Thursday, July 31, 2008

Everything is Out to Get Her

I finally remembered to take my daughter's Flip Video Camera on our morning walk. I caught Lizzie in action. Just when Lizzie's level of bravery seemed to be continually on the rise, a major setback has occurred. What caused this relapse? I can't be sure of all the reasons, but I DO know about one. One thing that I did so casually and without thought seems to have frightened my darling girl tremendously...what was this horrendous event? Well, I crumpled a plastic shopping bag, while she was in the same room! I was on the opposite side of the room with the bed blocking her from my sight. When I crumpled the bag to put it on the shelf (to recycle later) she darted out of the bedroom so fast, nails skidding on the wood floors. I went to her immediately and she was shaking like crazy. Following this episode she was terrified to come back into the bedroom. She did return with a lot of encouragement, but she's been on guard ever since. This was Tuesday evening.

Prior to this terrifying ordeal there was the sudden relapse in her use of the stairs. Specifically going down them fairly confidently to not wanting to descend them at all, or so hesitantly she stops on each stair and turns sideways. I have no idea what happened. I mean she is with me just about every time she uses the stairs and I have no recollection of anything out of the ordinary happening. She's gone up and down the stairs with me this morning and so far, seems much more confident.

We installed a ceiling fan in the office earlier this month. She didn't seem to pay much attention to it until a couple of days ago, when I was watching her while she ate. She seemed nervous while eating and shied away from her water bowl twice in just minutes. I noticed her looking nervously at the plastic storage drawers in front of her bowls. Ah, there was the reflection of the ceiling fan in the plastic AND in the water. Why hadn't it bothered her before? And why did she seem okay this morning?

Returning from our walk this morning something finally occurred that I knew was coming some day. Arriving at the back stoop where we enter the house Lizzie had stopped and was waiting for me to open the door, when all of a sudden she leaped back and under my foot as I was coming up the step. She continued in my direction and I went down on the brick steps, dropping the Flexi Lead. I was so frightened that she would run away that with surprising speed I rolled over and crawled the short distance to grab the leash handle. R-E-L-I-E-F when I had it in hand. She was freaked out and shaking uncontrollably. I sat there on the ground attempting to calm her down before we finally went inside.

We've had a couple of horrifying thunderstorms this week as well. Sunday's storm was so violent and so loud. The thunder booms shook the house and windows repeatedly. I don't coddle her during the storms, but just offer a calm and quiet presence for her to be near.

You couldn't tell by how relaxed she is now that she's a "Nervous Nellie." She looks perfectly calm and secure.

Well, her peace didn't last for long, as the sound of the tractor mower outside has sent her into a fit of worry. What horrendous daily occurrence is going to freak poor Lizzie out next?

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