It's Saturday morning after a long and strenuous week. It is pouring down rain, and I do mean pouring. This is no intermittent shower, no soft mist. This is a deluge of rain, the type of Noah-esk event that sends the delicate imaginations of my dog Lucy into full derangement. She has spent most of the morning hunkered down in our small, dark walk-in closet imagining all of the worst case scenarios possible for the mind of a golden retriever. Maybe she thinks that the rushing sound that rain makes on our roof is the precursor of some sort of violent home invasion. Perhaps she fears that the rain is about to burst through the front door and steal her food. Whatever it is, she is taking no chances...shivering in a ball in the protective confines of our closet.
Of late, Lucy seems to have taken several steps back in her ongoing battle for mental health. Just about the time when she makes us think that she is becoming a normal, well-adjusted dog, inexplicably, she skips meals and slinks around the house like a shell-shocked infantryman on Omaha Beach
Lucy: Whoa!, wait..what's that sound??!!
Pam: Sorry Lucy! Mommy just dropped a piece of celery on the floor...it's ok!
Lucy: Geeze Louise!! Would it kill you to give a dog a warning??!!
The weirdest part about Lucy's daily display of neurosis is her bizarre meal time behavior. Every dog I have ever had has always had the same meal time M.O. As you stand at the counter mixing up the kibble, the dog nervously pants, hardly able to restrain him/herself. Then you place the bowl on the floor and the dog attacks the thing like you haven't fed him/her in weeks! The whole thing is over in two minutes! Not Miss Lucy.
Me: You want some dinner Lucy? Daddy's got some dinner for that sweet puppy!
Lucy: ...completely disinterested, she sits in the next room staring at me, giving off the air of someone who couldn't possibly care less, weirdly cat-like.
Pam: Come eat your dinner Lucy. See? Mommy will sit perfectly still in this chair, and Daddy will go in the other room and be quiet so you can eat.
Then, and only then, will she slowly hurumph herself into the kitchen to inspect tonight's fare. She will slowly and carefully begin to eat her dinner, always keeping a sharp eye out for the appearance of some demonic beast who might suddenly swoop down from the ceiling fan to kill us all! Yes, the ceiling fan has been the source of intense fear and loathing ever since that fateful morning over a year ago when Lucy was laying on our bed minding her own business, when Pam accidentally flipped the switch for the ceiling fan instead of the light. Up until that point, Lucy had never seen the ceiling fan engaged in fan-like activity. Seeing it suddenly come to life above her was apparently the most terrifying thing ever. She bolted off the bed and out of the room faster than you could say,"Our dog is insane." Ever since that day, Lucy has been highly aware of the several ceiling fans in our house. Although we have taken special care never to turn them on ever again, she isn't convinced. Every so often, she will cast a wary eye upwards just to make sure that the fans aren't trying to pull a fast one, her hatred of them palpable. Oh, and don't even think about asking her to go for a walk in the Center Ridge culdesac since she saw a trash truck there six months ago!!
I could make a realty television show about Lucy's upcoming month long adventure to a lake house in Maine. The trip up alone would be a smash hit!
Pray for us!