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CHATTER FROM THE MUSE

Storms and Thundershirts

January 13, 2013
I have a beautiful shihtzu I found with a rescue group.  I fell in love wih her picture on line, so I endured the wait while the rescue group determined I was a suitable "forever Mommy" for Pumpkin.  They talked to my vet and checked with my references.
 
A representative came to my home to be sure I could provide a good home.  When I was finally approved, I was given the address of pumpkin's foster Mommy, over 100 miles from my home.  I drove to her home, met Pumpkin, paid the adoption fee and signed the adoption agreement.  Then Pumpkin and I took the 100 mile trip home.
 
It sounds like a lot to go through to get a pet but it was well worth it.  Pumpkin is so very special and so committed to me.  If I stop short in the house, she runs into me!  As I write this she is under my computer desk napping with her head on my foot.
 
Our only issue is her fear of storms.  No.  Fear is not the word.  Terror is closer to her reaction.  I tried everything I could think of to calm her to no avail.  Then I heard about the  Thundershirt.  I was willing to try anything.  It operates on the same principal as tightly swaddling a baby.  The baby is "hugged" tightly giving it a feeling of security.  For Pumpkin the shirt is not a 100% solution but I give it 60%.  She still shivers and shakes but she will lie down beside us and wait for the storm to pass.  Before the shirt, she darted about the house in a frienzied search - behind doors, under beds and furniture, behind the toilet - even on top of the nite stand.  She searched everywhere for a safe spot and found none.  It was heartbreaking to see her terror.  I'm sure she was out in a storm or storms before she was picked up by the SPCA and then taken by the Shihtzu Rescue group.  The thundershirt turned out to be a worthwhile investment for my special fur baby.  Isn't she sweet?

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