Let me start this post by saying I am not trying to worry anybody. This happens every so often, and so far it has ended well each time.
Iris is afraid of thunder. OK, let's be honest here: if a tiny isolated raindrop chances to fall on Iris' nose, she is a wreck. But thunder, even in the distance, pushes her fight-or-flight button.
Usually we call her, grab her, and take her in the house at the slightest sound of thunder or rain. Once inside, she runs to Cliff's tub and jumps in, there to stay until hours after the storm has ended. Even then we have to persuade her to come out sometimes.
Today we were on our walk when, unexpectedly, a fairly loud boom sounded. Iris broke and ran toward home, where we hoped to find her on our return. Unfortunately, she was nowhere to be found. I try not to panic when this happens, because in the past she has ended up in some hidey-hole in someone's shed or garage. One time our family was gathered in Cliff's shop, Iris with us, when it thundered around 3 P.M. and she took off for places unknown. That was her first such absence, and I will admit I was scared for her safety. I may have even shed some tears. The next day around 10 A.M. she came running home. She had been in a nearby neighbor's garage; they had shut the door to keep the rain out, so she was pretty much trapped inside until the next day when he opened the door. Another neighbor across the highway once brought her home.
So you would think I'd be calling her name, if she's that close to home.
As long as she is in the storm mode, she will not respond, not even to Cliff's shrill whistle, which under normal circumstances is sure to bring her running.
For the most part, I am not too bothered by her absence, although there is always that niggling little thought in the back of my mind telling me anything could happen: She could get struck by a car on the highway, or maybe she ran so far she won't know how to get home... you know how those thoughts can occur.
I even joke with Cliff about it. "Well, one good thing about it, I can get my non-shedding dog now and I will be done with all the hair. I even have a Facebook friend who has some standard poodle puppies that are about ready to sell."
"Yeah," Cliff will agree. "And our next dog won't bark at every animal she sees on television. Maybe we can watch Dog Whisperer in peace."
"And we won't have to worry about our next dog trying to kill small dogs. And she won't have all these mental issues, because we will raise her ourselves."
You know, sorta like whistling in the dark. So anyhow, I am hopeful that Iris will return home, or someone will return her, before too long. The longer she is absent, the less funny it becomes.