It’s been many years since our own kids passed their driver’s tests, and the grandboys live four hours away, but we still may need to reacquaint ourselves with those parental-guidance warnings on TV shows.
Last night the three of us were settled in our favorite spots, lap blankets cozily in place, mid-way through a show on the tube. The heroes were gathered in a room of screens and computers, trying to outwit some evil-doer by tracking his movements electronically. At the first computer beep Mamie’s head periscoped up from her chair. At the second beep she had vaulted over to the couch. And at the third she had tunneled her way between me and the couch arm and huddled there, shaking.
Our dog has a epic fear of smoke alarms – and apparently anything else that sounds remotely like a smoke alarm.
I turned down the volume, but then decided the humans in the room deserved to hear the dialogue. And fortunately the heroes were now away from the computers and galloping through a building, guns drawn.
Mamie’s trembling ratcheted down to intermittent until someone in the show pressed an elevator button – ding! – and we were off again.
The first time we realized the dangers of television for our dog was during a movie with Matthew McConaughey. It was Reign of Fire, one of those movies so awful that you can’t look away – sort of a Mad Max, but with dragons.
I had thought Mamie was asleep as usual in her blanket nest, but when the first dragon swept across the big screen four feet away she was practically air-borne to my lap. And she is not ordinarily a lap dog. She circled my lap, panting, and then, just like last night, burrowed next to the couch arm, panting and shaking, her eyes locked on the TV.
|Mamie recovering from a tough night of TV|
After too many minutes of this, as
an experiment I held a couch pillow in front of her face. A shudder, and the trembling stopped.
Our options are now to avoid all shows with dragons or an electronic storyline, or buy some teensy ear muffs and turn her chair to face the wall.