Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Today We Discovered That Willa Is Our Tornado Girl

All of our kids have reactions to thunderstorms. Coco paces from room to room and barks. Sophie is absolutely terrified. She shakes and hides behind the sofa or underneath one of our nightstands. Lobo wants to be held through the duration of the storm. Willa gets restless and will pace alongside Coco. This is why we don't leave the kids alone if we know bad weather is in the forecast. When a storm hits, we either lay on the bed or sit on the sofa with the kids.

Earlier today, during the afternoon hours, I did my usual 30-minute check on the kids. Coco, Sophie, and Lobo were napping soundly in the same spot they were at when I checked on them prior.

Willa was not.

I looked in all of the rooms. Twice.

No Willa.

I didn't enter a full-blown panic just yet because I know if Lobo or Sophie is not in their usual favorite lounging and napping spots, they're behind the sofa.


I was worried because Willa never goes behind the sofa.

I grabbed one of the squeaky toys and squeezed it.

Guess who ran out from behind the sofa? Yep. Willa.

Normally, Willa will grab the squeaky toy and play with it for a while. Today, she didn't. Willa ran back to the area behind the sofa.

I was baffled. At first, I thought she had something she wasn't supposed to and was trying to hide it from me.

I went into a full swing Dog Mom investigation. Grabbed the flashlight. Got on the floor. Examined behind the sofa with the flashlight.


I encouraged her to come out from behind the sofa. It took a little persuading with a squeaky toy and treat, but she did the G.I. Jane crawl to where I was sitting on the floor.

A few minutes later, I sat down at the kitchen table to finish some work stuff. About 15 minutes later, I hear a scraping noise coming from the Bodacious DIY Dog Mom Project Workshop. I got up to investigate.

Willa was in the DIY Indoor Dog House scraping the back wall with her paw as if she wanted to go further in. I got on the floor and rubbed her back and talked to her. She was shaking and wouldn't come out of the dog house.

There was fear in her eyes.

I became increasingly concerned. In addition to it being the first time she had ever gone behind the sofa, Willa had never displayed this type of fear.

She was sensing something and it was scaring her.

My first guess was the weather. Yesterday, our local weather station put us under an early warning weather alert for today.

I checked doppler radar and there it was. A few massive storm cells with rotation heading our way. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were being issued. My phone went off a few times as the storm got closer.

At one point, I looked out one of the windows in the Bodacious DIY Dog Mom Project Workshop and spotted this possible weak funnel cloud. It had dropped further and then went back up. I took this photo midway.

The storm shifted north. We got a little thunder. No rain.

In less than an hour, the sky brightened, Willa was fine. Back to her usual self.

A couple of hours later, more storms moved in. Worse than the first round. Warnings were being issued left and right. My phone was sounding with alerts.  And once again, Willa was MIA.

I took out a few homemade treats and announced it was snack time. I went into the bedroom and sat on the bed. Lifted Lobo up.

Willa peeked her head out. She had been hiding between Lisa's pillows and mine.

During that snacktime, Willa curled up on my lap, shaking. Sophie hid under the nightstand. Lobo didn't have any interest in his snack. Coco had a hard time focusing.

They were all sensing the intensity of the storms moving in.

I kept a close eye on the weather. The storms shifted north a bit. A couple of tornadoes were detected on radar. We were not in the path. It got dark here, rumbles of thunder, but no rain or wind.

Willa and Lobo were glued to my side. Sophie hid. Coco went back and forth between laying on the sofa and on the kitchen floor.

I prepped dinner for all of us. I remained calm despite a pounding headache and a little anxiety because of the storms. I didn't want our kids to pick up on my fear.

Lisa got home from work a little after 7. By this time, things had settled down. Lisa took the kids out and fed them dinner. We ate dinner at the kitchen table and talked.

We discussed Willa's response to both rounds of storms.

Willa has been a part of our family for a year and a half. We've had a few hits of severe weather since, but we've never had tornadoes show up on the radar this close to us. Usually, that happens in western Connecticut.

Toward the end of our dinner, we joked about how all of our kids sense different things and have responses to them.

A few years ago when we were having frequent minor earthquakes, Coco would act bizarre an hour or so before they hit.

Sophie can detect an approaching storm well before it hits.

When there is paranormal activity in our home, Lobo is the first one to react to it.

Willa, well...she's our tornado girl.

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