My Dog is an Ombrophobiac

It was raining cats and dogs when the alarm clock went off this morning. I hit the snooze button and burrowed down under the covers, then lay there waiting for the intensity of the rain to subside. But it didn’t. And this was a problem because I was going to have to go out in it. Since Lucy’s hip surgery, one of us has to accompany her outside. For at least another month, we have to carry her up and down steps and watch her outside so she doesn’t run or jump.

The rain was pouring from the sky. It was still very dark outside and there was thunder. And Mark was away on a hunting trip so I couldn’t pawn off the dog duty on him. There was no getting around it. The dogs had to go pee. I was going out in the rain.

The weather had turned colder since the day before. I tossed on my rain jacket and slipped a pair of flip-flops on my feet. Lucy and Bella trotted behind me happily as I approached the patio door. And when I opened it to let them out onto the back deck, Lucy zipped right outside. And then she zipped right back inside. I figured I needed to show the dogs it was okay to get a little wet. I put my hood up and stood outside on the deck. Like an idiot.

“Come on, Luce. Bells, come on,” I said, patting my thighs with both hands. “Come on girls!”

The “girls” looked at me like I was crazy and stayed inside where it was warm and dry.

I had a schedule to maintain. I only had so much time to supervise the dogs in the yard before I needed to get back in, find some work clothes and hit the shower. I had to take matters into my own hands. I would trick them into coming outside. I went and found Lucy’s leash, which is a sure-fire way to get her to come. And then I carried her down the steps to the front entryway and hooked the leash to her collar.

“Leash” means walk, and apparently the idea of a walk was enough to erase the memory of the rain from their little doggy brains. Out the front door we went and all was well until we left the shelter of the front stoop. Bella seemed willing enough to go wherever I was going, but Lucy was desperately trying to escape the pouring rain. But I now had the leash on her and we were going to the back yard, like it or not.

And Lucy was not liking it. Bella happily wandered the perimeter of the yard, the huge raindrops soaking her long fur. Lucy the Pansy tried to yank the leash from my hand and seek shelter under Mark’s fishing boat and trailer, which for some reason were recently pulled out into the middle of the back yard and left there. Lucy heaved to and fro, trying to dodge the rain and escape the thunder while I held tight to the leash and through clenched teeth, admonished her to “go potty!”

My brave little old lady

It was so dark that I could no longer see where Bella was exploring, but I knew the minute I called her she would come follow me back to the house. Lucy continued to strain and yank and try to extract my arm from its socket. But I am stubborn too and there was no way I was heading off to work knowing she hadn’t started her day by relieving herself.

Wussy little pansy girl

I was getting ticked off. There I was, standing in the middle of the back yard, in the pitch-black morning, in my flannel pajama pants, in the cold and wearing a rain jacket that was not doing its job.

“LUCY,” I growled. “Frickin-frackin-furrin-furrin-go-potty-already-will-you-damn-it!”

Finally, finally she squatted and did her thing! I was now completely drenched and none too happy to be starting my day this way. Since we had come around to the back yard from the front door, we had to go back that way because for some reason, I had locked the patio door upon deciding to trick the dogs into going out in the rain through the front door.

I called Bella and soon her dark little form could be seen bounding across the dark, drenched grass. Lucy had now caught onto the fact that we would finally go back in where it was safe and dry and warm, and so she cooperated as well.

Just as I was shutting the backyard gate behind me, a powerful strike of lightning lit up the sky and a huge boom of thunder rippled down over us. Lucy began frantically trying to seek shelter again. She wanted to free herself from the restraint of the leash and she desperately tried to bury herself inside a shrub. We were just a few feet from the front door and I begged her to come with me. Thankfully, she caught a glimpse of Bella happily following the trail of landscaping border around the front gardens toward the house and decided to follow suit.

My hot, morning shower never felt SO good.

There were two cute, furry faces there to greet me when I emerged from the shower. They know it’s feeding time after my shower and they were so cute, I couldn’t help but forgive Lucy for her earlier escapades. The rain and thunder and lightning carried on outside while the dogs gobbled down their breakfasts. When they were finished, I headed off to blow-dry my hair, but not before I heard the familiar clang of the bell that hangs on the patio door – the one that Lucy uses to let us know she wants to go outside.

I peeked over to her where she sat at the door.

“You’re kidding me, right,” I asked?

She turned and hit the bell again with her snout and looked at me expectantly. For one insane moment, I contemplated whether I believed her or not. In the end, I decided I didn’t care. As I walked away, I could still hear her clanging that bell.

*Ombrophobia – fear of rain or being rained on

14 thoughts on “My Dog is an Ombrophobiac

  1. I don’t mean to laugh, because I know exactly how you must have felt, but this is so darn funny! :) My dog will beg to go outside, so I’ll let her out, then she’ll literally walk to the next door and beg to come in. I find THAT aggravating. And I always say the same thing to her… “Are you kidding me!”.
    But how sweet are they! Impossible to stay angry for long.


  2. Yeah, we are experiencing a lot of stuff like that at the moment – think I will do my next post about it!

    I love the bell idea – did you train her to do it or did she do it herself?


  3. Oh they are something else, aren’t they? I’ve been right where you were, soaked to the bone, pleading “just go already” and then caught a look that melted me and regained my patience.

    Love that Lucy rings the bell – what a smart pup! Bella is absolutely adorable :)



  4. Only animal-lovers can really empathize with your plight, Terri. And I hope you didn’t come home to a MESS after ignoring poor Lucy’s attempts to go back outside! But it’s the long-haired doggins that really suffer through wet weather, don’t you agree?


  5. First of all, the pooch photos are AMAZING as always!

    Ombrophobia – great, another condition to add to China’s list. I think with her, it’s the lightning and thunder phobia. We can get a rumble of thunder from a lightning strike 10 miles away (which incidentally takes nearly an entire minute to get here!) and she’s all freaked! So much for taking care of business.

    That Bella, though. I want one.


  6. Ombrophobia – Thanks.  I’ve never heard of that fear.  Goes to show you’re never too old to learn new things.  Now I have something to label my two dogs who have the same condition.  Grayson is ok with rain and will go out when it is raining hard, but prefers to stay dry.  On the other hand, Claire is almost a twin to Lucy.  If there is any hint of rain, I cannot get her out to do her business even with bribes or threats.  Fortunately, she has the holding capacity of a camel.  I have done the same middle of the night, backyard dance waiting for the dogs to complete the transaction.  If I do relent to walk them in the rain, they will go, but Claire will make a U-turn to the house as soon as she is done.  Now, Shadow was a bit more innovative.  In a pouring rainstorm, he would go out the side door and stand under the eve of the house (out of the rain) in the groundcover that was up to  his belly doing his business and then head back inside fairly dry.  Not sure where he learned that trick, but I wish I could teach it to the other two.       


  7. Love the ringing the bell trick! If I had to go piss in the rain, I’d be pretty unhappy too, but it is frustrating when the pooch isn’t doing what you want.


  8. I hate when they don’t want to go outside to do their business because of the weather conditions! Lila is like that at home when it’s raining, but if it’s raining at the dog park, she’s not in a hurry to get back home. Funny post!


  9. So glad that you posted that big word and an explanation of it too as now I know there is a legitimate word to describe Lucy as well as our Sammy’s reaction to rain! I thought Sammy has walked in the rain before but apparently if he has, he had forgotten about it. Yesterday, with all the rain coming at us from the “Frankenstorm” event, I was forced into walking Sam, in the rain and what a fun time (not exactly) that was! As we went down the road, he refused to walk anywhere but on the pavement of the road so did not do any lawn watering of his own on that part of the walk. On the way back home, he finally got brave enough to venture off the pavement and into some grass to add to the moisture factor. Just before we got back to the house, he decided to let loose on our neighbor’s property with a little package. I was a bit worried as to what I’d wake up to this morning though as I didn’t go out and walk him last night. Sunday night, I had walked him in the dark and it was misting but I hadn’t taken the umbrella with me and darned good thing too as I would never have been able to manage him on a leash in one hand and holding the big heavy flashlight plus an umbrella in the other hand! But so far this morning, the house escaped unscathed of doggie do of any type! It was also yesterday the first time I have ever walked him that he stayed completely by my side on most of the walk. Maybe rain teaches a tiny bit of manners?


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