Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rain, Rain,...

For the last two days, it has been raining non-stop.  Not a pleasant fall drizzle, with periodic pauses when the clouds thin out and you can feel the sum behind them.  This rain is a steady downpour, cold, hard, and so dense that looking through it is like looking through a curtain of water.  This is spiced up at times with some spectacular special effects – booming thunder, crackling flashes of lightning, and even heavier wind driven downpours that are like standing under a waterfall, with vision of about two centimeters.

This storm was promised to us on the weekend. Because of that, a dog show that was scheduled for Saturday and was to be held in a location out doors, was cancelled.  So of course, on Saturday, there was sun and a few clouds, an ideal day for a dog show.

The storm moved itself to Tuesday. Tuesday was a busy day for me, a day that I had a lecture to give in the early evening near Tel Aviv,  and then at 3 in the morning, I had to take Tutti, the pregnant Canaan girl, to the airport for her flight to Italy.  Of course, as soon as I left the house to drive to the lecture location, the storm began.  I hate driving in the rain and winds, and I hate driving in the dark, and now I had all the factors that I most hate together.  The force of the rain and wind hitting my windshield made it almost impossible to see, and I could only drive very slowly, with the feeling that I was undersea, not on the highway. (Later weather reports reported that the amount of rain that fell in that time period in that location was the most of anywhere in the country).

Well, I managed that, gave my lecture, struggled to drive home, with the thought always in my mind that in a few hours I would have to be driving through that again to take Tutti to the airport.

At three in the morning, when I came to take Tutti out of her warm bed to go down to the car, she looked at me in confusion. “You can’t be serious! You really expect me to go out in THAT!!!! I don’t want to go anywhere!”  Well, Tutti, the choice was not yours, and I did not really want to go out either…A pile of warm blankets in her crate made it all more convincing, and once again I struggled to see the road through the rain as I made my way to the airport.  Fortunately, at that time of night, and in those conditions, there were almost no other cars on the road, so at least all I had to worry about was the weather and not crazy drivers.

Tutti was settled in her crate with her pile of warm blankets, ready to travel with the guy who was accompanying her, while I again was out in the storm, on my last trip home for the night – or morning, in fact.  Again I had the feeling that I was underwater as I slowly made my way home, accompanied by thunder and lightning (my dogs are not at all afraid of thunder and lightning, but I am!).  At last, I was home, just in time for the morning feeding and cleaning hours.  The dogs didn’t care about the weather, they wanted their food!

Soaked, but with my tasks all finished, I was finally able to relax in the house for a while, grateful that I didn’t have to go anywhere for the next few days.  And this was really lucky – as I watched the incessant curtain of rain from the window, I could see the rivers running down the highway and the traffic slowed to a crawl.  Later, I heard on the news that from the quantity of heavy rain, some holes had opened up in the highway (the main highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, not a small little road), and the traffic had to be stopped several times during the day so that the holes could be fixed. This recurred a few times over the day, as the rain continued to pound down. 

Two entire days of heavy rainfall, with just about no breaks at all!  In some parts of the country (including my area), in two days we had about half of the yearly average of rain….

The dogs, for the most part, were not concerned.  The collies don’t care at all about rain, they look soggy and messy, but underneath they are dry, and although they can go into their kennels and dog houses, most of the time they are happy to run around in the rain, going in just when it is really a downpour.  The Canaans, on the other hand, usually curl up in their boxes and sleep, ignoring what is going on outside.

Except for Ben.  Ben is a seven month old puppy, who is due to go to his new home abroad in a few weeks.  He is an active and opinionated pup, and having been born at the end of April, has never had any experience with real rain.

The rain itself did not bother him, he ran around the yard ignoring it. What did attract his attention was all the flotsam that was carried along as the water drained off the cement.  Ben decided that these were things that had to be caught!  I heard him barking a strange sort of bark, and saw him running from one side of the yard to the other, head down, and obviously hunting something.  He also ran over to the top of an old doghouse which I had left in the yard for the dogs to climb on, and kept barking at it and nosing and pawing it as well.  I couldn’t see any reason for what he was doing, but since we do have snakes in the hills here, although it is late in the season for them, that was all I could imagine. I went out to check, turned over the dog house and inspected the area and found – nothing!  It took some time before I realized, as I watched him continue this behavior, that he was hunting leaves and things that were floating in the rain, and the raindrops falling on the dog house made noises that he thought were animals hiding inside.

None of the other dogs were in the least interested in this imagination game…

Habibi, of course, spends the minimum possible time outside when it is raining, and is quite capable, I think, of not peeing for 24 hours if it means staying dry inside.

And then there is Emma and Caldas…They hate rain, even a sunny day with the patio wet from morning washing is not something they like stepping on.  And now, in their delicate condition…well, going out at all is not something they want to do, and in the rain???? No chance!!!!  Caldas, with a few days to go now until whelping, and with a belly that makes it difficult for her to move at all, has taken up position in her whelping box, curled up in the rug and newspapers, with the intention of not moving from there until her puppies are born.  Emma has the same attitude, but her hiding place is under the covers in my bed – even when the bed is made.  Yesterday when I called the dogs to go out, there was no Emma.  I looked all over for her – no Emma!  Until finally I noticed that the bed cover was not completely flat…there was Emma, in her blanket cave. Go out in the rain???? You can’t be serious!!!!!

This morning, thank goodness, the sun came out….


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