I was pretty much glued to the weather channel last week watching the horrendous death and destruction with all the tornados. I hope everyone here is ok and that any loved ones you have in that area are also ok. Hubby has been in a tornado but I've only seen them on tv - never the likes of the tornado outbreak that went on last week. The senseless death of people and especially children and babies makes me sooooooooo angry. In my head I think I knew that little missing 3yo would never be found or if found would not be alive but when his tiny body actually was found counties away my heart lost it and I couldn't stop crying. His little 15mo old brother also died and my heart goes out to that family.

After all of that let's just say I've come to have a bit of a healthy fear of tornados. I used to never even think about it, have never once gone flying into the basement when the sirens sounded - I blew it off like so many of us think that this or that won't happen to us.

Well, that's now changed and so when we did our weekly shopping we spent a lot more money buying supplies for the basement which we've NEVER done before -- just in case we do have a tornado. Hubby is on the road 5-6 days a week and so it's just me and the furkids.

Next we had to teach the furkids how to get into the basement so that in an emergency they would go w/o me having to leash them up and perhaps drag them into the basement. They have always been afraid of the open basement stairs and I've just let them be afraid because I didn't want them on *those* stairs anyway.

Hubby remembered we have a 2nd set of stairs via a trap door in our enclosed back porch that are steep and narrow but NOT open that will get us into the basement. I went to McDonalds and grabbed a big old plain Angus bacon cheeseburger which we broke up into small pieces. Hubby cleared out the piles of whatever on top of that trap door for years, opened it, went down, turned the light on and we just let them get used to that door being open for awhile. Then I put their collars/leashes on and it took maybe 1 and 1/2 minutes of coaxing for Riley to carefully venture down there and once he was down it didn't take to long before Nissa got over her fear - her need to be near Riley kicks in quick, wink

We practiced on these steps for awhile and then tried the other ones and my furkids can now maneuver both sets (minus leash and collars) of stairs in case of an emergency smile

We'll practice this occasionally so that they won't even think twice about heading to the basement if need be. I do not want to have to worry about taking the time to put a collar/leash on my dogs if we have to hit the basement in a hurry. I will keep a spare set down there so that once we're there, I can keep them close to me w/o having to chase them down and so that if worse comes to worse they can't get out on their own and get lost in their panic or anything like that.
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Deb Nissa & Gracie
Forever in My Heart Riley, Hannah, Damien, Katy, Crocket, Kayla, Gypsy, Toby and Cookie