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Bronco's Adventures

A Shocking Walk

Young Bronco, less than one years old. He was gangly but already very big.
Bronco was slim and a bit gangly when he was young. He would fill out later. He was full of energy, confident and not afraid of anything.

Bronco was not only big, he was also confident and unafraid and insensitive to noise. Most dogs I’ve known have been afraid of lightning and thunder and loud explosions, but not Bronco. Here in Texas, thunderstorms can be very violent and dangerous. North Texas is located in Tornado Alley, and that’s where the world’s worst thunderstorms occur. We’ve had our share of lightning strikes, heavy rain, flooded streets, sixty-mile-an-hour winds, giant hail, and tornadoes. You don’t want to be outside when a severe thunderstorm is at hand.

Once when I was out walking Bronco, we were surprised by one of those Tornado Alley–style supercell thunderstorms, and lightning struck the ground maybe one hundred yards away from us. It was bright, but above all the following thunderclap was very loud. It was an explosion more than anything else. I jumped where I stood, and my heart was pounding afterward. Bronco, on the other hand, was too busy sniffing something interesting to pay attention to the sound. After the lightning strike, he looked up as if to make sure everything was okay, then he continued with his important olfactory project. I can assure you that he was not deaf. My repeated failure to quietly open a cheese wrapper in the kitchen without his noticing is proof of that.

I should add that Leonbergers are known to be confident and unafraid. It is part of the breed standard and they are bred that way.

By thomasstigwikman

My name is Thomas Wikman. I am a software/robotics engineer with a background in physics, but I am currently retired. I took early retirement. I am a dog lover, and especially a Leonberger lover, a home brewer, craft beer enthusiast, an amateur astronomer, I’m learning French, and I am an avid reader. I live in Dallas, Texas, but I am originally from Sweden. I am married to Claudia, and we have three children Jacob, David and Rachel. My blog feature the crazy adventures of our Leonberger e Bronco von der Löwenhöhle as well as information on Leonbergers

17 replies on “A Shocking Walk”

What a true story, what a dog! Happy Easter Wikmans!

On Sun, Apr 17, 2022 at 12:59 PM Leonberger Life wrote:

> thomasstigwikman posted: ” Bronco was slim and a bit gangly when he was > young. He would fill out later. He was full of energy, confident and not > afraid of anything. Bronco was not only big, he was also confident and > unafraid and insensitive to noise. Most dogs I’ve known have b” >

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The dogs we had while I was growing up were terrified of thunder. The standard poodle, Shawn, couldn’t stand to be a second without human contact. If you fell asleep, she would wake you up. She would panic.

My aunt had an Irish setter that would run away into the woods. She always came back, but they never figured out where she went. They couldn’t keep her in the house during a thunderstorm.

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Our mini Australian Shepherd is just like Shawn. he scratches my leg and I follow him to our bedroom where he lays down on our bed and wants me right next to him. He is shaking of fear. Our Pug Daisy does not seem to care much, like Bronco. We had a German Shepherd, Baby, who was terrified of thunder as well. She hid under tables. The Irish Setter you are describing is an interesting case, running into the woods, how curious. That’s an amazing story.

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I feel for the poor shepherd. There’s just nothing you can do but stay with them and tell them it’s okay. My aunt’s dog was a gentle soul, but when the thunder and lightning came, they couldn’t keep her in the house. She would scratch the wall and mess in panic—she never messed in the house otherwise—she tore down curtains. They couldn’t keep her in the garage, either, or she’d hurt herself. They never figured where she hid.

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Yes you are right. They can be so frightened and it is so difficult to comfort them. I feel for your aunt’s dog. Our Rollo he sits next to us on our bed, putting his body pressed towards us and that seems to calm him.

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Yes I can certainly understand that. Thunderstorms can be pretty severe in both Florida and north Texas. A nearby lightning strike is indeed very loud, a real shocker. When a concrete block flying over from the neighbor’s roof and smashing our chimney when we had a tornado I thought it was a lightning strike on our house. It can get wild.

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I’m so glad you reposted this! I missed it the first time around — hilarious that he can pick up on food wrapper rustling but is unfazed by a lightning strike near-miss!

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