my old country house

Dogs and Thunderstorms and Fireworks

CHARLIE- the big boy
CHARLIE is the big boy – photo by sarah cramer photography

We have 3 dogs. Addie. A 5 year old Wheaten Terrier, Charlie, a 12 year old senior lab/border collie mix, and Bean – the 8 year old old handful of a Beagle pup.

The three live relatively harmoniously. They have adapted to the new house and are a nice little pack.


The only thing that can throw things completely off balance are


Charlie and Bean pretty much hunker down, hang close to us and Bean will whimper . And Addie just sticks to me like Glue – but our last Wheaten – Muffin – was an absolute mess.

      She would start barking – truly it was the only time she made a sound!) about an hour before the storm got to us and  if not crated or kept inside she would run laps around the house barking for the duration of the storm. As she has got older I noticed that she would even be a bit “limpy” the next day…as if it was hard to get out of bed after a big workout.


(here is a story I posted a few years back but that might help anyone who is struggling with the Big BOOMS and keeping their dogs settled. )

ONE Typical summer night…the warning message flashed across the screen and another one of our WHOPPER storms kicked into full gear…lightening that felt as if it were coming into the room and BIG BOOMS of rumbling thunder. All of the dogs were not happy and Muffin especially….was completely wacked out.

All of a sudden a lightbulb went off and I remembered that my sister-in-law had told me that they had gotten something called a THUNDERSHIRT for their dog Nikko.

NIKKO who was the best dog in the world, also a  Wheaten,


and the reason we got Muffin, lived in Florida where the Thunderstorms are off the charts. The Thundershirt gave him relief and he was able to tolerate the storms much better…according to the ad on Amazon…”One thing is for certain, for a very large percentage of dogs, Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a terrific calming effect. This has obvious benefits for most types of anxiety.”

…..and my sister-in-law swears by it!

So, back to that night…it was raining cats and dogs and was  a bit late to run out and buy a Thundershirt…and Amazon is not THAT fast, so I had to get creative.

I had a basket of folded laundry on the floor. I grabbed an old T-shirt of Coopers, put it on Muffin and pulled the back nice and snug around her upper body.I used the elastic hair tie from my pony tail to keep it tight.

DIY Thundershirt
DIY Thundershirt

muffinthunder2I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes!!!

She immediately calmed down. And when it would get really loud, she would come over to me, let me scratch her tummy and her back and she was calm. Normally she is a mess…. running…. barking, panting, totally wacky and completely impossible to console.

Then she and Charlie snuggled up and went to sleep!!!

I hope brings some relief to your dog if he or she struggles with storms and fireworks . For all I know there are whole “tic tocs” on this but I’m old school!
Have a Wonderful and Safe July Fourth Day