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

We have 3 dogs. Muffin and 11 year old Wheaten Terrier, Charlie, a 6 year old lab/border collie mix, and Bean – the 1 year old handful of a Beagle pup.


The three live harmoniously. Bean runs away whenever he can … and chews my bras and retainers…but generally they eat, sleep and play together like a nice little pack.

SORRY i was naughty
SORRY ….I was naughty

The only thing that can throw things completely off balance are


Charlie and Bean pretty much hunker down, hang close to us and chill. But Muffin is an absolute mess. She starts her barking (truly it is the only time she makes a sound!) about an hour before the storm gets to us…and if not crated or kept inside she will run laps around the house barking for the duration of the storm. As she has gotten older I notice that she is a bit “limpy” the next day…as if it is hard to get out of bed after a big workout.


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 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!!!


My sister-in-law has since sent me their old Thundershirt and it does work wonders…not every
time…but most of the time it seems to give her relief.
Have a Wonderful and Safe July Fourth Day weekend.