A few years back, a friend of mine went overseas with her husband, and she asked me to feed her dog whilst she was absent.
The dog was a large and friendly girl, who loved a good pat. She was especially fond of a nice walk and playing ball.
Before she'd left, my friend had mentioned that the dog was afraid of thunderstorms and at the sound of thunder, would run away if given the chance. I wasn't concerned because the fence was high and I knew she couldn't jump it.
Late one afternoon I turned up to the house and took the dog for a walk before she had her meal. While she had always been very compliant and calm on earlier walks, that day she was fidgety and pulled continually at the lead. I finally had to literally drag her back to the house and closed the gate behind me. Though normally a healthy eater, that afternoon she showed no interest in her meal and just hovered around the gate.
I was a bit confused by her actions because she had never behaved like this before. I went to leave, and the dog tried desperately to push past me to get through the gate. She was very strong: much stronger than me and no matter how I tried, I simply could not get through the gate.
It was around that time that I heard thunder from an approaching storm. The dog's keen hearing had already heard the sound, long before me and she was desperately trying to get out of the yard and run away from the frightening noise of the storm.
I spent the next hour trying to get out of that yard! I even phoned my friend overseas to see if I could do anything but she could suggest nothing helpful. While I could have tied the dog up to a post, it would not have been right to just leave her tied up that way, especially when she was feeling so upset, and I wondered if I was going to have to spend the night there.
Finally, I went around to the other side of the house and managed to grab the attention of the neighbour. I slipped the lead onto the dog's collar while the neighbour held tight to it as I slipped through the side gate. He then unclipped the lead and released the dog.
I'm usually pretty good at thinking my way through most situations, but I remember clearly that feeling of desperation and of utter helplessness as the night began closing in.