Sunday, December 12, 2010

Panic Room

This is our third winter with UHM.  One of the things I love about this house is that it has a fireplace.  There is just nothing better than sitting in front of a fire on a cold day.  When we've lost power it has been the sole source of heat in the house, as well as the oven for baking potatoes.  When we want a special treat, we toast marshmallows in it.

Of course, with fire comes a certain amount of danger.  Yes, we've had holes singed in carpets and blankets from popping coals.  And there was one incident w/a flaming marshmallow and Ginny - don't worry, she didn't get hurt but she did have to spend some time licking melted marshmallow out of her coat.

This year Moira has decided the fire is truly, truly dangerous.  Moira is well known for taking the smallest thing and blowing it way out of proportion.  For example - "The water bowl has moved!  I can't come in that room now."  The fire phobia is puzzling and really extreme though.

The fire has never bothered Moira before.  She's been oblivious to the snapping, popping and dancing lights.  To my knowledge, she's never touched a burning spark or been hit by one either.  This year though she will literally try to climb the walls to get out of the room with the fireplace.  When she does get out of the room, she retreats to the other end of the house, preferably UHM's bathroom, and barks nonstop. We've taken to calling it the Panic Room.  As is, "Where's Moira?  Oh, she's in the panic room."

Anyone else have a dog with this kind of phobia?  What have you done about it?  Moira is pretty immune to Rescue Remedy and even 5mg of Valium barely touches her.  Thoughts blogosphere friends?


  1. Has she been tested for lyme and other TBD lately? When random phobias crop up with client dogs that's one of the 1st things I ask. I've seen phobias occur because of TBD and also because of hypothyroidism. I'd get her to a vet and tested.

  2. She's due for her annual shortly so we will test for all of those then. With Moira, you just never know what will make her think twice about something.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I dont have any suggestions, but I do hope you can figure something out. That does sound like an odd reaction after this many years. Poor girl.

  5. I tried to comment on my phone but it messed up. Hence the deletion above.

    I'm betting that there is no underlying medical problem, that she's just being a weird Cardigan. It's not that unusual for Cardis to be uncomfortable with change and to want everything to stay in exactly the right place.

    Our first Sheltie nearly 40 years ago was the same way.

  6. Carolyn - that was my take on it too. She's always been a little odd but deciding the fire was an issue after 3 winters is really odd, even for Moira!

  7. Aspen (Bach Flower Remedies) is known to help with unfounded fears. You could also try 3 pellets of Aconite (30c). Poor Moira. Ike has just decided he is afraid of the fire too. Very odd.