|Barney adores fabric, if any fabric hits the floor, he is on it.|
This post is about Barney, our Border Collie/Labrador Retriever cross. Barney is the Einstein of the dog world. Seriously. He is smart. Scary smart.
Barney is a rescue, he was in our yard for minutes when he figured out he could open The Gate To Freedom, so now we have to have carabiners on the gates to keep Barney contained. He can find any gap or weakness in any fence. He is our self walking dog. We have always been grateful he doesn't have opposable thumbs, god only know what he would be capable of (yes I know, bad grammar, don't care).
Barney is very protective of children and anyone he figures can't protect themselves (he is a pretty good judge). Aunt Edna for example, Edna has cerebral palsy and is mentally and physically challenged. A couple of years ago she had to stay in our home for a couple of days, and Barney decided he had to guard her through the night. One morning I got up, opened to door to the room to get Barney outside for his morning pee, I guess I surprised him as him as he let out a growl unlike anything I have ever heard from him before. He quickly realized it was me, and was rather embarrassed by his error in judgement. I really believe he would have attacked if it was someone he didn't know. Good Barbar, taking care of Aunt Eddie.
In recent years Barney has developed an extreme fear of thunderstorms. Salivating, crying, shaking, he is clearly terrified. It is awful to see him like this, as he is usually fearless. He then made the connection between rain and thunder, and now he is frightened of heavy rain as well. Nothing we do seems to help.
We resorted to pharmaceuticals. We started giving him peanut butter (the only time he gets peanut butter BTW) with his Valium when the weather got too much for him. Works like a hot damn, he gets stoned and sleeps through the storms now. Then his bad mom forgot to refill his prescription, so I thought I would try giving him just peanut butter, couldn't hurt, right? Guess what? It works, he made the connection between the peanut butter and feeling better. I have a dog so smart that a placebo effect works. Scary.
Update-The PB seems to work for a small/short thunderstorm, if thunder continues for more than 20 minutes, he needs the real thing. We have reduced the size of his dose by half however, and now Barney doesn't just sit around with glazed eyes, eating junk food and listening to Pink Floyd all day. It's all good.