns screaming in the blackness outside and the many fireworks that started exploding all over as the dark city rejoiced.  I joined in with a frenzy of barking of my own.

Finally, at 4:00 a.m. Human Standard Time, the lights suddenly blazed on.  Everyone was sleeping, but Mom leaped out of bed, with me hot on her heels, as she ran downstairs to check on the fish.  Their tanks had re-started, and they were OK.  Later that morning, Mom got a call from her friend Donna, who checked on her and told her that hundreds of thousands of people were still without power.  Jamie checked out the news and saw the widespread devastation the storm had caused.  We counted ourselves as fortunate.

We had been hit by a derecho with winds that reached over 58 miles per hour.  We had been inconvenienced, but the storm had not turned into a tornado over our house.  Our home was not damaged.  Our power was back on.  We had been frightened by Mother Nature, but we were the lucky ones.  We knew it, and we were grateful.

Love, Maggie