Monday, March 14, 2011

My Aussie Shepherd has a meltdown as I'm heartbroken over the devastation in Japan

Once again, perhaps it is coincidence or something else at work. I was very saddened and distressed at the devastation and destruction caused by the earth quake in Japan. The Japanese culture and people have been near and dear to my heart. I love the pottery, poetry, and aesthetics of Japan . I have been drawn to the beauty of homes built from natural materials, materials that were unfortunately, vulnerable to destruction. I was anxious about the state of the nuclear power plants, and I'm sure my very sensitive Australian Shepherd, Cash, was also picking up on at least my sadness and fear if not something deeper in perhaps a planetary way. I had decided to leave the dog home and take my older Blue Heeler with me in the car when I left to go to dinner at my friend's house on Saturday March 12th. Cash, my Australian Shepherd, had been out for a long walk with shelter dogs that day and my husband was staying home, so I thought it would be good to give my old Blue Heeler some special attention. As I was leaving the house, Cash tried to dash out the door and come with us so my husband grabbed his collar and pulled him back. I then left for my friend's house, without seeing what was going on behind me. Upon returning home, I saw about ten small puddles with paper towels sticking out of them, spread out all over the great room floor (he's not perfect, but at least he put the paper towels down!). I asked my husband what had happened and he told me that from the moment he grabbed the dog, the dog rolled on his back and peed and then seemed to be in a tizzy and kept repeating the behavior as my husband tried to assure him he wasn't going to be hurt. It's as if the dog just had a huge emotional meltdown. He had some fear peeing issues when we first got him out of rescue, but that had long since subsided, and usually involved only one incident at a time. So I'm wondering if anyone else has observed any odd behavior in their pets or farm animals, during the time of the Japanese earthquake and it's aftermath. I live in North Idaho, U.S.A., not too far from seismic activity and the Pacific Rim/Pacific Ring of Fire, so I was a bit worried that the dog may be picking up on some impending seismic activity. I wasn't sure if Cash was just reacting to my anxious state, or a situation specific incident to my leaving him and my husband grabbing the collar. It was so much more grander of a meltdown than what I had seen before, that I couldn't help wondering if what had transpired was one of those incidents of animal sensitivity to natural catastrophic force and grand scale suffering. I leave the dog unattended at night in the living room or when I go into my pottery studio without incident. I've left my two dogs alone together in the house, so I can't figure out what triggered this odd behavior. When I returned home the Aussie was also distant, and seemed shell shocked, he didn't come up and greet me as he usually does. By Sunday afternoon things were back to normal .Oh well, just another unsolved dog and human mystery that I'm still trying to sort out. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan. I'm so saddened by this terrible tragedy