Phoning My Dog

He gets scared during storms

Shefali O'Hara
2 min readJun 28, 2022


My dog Snowy visiting for the day

I have a white GSD named Snowy. I rescued him in 2020. The reason his ears flop — he was nutritionally deprived as a puppy. But now he is very healthy.

I was diagnosed with metastatic brain, lung, and liver cancer in April of 2021.

Because GSDs need so much exercise and I could no longer walk, I had to have a friend care for him after my brain surgery.

Thanks to physical therapy, I was able to start walking again. We arranged weekly visits with Snowy. At first, just for a couple of hours at a time. Then I was able to have him for longer periods. This year, I started having him for overnight visits. In the morning, I can walk him if I use my rollater — this supports me while I walk and has a seat I can use when I need to.

As I get stronger, I hope to be able to have Snowy back full time.

In the meantime, Snowy stays with my friend. But he misses me. And I miss him.

Snowy gets scared during thunderstorms.

This morning it was raining where my friend lives. My friend called me to let me know. I knew Snowy was scared.

So I had a phone call with my dog.

He’d been trembling. When he heard my voice, he tilted his head, according to my friend. He calmed down. He rolled over on his back so my friend could rub his belly. He seemed more relaxed.

I wish I could be there in person to gently stroke him when he is sad. But at least I can tell him I love him over the phone.

When Snowy hears my voice, he is comforted. I am comforted too.

If you would like to buy me a cup of coffee, I would appreciate it. Maybe I can return the favor sometime. Because we all need appreciation.

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Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.