Friday 20th October 2017
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Storm preparation for canines

So this morning, the dog and I headed over to the Hudson to have a look around: the river’s about three (long) blocks from my place, and I wanted to see if anything dramatic—five-foot waves; fully submerged park benches—had happened yet. An umbrella seemed unnecessary: there was rain, but it was that just-past- drizzle/less-than-full-on kind of rain I always associate with the year I spent living in Seattle. Instead, I just snapped the detachable hood on to my trusty Barbour coat and figured I’d be good to go. By the time we got to the water, however, the heavens had opened up substantially, and Sammy and I were both soaked. In addition to which, park rangers were barricading the area, and I came stupidly close to getting a ticket just so I could capture this very shot, for which I anticipate winning multiple photojournalism awards.

As we headed toward home,  I resolved to finally get Sammy the Barbour waxed cotton dog coat I instructed myself to buy him a year ago but never did. There are times when a dog needs a good coat (sweaters do nothing to protect a pooch from  the actual elements) and most dog coats are awful and theme-y, with little shiny hoods and whatnot—the dog attire industry having all but all but invented twee. This, however, is just about as elegant as it gets. Go ahead and laugh all you want at the thought of us strolling through the streets of downtown Manhattan in our matchy English countryside outerwear. I’m thinking (hoping) it’ll come off  less Crazy Dog Lady, more Royal Tennenbaums.

Finally: here’s something I did get it together to buy Sammy pre-storm (and is he a handsome boy or is he a handsome boy?): the Thundershirt. It apparently applies calming, gentle pressure that in turn helps calm the kind of canine freakouts that are incited by storms and fireworks and the like. I’ve got no idea what the science behind it is, but people rave and rave. Have any of you tried it?

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Posted on October 29th, 2012 23 Comments

23 Responses

  1. Viajera says:

    Ooooh, he’s a cutie!!!

    I guess everyone else lost their Internet access today. Hope you are all safe.

  2. Audrey says:

    Stay safe Kim! Sammy looks awfully cute in his coat. I hope he can hold his own in those winds!

  3. jenny says:

    My daughter and I think Sammy’s a very handsome boy!! And cute, says Sadie.

  4. déjà pseu says:

    Aww, what a cutie! My dogs don’t get freaked out by anything except a stray piece of paper on the floor, so haven’t tried the thundershirt. But I wonder if the premise is based on the Temple Grandin cattle squeezing machine?

  5. sarah says:

    The Thundershirt does NOT work. At least not for my Jack Russell. It is currently sitting on my table awaiting return to the store.

  6. CB says:

    What an adorable sweetie!!! Also love that coat…and I think after two years my boys could use new ones, right? My more neurotic dog uses a Thundershirt. Works rather well, including today. I think it makes them feel like they are being hugged, so I am pretty sure that Temple Grandin’s work was an influence.

    Stay safe everyone!

  7. elise says:

    My friend got a Thundershirt for her very anxious little guy and it’s made a huge difference! Hope you & yours stay safe & dry!

  8. Shelsvo says:

    Sammy looks quite the stylish Wheaten. Thanks for the info on the thunder shirt. We have 3 ( beloved, neurotic rescue) Wheatens. I wonder if they make a Thundershirt for people? Stay safe.

    • Viajera says:

      I am not familiar with how the Thundershirt works, but I know that some early childhood special ed therapists and teachers sometimes use a weighted vest. I think it is supposed to calm some children and help them focus, so it sounds similar.

  9. Sarah says:

    Sammy is exceptionally adorable. He looks like an identical twin to my mini schnauzer Zeno. Is that what he is?

  10. kathy says:

    When we lived in NYC, our dachshund had a Barbour coat – a necessity.

    Just ordered the Thundershirt for my mom’s dog, who’s very anxious all the time. Curious to see if it works.

  11. Julie says:

    just ordered a Thundershirt for my very anxious shelter dog that we just adopted-will let you know

  12. Anne says:

    Your dog could not look more stylish. Hope that you and your neighbors — canine and human, alike — are OK after last night.

  13. Kathyj says:

    So cute (both the doggie and the coat)! Is he a schnauzer? He looks like my crazy little puppy.

  14. Cindy Kamm says:

    Sammy is adorable and looks a bit like my terrier mix. We’ve got the Thundershirt too and I think it works for some dogs, but certainly not all. My dog has developed a fear of rain, even the slightest drizzle has her shaking and panting. I think it’s an aging thing. At least we live in L.A. so we typically don’t get a lot of rain.

  15. c.w. says:

    Sammy is the cutest dog on the planet next to my Betty. Thundershirts work for some dogs, not for others. Also, Rescue Remedy works sometimes––a couple of drops or so in the water bowl helps. Also, Benedryl (sp) helps––if you google Benedryl + dogs you will get dose appropriate information––I’ve never used it, but a people doctor friend of mine swears by it in times of neurotic crises.

  16. Jane says:

    Stay warm and dry with your adorable little pooch! The Barbour dog coat is as fancy as it gets.

  17. JaneD says:

    He is a cutie!

    Can we please stop starting sentences with so?

  18. Aparatchick says:

    Sammy is a very handsome boy. Love his coat.

    I volunteer at an animal shelter here in Florida, and the staff members use Thundershirts on their own dogs (and we’ve used them – we can only afford a few – on some of the little dogs in the shelter who are terrified by thunderstorms).

  19. Sally says:

    Oh the Thundershirt. It has saved my little Bean from more than one panting collapse. Not just for thunder though – she has cancer and since she HATES the vet’s office and sadly has to be there about every two weeks, I pop it on her (truth: as I’m sure you’ve discovered there’s a liittlle bit of rocket science to getting all the velcro in the right place) and she is as cool as a Popsicle all through chemo. It’s some sort of magic hug or something. I kinda want one for me.
    I’m glad everyone in your circle is doing OK with the storm and aftermath. I miss NYC, especially when everyone is hunkered down waiting for the weather.

  20. Linda Kenyon says:

    Sammy’s a regular Dapper Dan…what a doll! One of my dogs is a miniature long-haired dachshund who barks at nearly everything! Including thunder. The shirt didn’t stop all the yapping, but it helped. Plus he looks so cute in it.
    Hope you fared well in the storm. We got spared, pretty much, in Norfolk.

  21. What a dapper dog indeed! As a professional dog trainer, I use and recommend the Thundershirt to my clients for all sorts of canine anxiety related issues. I use them with my own dogs, my anxious aussies. A great product and a great company!