This is our first time sitting out a storm at the beach. I worked hard to prepare for the worst-case scenario. In the last few months our little Cairn Terrier, Penny has become super sensitive to storms. For those of you not familiar with Cairns, they are Toto dogs. Toto in the Wizard of Oz was a Cairn. This morning, when the tornado alarms were going off, I expected her to freak out. I could just imagine her channeling the original Toto and reliving that ride in Almira Gulch’s bicycle basket, and then going off to see the Wizard. But, she surprised me, not a peep, no whining, no pacing, she just laid there all morning long. Around 10 AM she went to the door. Luckily it was during a very calm time. I took her out, she was able to focus, and we came back in without getting wet. Everything was fine until around 5 PM, her supper time. As usual, she stood by her bowl waiting for the evening scoop of food. I wish I could adopt Penny’s eating habits. She only eats when she’s hungry. Sometimes a meal may sit in her bowl for several hours until she decides to eat. This afternoon wasn’t one of those times. She quickly ate and then headed straight for the door. It didn’t matter that it was raining sideways and the wind was gusting at around 190 MPH, she was ready to go out. In retrospect, I’m sure that’s when she channeled Toto. You know genetics is a powerful thing. Pointers point, hounds smell, Saint Bernards drink, and Cairns love high winds. She wouldn’t take no for an answer, we had to go out right then. So, I put on a raincoat, hooked up her retractable leash, and we headed out the door. It was raining so hard that the drops stung my face, but did that bother my little dog, hell no, she loved it. She marched out the door, down the steps, across the street, and stood in the middle of the neighbor’s yard, her favorite spot. There she stood savoring the moment. The wind had to be gusting at over 250 MPH but Penny never flinched. She just stood there, mesmerized, reliving her ancestor’s ride in that bicycle basket. After a few minutes, she seemed to come to her senses. She marched back across the street and up the steps. I guess she heard Dorothy calling. After we got back in the house, she shook a few times, rubbed her face off on the rug, and got her favorite toy out of the box. I guess I have to play fetch now. Life is good at the beach, storms and all. Life is to be enjoyed. Pets are special, they’re here for a reason. Friends, just remember, even the bad is good.