Salty Dog: Sarasota Thunderstorms and Dogs (by Karma with reporting from Griffin, Dexter, JoJo, Gabby, Lily, Misty, and Bella)

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12 image composite of Sarasota during 8 minutes on 9-25-16 by Val Vasilescu

One of the worst places in the entire world for dogs with thunderstorm-a-phobia would be here in Sarasota. Tampa actually holds the record for most frequent lightning strikes, but hey, we are wolfish creatures with highly evolved senses who can feel the electrical charges coursing through our DNA even miles away. Danger is coming.

But you humans are so clueless. You wait until you see dark clouds above you, or jump at the thunder claps, or run from the sheets of rain. Until then, there you remain on the tennis courts, golf courses, beaches, walking paths and parking lots, completely oblivious to the fact that your environment is in flux. Danger is coming.

Some of you think you are in control by counting the seconds between thunder and lightening strikes to calculate how close the storm is. So sad. We canines have you beat by at least 10 miles in discerning changes in the barometric pressure, and yet you ignore our early warning system comprised of shaking, whimpering, or drooling. If we had opposable thumbs we’d send you a text but most likely you would still fixate on what is wrong with us!

So pay attention! We are trying to tell you before your human brain can even register it: Trouble is afoot! The air is full of electrical charges! Run for shelter! Get under something and stay there! Instead, you pat us on our heads and talk to us in baby talk : awww, poor ting. Is something scare-wing you?

P1030107Yes, dear clueless human companion. Something is scaring us: your nonchalance.

Colossal bolts of electrical charges are headed this way with no rhyme or reason for where they will hit, and still you are putting on your sneakers to go for a walk! For 30 minutes we have tried to alert you that disaster is looming and there you are firing up the patio barbecue. We are hugging the toilet bowl or sitting in a puddle of drool or buried beneath the bed (there are no basements here!) and you are floating in the pool with a vodka and tonic. And then you wonder why we freak out when storms approach. You are unreachable! You are unteachable!

So maybe, just maybe, it is you and not the storms that cause us distress. So take that dog-hugging storm vest that you bought online and return it;  don’t even try to wipe us down with anti-static dryer sheets; you swallow that sedative the vet gave you;  stop playing Mozart in the hope that it will soothe us; and get your money back now for that canine desensitization course–you are apparently a graduate yourself!

All you need to do is listen:

Danger is coming.