Weathering the Storm

This post is a lot more introspective than any I’ve written to date.  It has nothing to do with jewelry making.  It’s about this weekend’s storm, Sandy.

While feeling “inconvenienced” by the long, intermittent, loss of electrical power, I kept telling myself it could be worse.  There are many here on Long Island who’ve evacuated their homes, whose houses and streets are flooded and who have suffered some medical emergency.  Some experience all of this alone. We at least, were all together and in relatively good health.  All our pets were OK despite a terrible scare.

While attempting to set up a generator in the backyard, my husband must have spilled some gasoline.  We thought little about it other than the smell.  Our older dog, Balto, a large Malamute/Husky mix suddenly developed a spasm-like, seizure that made him kick out one of his hind legs.  He was extremely agitated and would not stop moving throughout the house, crying.

At first, I thought it was a partial, epilepsy-like seizure, something caught in his paw or perhaps an arthritic condition causing him sudden stiffening and pain.  He was getting worse quickly with both hind legs were now failing him.  I was very worried; his constant, restlessness was accompanied by whining and panting. I feared the worse.   Not knowing what else to do at that moment, I gave him a chamomile capsule (to calm him) wrapped in peanut butter and called our local animal hospital.  They were only open to take calls and referred me to a few local emergency veterinary clinics that might be open despite the storm.

We called and were about to go to one of them when my daughter, Sam (who had complained about the smell of gasoline entering the house) noticed our other dog, Yuki beginning to show similar symptoms.  She immediately leashed both dogs and took them outside in the storm.  My husband accompanied her.  I grabbed the third dog, Annie.  Almost immediately, Balto’s gait became normal again and he stopped whining.  Yuki looked fine and Annie, who had shown no negative symptoms, was simply annoyed to be out in the storm.  When we returned from the walk, everyone went inside the RV we have parked outside and I opened the windows in the house to let in the fresh, turbulent, stormy air.

Apparently, my dogs were exposed to the poisonous fumes emitted by the gasoline. Still worried about any after effects, Sam called the veterinary clinic to ask if there was anything we should do now telling the assistant about the gasoline poisoning.  The less than brilliant veterinary assistant said “Oh no, gasoline won’t bother them”.  So glad we didn’t go there!!

Our electricity came and went, sometimes for hours at a time.  But we were blessed.  We had it long enough to have hot food and coffee, the temperature outside was relatively warm.  The animals in the house were now calm and behaving normally. Although the streets and houses were all in darkness and the sirens from fire engine vehicles, ambulance and police could be heard all around us, we were fine. We watched dvd’s on a laptop and I still played with jewelry under candles and flashlights.

I will remember this storm and be thankful for our blessings and I will think of those who were not as fortunate.



About zoraidabros

I'm Zoraida and I design and create handmade, one of a kind jewelry. My work is inspired by the art of ancient world cultures that have endured the shifting trends of fashion. I prefer to work in copper and semi precious gemstones but also appreciate fine lamp work beads, wood and other artistically crafted materials. Please visit my studio at and my website at
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10 Responses to Weathering the Storm

  1. Tela Formosa says:

    I am so relieved that you and your family are ok. I am listening to some news account right now and and I know some areas are really bad. You are so blessed! And, how wonderful that you figured out the pets problem and were able to do something about it. That had to be scary, too and in the middle of a storm. If we were forced to leave we were going to take Cat and faced the problems associated with that, but that was just how it was going to be. Our pets are so important to us.

    You have to post a piece you made during the storm! 🙂 You can call it Sandy. Heee he You are one dedicated soul.

    Again, I am so happy to hear you are ok. 🙂

    • Zoraida Bros says:

      Thanks Tela. I actually made a few pieces. Had lots of time with no TV, Internet or phone for over 5 days. Luckily, we did have electric most of the time. All three dogs are fine now, so is our cat, parrot and lizard. Imagine I we had to evacuate!

  2. Dianna says:

    Glad to hear that you, your husband and pets are good. Having to get through that storm and having such a scare with your pets had to so hard. You at least kept a positive attitude reminding yourself that things could be worse. Wishing you the best in days to come

  3. Zoraida Bros says:

    Thank you Dianna! We were fortunate indeed!!

  4. kh says:

    Glad to hear that the pooches are doing better. Hope things get back to normal soon. We had a bad storm followed by a 5 day power outage several years ago, but no ac in the summer is probably not as bad as no heat in the winter. Hugs.

  5. I’m so glad all of you – people and animals – are OK, and that you had each other to weather the storm with! Did you find that making jewelry was a calming, centering thing to do during and after the storm?

  6. Zoraida Bros says:

    Thank you Rena! Yes, absolutely, making jewelry helped me tremendously. I needed to focus on something other than the storm. Making jewelry helped me keep things in perspective and calm my fears. My hands, eyes and mind were too busy being creative to focus on the destruction and turmoil outside.

  7. Thank goodness your daughter showed up and figured out what was going on. We humans tend to take all these chemicals in our environment for granted, not realizing their toxic effects. I try to have a chemical-free home. I would hate to make my cats sick because they licked something off their paws that was found on a floor or sink or whatever. Glad you made it through the storm safely.

  8. Zoraida Bros says:

    Thank you. Try as we might, we can’t always control the chemicals that seep into our environment. It’s something every pet owner should know though as the Veterinary assistant was both ignorant and arrogant. We have to take responsibility for our animals and be less dependent on the “experts”.

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