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Fear Morphs into Terror
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Jasmine, heart of my heart, my best friend-in-fur, has recently become terrified of thunderstorms, fireworks, gunfire and motor vehicle backfires. She was always afraid--jumpy--but in the last couple of years her fear has turned into mindless terror.

She's all gray around the muzzle these days and her shepherd-type ears are rimmed with gray (giving her a perpetually inquiring look), though I don't know how old she is. The vet said that she was losing auditory and visual acuity and that was making her more fearful.

Well, explanations don't help the destructive behavior. When we have a thunderstorm, she tears up certain parts of the house in her efforts to find a place to hide. She has destroyed closet doors and torn out computer wires under the desk. The vet said she could prescribe a tranq for her.

Think I'll take her up on it, since Jasmine is totally out of control during thunderstorms -- and Fourth of July fireworks -- and New Year's Day gunfire/fireworks. At 65+ pounds of trembling, panting, flailing terror, she's really hard to handle; her brain has completely shunted to ground, leaving only the primitive fight/flight mode.

You know, I've seen a similar reaction in some elderly people. As they become less physically alert and strong, they become more fearful -- as if when they were younger knowing what was going on around them, they had fantasies that they could punch out the bad guy or outrun him, but now they're slower and weaker, they're vulnerable. And I suppose that's not entirely unrealistic, but you can't live your life in fear every place, every day. You just keep on truckin' and have faith that most people are decent folk and have their own business to attend to and aren't really interested in yours at all.

As I boogie on down the pathway of life....

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