Right around bedtime last Friday night a big thunderstorm swept through the area. As we settled into bed there was an enormous booming noise and in the same moment our power went out.
Gary and I got out of bed and put batteries in Louie's emergency fans. Because Louie is about ten times more heat sensitive than Katie, we usually direct the fan air flow towards him. Katie was peacefully sleeping on the floor on my side of the bed without any fans while Louie was lying in front of his 2 medium sized and 1 small fan panting lightly. Admittedly, these fans are not very powerful but they are much better than no fans at all. However, Louie quickly became dissatisfied with the lack of air flow and started getting restless. Plus I think his body heats up the floor so he moves from place to place trying to find a cooler patch of hardwood to lie on. It was a terrible night for Gary and I because we had to listen to Louie shuffling around from place to place and he makes a lot of noise each time he plunks down on the floor. Everytime we would doze off for a few minutes we would be awakened by a high pitched little whine. Louie was definitely playing up his role as the baby of the family. I think Katie was the only one who managed to get any sleep that night.
The next morning the temperatures stayed down, so our house was reasonably cool. Louie was still dissatisfied, but he certainly wasn't in any danger of overheating. But by noon even Katie was panting a tiny bit. Gary had the great idea to ask Bonnie and Bill, Katie & Louie's breeders, if they would let our Newfs stay in their air-conditioned barn. We called them and they agreed that we could bring K&L over.
The set up at Wilbon's Newfoundlands is so nice. Usually the Newfs are paired up two to a run like Katie and Louie were that day. Inside the barn there is enough room for two Newfs to stretch out and enjoy the cool air conditioning and many fans that are scattered throughout the room. I'm sure Louie enjoyed that because it's cooler in the Newf barn than it normally is in our house. Each kennel has a dog door so the Newfs can go outside when ever they want. The runs are nice and long and when the weather is cool enough the Newfs love to race each other up and down the runs.
When I first arrived all of the Newfoundlands were snoozing away. One by one they slowly woke up and tails started wagging as they asked for some attention. I gave each one some love and then went back to the car to collect Gary, Katie and Louie. Although there were five intact males in the barn (including Louie) there was no growling - I don't imagine there are very many other dog breeds where this would be the case. Newfoundland dogs are generally just easy going. We are still cautious though and never allow Louie direct interaction with other intact male dogs.
Katie and Louie went into a run right across from their mutual father, Loki. We filled a giant bucket full of water for them and headed home.
We returned about 5 hours later and you can see Katie and Louie's reaction in the video below. I think they missed us a little bit; we missed them too. The house felt empty without them.
Near the end of the video when Louie is facing right, the dog he is greeting is a big intact male. Notice that both dogs are wagging their tails very prominently to the right. From the NY Times article "If You Want to Know if Spot Loves You So, It's In His Tail", "When dogs feel fundamentally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rumps. When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left." The article discusses some interesting research about left brain vs. right brain asymmetry in dogs.
Many thanks to Bill and Bonnie for letting Katie and Louie visit their Newf barn and their wonderful Newfies.