Some Thoughts on Thunder

Thunder in the distance tonight sounds like trembling. And the recliner is shuddering because my dog, Cleo, is hiding underneath the footrest.

Sometimes Cleo will go outside in the thunder, even though thunder—or rain, which suggests the prospect of thunder—terrifies her if she’s in the house.

I wonder if this is like her reaction to the sound of the elliptical trainer, which is a similar kind of rumbling. When one of us gets on the machine, she runs upstairs and lies down on the floor, not far from spinning legs and the roar of the mechanism. Maybe it’s not the noise that’s scary but rather, not knowing the source of the noise, so that if she is right next to it, observing it, she’s okay. And if she’s outside and the thunder is outside that is somehow okay. But thunder is not okay when it’s outside and she’s inside because then the sounds and vibrations seem to come from everywhere at once and there is nowhere to hide from it and nowhere to confront it so all there is to do is pant and pant and pant.

This might be the canine equivalent of free-floating anxiety.

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