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animals and impending disasters....maybe they DO know

17 years ago

Monday afternoon ended up being yet another bad day for storms around here, with several tornadoes in our county. I took advantage of the lull in the action that occurred after the first round of storms to go for a quick bicycle ride, knowing that it might be a long time before the weather was nice enough to be out in shorts. I had looked at the radar right before I left and figured I had about an hour and a half tops before the nasty stuff returned and I timed it pretty close. I was just wiping down my frame in the garage when the winds came up and the lightning got really bad. I had heard we could possibly experience straight line winds up to 80 MPH and this had me concerned since our house is totally surrounded by trees. Our old collie was napping about ten feet away on the floor of the garage, totally relaxed, and I wasn't really paying him much attention since he is not afraid of storms, even very bad ones, as long as he has someplace dry to hunker down in.

I suddenly became aware that the lightning and thunder was incredibly intense yet the winds had gotten really quiet and right about this time Casey did the weirdest thing. He quickly got up, not an easy thing for him since he has relly bad hips, and crept up to me like he'd been caught doing something bad and then tried to get onto my lap, which completely knocked me over. He's never been a lap dog, and he has been trained not to "paw" at people, even when excited. I tried to get him to calm down but he acted like a gun-shy dog who just heard a cannon go off. This lasted a minute or so, and then he reluctantly returned to his sleeping pad. Within 5 minutes he was back asleep as if nothing had happened.

The storms passed and I made my way to the house, wondering how many trees would be down. No trees down but gobs of branches. I was inside maybe 5 minutes and at about 3:20 the phone was my dad and he sounded scared; he wanted to know if I was ok, if we had any damage from the tornado. He had been watching the storm tracks on the Weather Channel and a neighbor had called saying they had announced a funnel cloud and mentioned my small town as being in the immediate strike zone, and that it would be in the area by 300pm, which was right about the time the dog went nuts.

I have heard that animals know things are coming. I understand that lots of animals headed inland just before the tsunami hit Indonesia, and that they can feel earthquakes before they actually hit, but this was the first time I actually saw it happen, and with a pet of my own. I bet it has to do with their range of hearing....the change in pitch of the wind with an approaching tornado. But how do they know to be scared?? Casey's never been through a twister, which is lucky for hime since his 'momma' would love to be a storm chaser!

Anybody else ever have things like this happen?

And I hope you are all ok after the crazy times we had Monday!

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