2nd Thursday [8]: Spooked

detectorYesterday we had a false alarm with our smoke detectors, and Raisin can’t stand when they scream out. I have to put her outside when I change the batteries, and any time there is a beep or screech on TV or another electronic device that resembles the smoke detectors, she looks up to the ones on the second floor, visible from our main floor living room couch, to see if one of them is the culprit. I worry about them going off while Jennifer and I are not home, falsely or not.

I called the fire department to come out yesterday. A fire is one thing, but it was actually the two CO detectors that were having a duet, and I’m not messing around with the invisible killer, carbon monoxide.  Jen and Raisin had just come back from a walk, and when Jen opened the front door, Raisin told her “Nope, I am not going in there!” Minutes later, I pulled up the driveway after making an appearance at work and then picking up some groceries. (As an aside, emergency services [911] told me to open the doors of the house and stay outside, but the fire department said to leave doors closed, because why would you want to air out the house before they come to do their test?)

Jen took Raisin across the street, to get her farther away from the noise, and so she wouldn’t bother the men in gear when they arrived. Everything checked out fine, and I am set to buy a new detector today. But while the CFD was still at the house, the alarms went off again after having been silenced, and did it twice more after they left. But I narrowed it down to which of the two was initiating the alarm, and it was the oldest of the two, so it almost makes sense (they say to replace your detectors every 7 to 10 years, and this one I am figuring to be about 6 years, 7 at the most).

I don’t remember if the smoke detectors ever spooked Punkin like that, but I know she wasn’t happy when they all went off in the middle of the night after we first moved in here years ago, and the same can be said for me. That was our last false alarm, after which I replaced the other CO detector, in the basement, and put plastic over the open ceiling above it.  Punkin had her own issues, though.

fireworkWhen she was young, and Jen and I were just dating, Punkin was frequently kept outside on a chain, because there was no fenced-in yard. Her chain was in the front of the house, and one day was targeted by some jerks with fireworks. She was not physically hurt, but did not like the sound of fireworks after that, for quite some time. Eventually, we warmed her up to July Fourths enough to be able to take her with us to downtown fireworks displays. But mid-life she went through a spell where she was terrified again, exacerbated by a post-hailstorm re-shingling of the roof while she was home alone. She wasn’t particularly fond of thunder, either.

One of the dogs I grew up with, Bonnie, couldn’t stand thunder. The violent rumbling of her body after a snap of lightning and the percussion that followed was worse than any vibrations in the house caused by the thunder. I never knew what set her off originally, but some dogs just never like it.  Peppy was afraid of nothing. She was the brave one. Bonnie would curl up in a ball during a storm, but Peppy would be fine. Late in their lives, however, Peppy started getting nervous just like Bonnie, and they would both shake after a thunder flare. It had to be peer influence, though, and after we lost Bonnie, Peppy went back to her old self and had no problem with thunder, again.

stormRaisin is not afraid of much. Falling dog-gates and whirring smoke detectors seem to be about it. They are her Kryptonite. But everyone, human or canine, has their things and will occasionally be spooked.

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