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Sudie Crouch: The weather predicting pittie
Photo by Reza Shayestehpour,

Georgia, of all places, had two earthquakes last week.  

We had no warning whatsoever, as is the case with earthquakes, but Doodle may have had an inkling something was about to happen.  

“She’s been so nervous for some reason today,” Lamar commented.  

“More so than usual?” 

“Yeah,” he said. “She’s really super-anxious today.” 

“Is it supposed to storm?” 

“Maybe later, but I think we’re just getting rain.” 

Doodle may not realize it, but she has missed her calling.  

Whenever there is anything out of the ordinary weather wise, the little caramel colored pittie-mix knows way in advance.   

She’s not the first pup I’ve had who was able to let us know when the weather was going to be bad. Venus often knew when storms were approaching, too.  

When three tornadoes were going through Atlanta and heading north several years ago, a friend called me frantic with worry.  

“I think we’re good,” I assured her.  

“Are you sure?” she asked. “It looks like those tornadoes are headed this way. Y’all need to come get in my basement.” 

I was more scared about navigating the narrow spiral staircase leading into her basement than a storm. I looked over at the small German Shepherd who was snoring by my feet. Even though the radar showed something ominous, Venus wasn’t affected by it. I felt certain we’d be fine and said so.  

Ava wasn’t one for alerting us to impending danger. Rather, she was more reactive, opening the bathroom door and getting in the tub whenever she heard thunder. She didn’t try to rally us all into there like Venus would, instead it was every human for themselves.  

Even though Doodle was only around Venus for just a couple of months before the sweet older pup passed away, she picked up a lot of her habits and traits. One being the way she is precise and particular about her kibble and the other being her sensitivity to storms and nasty weather. 

We didn’t notice Doodle’s storm tracking abilities until several years when Hurricane Irma came through.  

She’s always been a nervous little thing, scared of her own shadow, with separation anxiety so bad we can’t leave her alone for long periods of time. 

But the day the hurricane was expected to make landfall, her behavior was even more anxious and high strung.  

She did not want anyone out of her sight, she whimpered, she shook.  

She shedded.  

Nervous dogs shed more, and I have no idea how this poor pup wasn’t bald. Her fur would just float all around her like she was PigPen from Charlie Brown.  

“What is wrong with her?” Lamar asked as she had paced the kitchen floor.  

She wanted us all to do something but she wasn’t sure what.  

When the rain started hours later and persisted, she grew even more anxious, and when the tree fell across the barn and onto the house, she screamed out as if in pain.  

Once it was over, she fell asleep on the floor, too exhausted to even get on the bed or couch.  

Doodle gets anxious when there may be snow. When it may rain. When there’s wind.  

The other pups don’t seem to care. 

The only thing Mia knows about nasty weather is she can’t get her workouts in because of it.  

Pumpkin doesn’t like it, but it never really bothered her. Since her hearing isn’t the best anymore, she only notices it if it’s really bad, and then she’ll even let Frank cuddle with her for comfort. 

But thunder and lightning terrify Doodle. I think even lightning bugs make her scared.  

So the day that earthquake happened in Jasper County, Doodle was all kinds of agitated.  

It didn’t help that for some reason, our power went out for about 15 minutes.  

Have I mentioned she’s scared of the dark? She is. The ferocious dog, who has terrified grown men 10 times her size just by looking at them real hard, is scared of the dark.  

Much like her human mama, she has to have the television on in order to sleep, or some kind of night light.  

When I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, she jumped over the baby gate to go with me. 

Apparently the power went out again after we all went to bed. That and the fact the earth rumbled a few counties over probably put her on Death Con Level alert.  

She tried to hide behind the toilet, not even being coaxed out with a peanut butter bone.  

“Come on, Boo,” I whispered, trying not to wake up everyone else, including the cat.  

The pittie held firm in her spot and shook her head.  

“I’ll give you an extra treat if you come out,” I promised. 

She started, then paused, trying to determine if the extra treat was worth leaving her safe haven.  

Peanut butter won out and she finally relented, grabbing her treats before she ran to curl up in her crate.  

The next morning, I saw there had been a possible earthquake reported.  

“There was an earthquake in Georgia,” I told Lamar.  

“When?”[Text Wrapping Break]“Last night.”  

We both looked at Doodle. “That’s why she was so upset yesterday,” he said. “She knew.”  

The petite pup looked up at us and gave a sigh of relief knowing her anxiety had indeed been validated.