Our little ball of barking neurotic fury, Homer, had never experienced anything like last night. Homer is a Southern California dog, born and raised, with at least four generations of San Diego County breeding coursing through his AKC-registered blood. Just last week, I admired Homer's innate ability to protect himself in the event of an earthquake. When the ground shook with a mild tremor, he abandoned his exposed bed and made a beeline for under the desk. But last night would prove just how SoCal he is.
At around two in the morning, we had one of those most rare of meteorological events for this area: a bonafide thunderstorm. In my seven-plus years living here, I've heard less than a dozen claps of thunder. Last night, however, there was thunder and lightning galore. Needless to say, like a true Southern Californian, Homer had no clue what was going on. A home invasion? Dogs from Outer Space? The return of the Uberdog? All he could do to ward of this mysterious visitation was bark. But not satisfied with simply voicing his dismay, he decided that he would escape to the backyard, stand in the pouring rain with lightning flashing around him, and let the entire neighborhood, if not the whole world, know that something was amiss. In doing so, he became oblivious to the shouts of his father who really didn't want to go out in the weather to retrieve him. But I had no choice. We live next to an old lady on her deathbed on one side and some young children on the other. I feared that cops or landlords would be called or a lightning strike would take him out, leaving us with nothing but a greasy spot and some hair to bury. Doing what any good father would do, I grabbed a mop and chased him upstairs.
Homer doesn't seem right today. Maybe his psyche is bruised, his karma misplaced. Who knows when his next chance to bark at a thunderstorm might be? I guess for now he'll have to settle for the UPS man.