ts1My house-sitting gig I have been writing about for the past few days was right in the path of Hurricane Irene.  This put a little bit of a damper (pun intended) on my plans for my time here.  It also put a little more responsibility on me for the other part of my gig – caring for friends’ three dogs and three cats.

I was particularly worried about the littlest three adorable Yorkies, Chloe.  Chloe is so small and so adorable, I worry that I am going to step on her or something.  Or worse, I worry that a hawk is going to swoop down and take her away while I am playing with her in the yard. 

The extra responsibility came with Chloe’s fear of thunder and loud noises that come along with storms like Irene.  I was told about her shaking and hiding and it broke my heart to think that she would suffer during the long duration of the storm.

But I need not have worried… I had Thundershirt.  This is going to sound like shameless plug for a commercial product, but it is a sincere endorsement.

Thundershirt is basically a compression shirt that makes a dog feel secure when under stress – just like the kind Chloe suffers from. It turned out that my friend had ordered one of the shirts for Chloe and reported that it had worked.

About Thundershirt: “With its patent-pending design, Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using Thundershirt. Thundershirt is already helping tens of thousands of dogs around the world, and is recommended by thousands of veterinarians and dog trainers.”

The other night I was hanging out on the front porch in the humid calm before the storm when the first bands of rain came through.  It was really nice to be out there – so warm, no wind and the falling rain.  However, off in the distance I heard a single clap of thunder and quickly ran into the house to find Chloe awake from her most recent nap and she was already shaking.

I quickly found the Thudershirt and put it on her.  She looked so cute in it – but more importantly, she calmed down and settled right back into her calm.  I kept it on for the duration of the storm and she was a dream.

Meanwhile, thankfully Irene as a whole was just remnants of a tropical storm by the time she reached us just south of Boston.  However, there was a lot of rain and wind and left some minor clean up for me in the yard.  But the silver lining was higher water levels on the pond – perfect for some late summer canoeing.

Chloe riding out the storm in her Thundershirt: