There’s an excavator digging up my back yard right now.
Can you hear it?
And the great news is, neither can my girls Roxy and Willow.
This is amazing, stupendous, world-changing. I know it just looks like a couple of goofballs wrestling, but you’d have to know Roxy to feel the full impact here.
Roxy is a textbook clinical case of noise reactivity. By that I mean, noises make her drool, shake, poop on the floor, bark, run blindly, try to break out of windows and doors. And as you see, she’s got some strength behind her. (She’s the pibble; Willow is the brown doggie.)
I’ve been working on this with a trainer for as long as I’ve known Roxy, which is about five years now. One of our best discoveries to date is the air popper for thunder storms and fireworks. This great technique has one major flaw: thunderstorms can last an hour; fireworks can go on for days; popcorn is all popped out in a few minutes.
In our neighborhood, we’re still hearing nightly fireworks and struggling to keep Roxy from shattering windows. To up our challenge even more, we broke ground yesterday on a long-awaited addition to our house (including a mud room with a dog shower – stay tuned!). That means an excavator, jackhammer, nail guns, air compressors, big guys with wheelbarrows. And we signed up for about four weeks of this. Knowing how construction goes, that’s likely to turn into six weeks or more.
In near panicked desperation, I started an online search for noise-cancelling devices. I was ready to pay nearly any price for something that would spare us weeks of misery. I knew sedatives weren’t the answer, because her anxiety is severe enough to break through any mild haze from the kinds of anxiety meds that allow her to still function. The other stuff, like Acepromazine, leaves dogs physically incapacitated but still mentally jacked up. Watching a dog wobble and belly crawl while her eyes are feral with terror is my idea of hell. So I needed some technology, some magical gadget to save the day.
There are window-mounted devices for noisy city apartments. There are expensive headphones that generate their own frequencies to counteract whatever noise frequency is coming at them. There are doodads that make swooshing sounds or some other white noise. I read the reviews and made a choice and finally clicked “purchase.”
Here’s the stupendous result: the Homedics Spa Sound Machine for $19.28. Two of them. So, my $40 investment gets me a babbling brook in the den, chirping crickets in the living room, and blissfully quiet dogs.
No drugs. No drooling or pooping or charging at plate glass. We had a few half-hearted barks followed by napping and eating and tugging and wresting games.
This. Is. Bliss.