June 12, 2010 Central Kansas Severe Storms and Dog

After a pretty bad prior 3 days chasing, at least this one was fun and interesting(10th kept a dumb boundary around Ogallala honest, it waited till 9 to fire...CO beast happened.....11th wanted to do the sw-ne boundary/convergence deal to the east again.....but since upslope payed off the day before and they were so similar...even though I noted the damn cooler 700 temps and more sun than the east boundary had the day before...I regrettedly chose uplsope on the 11th and not that obvious east play... and a stationary beast goes up west of Hill City....9th was lame.....just in shoot thy self mode by the 12th.....grrrrr).

Anyway!

On the 12th targeted the boundary ne of Dodge City KS and had some fun at least.

I took 4 stills right here and 2 stills of the dog later lol... and that is it. It was essentially a video day. There was some really sweet racing dust scenes and zero visibility in them west of Larned. I tried to core it before that when GR3 was saying 4 inch, but like always, I just kill the maxed out VIL area when I try.

Got into the main deal that was tornado warned forever as it went ne on the boundary, at Great Bend. Pretty interesting in town there, with rapid strong very obvious wind shifts and crap flying, with obvious circular motions on the bowing shelf and behind it with this big low area.

I think I saw a tornado ne of there once I finally got ne of it, in its path more. Couple miles away and I was like, that looks like a tornado, then it looked a lot more like one and then fell apart. 90% sure it was, should be easy to tell on contrast vid capture if I get that bored.

Then it got "interesting" and perhaps my most memorable chase experience happens. I was up in its path after the likely tornado and the structure to the south got a wicked, pronounced horseshoe shape, with a racing dust plume in the middle of it. I was very much north of that, actually it was very much se of me, just se. I was right where any rain wrapped tornado would track. Stuff to the west and north was pulling back south, as the north side of the curling gust front to my se spun west near me. Then got strong south winds, in that rfd. This near Bushton KS.

Motion made it obvious at the least it was going to get real windy real quick, so I moved away from the poles that would surely come down on me if they came down. Stopped a block from there maybe. In this driveway. All that was down this small gravel thing was an old trailer, 3 vehicles, a line of trees,....and a big black lab walking over to me.

Shit was JUST about to hit the fan. I'm parked RIGHT next to the highway, window open to the ne, ready to shoot video(of wind and rain), as the dog comes over. He looked nice enough, but I figured looking at the place he may not be. Just kinda had, angry old dog area look to it.

Pretty quickly I had dog paws in my window and his head. At the same time high winds kick in. Smack in the middle of a tornado warning, and the rain wrapped "area of interest" starting to hit. Raging rain and wind...and this dog. I feared 3 things for that dog. Those trees blowing over on him. Wind driven large hail. Or just freaking out and ending up in that highway and getting hit. I mean my front tires were 5-10 feet from the highway I'd guess.

I open my door and let him take cover on the "calm" side of the car. Figured he'd let me pet him and stay there, and if it got too crazy I could just hold him there. Power poles get snapped in this area according to storm reports. It was just nasty.

Well he soon began trying to get in. I wasn't sure just how much I wanted to try and prevent that, as hell if I know how this strange dog will respond, in a severe storm no less. I was like, ok so when do you bite me for pushing back against you. Mostly he was fine.

Each time higher winds would hit he'd get nervous and move around, wanting in. Next thing I know his head plows in, under the steering wheel, followed by the rest of him. This is probably an 80 lb black lab....in a Mustang. But under the damn steering wheel!

As this started happening I had wanted to put my seat belt back on, because for all I knew a tornado was coming in that area and figured if it was to flip the car around, I'd at least like to be buckled in, given my damn door was open with this dog. But yeah, he plows in under there killing any other plans. I now had to figure out how to stop his progression without getting bit in the process.

I turn the car on so I could move the seat back, not having a clue if that would help anyway. Still can't believe how he was right then lol. Thankfully he then managed to turn around and not wig out as he realized he was stuck. Or wind up on my passenger seat and laptop. All this while raging wind and rain rock the car.

Oh yeah, lol, when I was moving the seat back and trying to think of how to fix this, I thought I could coax him back out with some pringles. So I had those grabbed and open as he was getting spun around under my steering wheel. It was a tall can, half full. It was his now. It was just easier to give them to him at that point, because he was very interested in them. So there we were, black lab on the floormat of my Mustang, power pole snapping wind and rain outside..and inside for that matter....and he's finishing off my can of pringles to top it all off. I was just kind of like, just how did we get to this point. How'd this happen.

I'd been petting him before that, trying to calm him down, and to a large degree keep him out of my car! He kept standing up on the frame before finally shooting in there. So by the time it was all over I was 100% soaked, with black dog hair all over. So much rain had come down, the handle inside the door there was FULL(part out of picture).

It's funny to think back about another dog deal in 2001 and how that was a small dog and a truck, a bit opposite of this ordeal. I just happened to pull in his driveway, then when he came over, I figured, well I know he'll come through it fine if I help him. Probably would anyway(you don't know what will happen before hand), but just one of those deals when you know you can make it so. Sitting through it there would be fun anyway and petting a dog in an open door is not a big deal to do. I just never figured he'd end up under the damn steering wheel like he did. Just picture him standing in there with his head near the gear shifter and back under the steering column, stuck as hell and not able to go in reverse...while hurricane KS is going on outside. It was like one of the gusts scared him and he said, "coming in!" And this still is after I got my seat back as far as it would go. Before that it was twice as close to the dash. It was seriously an "ah shit" moment just how far in and how stuck he was...and no real forward option from there. I mean look how much room he takes up under there with the seat back and him laying down lol. It was tricky, him getting turned around from having his chin over on the gear shift standing up, to that layed down position.