I want to reply to one of the comments I had - from ALT57 (a new reader I think - welcome, and thank you for your comment). You said that cuddling a dog who's fearful is the worst thing we can do.
Along with thunder, Betty also doesn't like fireworks.....there's a large caravan park a couple of miles away, they sometimes have fireworks on a Saturday night, which we can hear quite clearly if the wind is in the right direction. Fortunately, as this is rural farming country with lots of livestock in the fields, there are rarely any other fireworks nearby, even on Bonfire Night.
I had in fact already wondered how we should deal with Betty's loud noise fears and had some weeks ago discussed it with our trainer, Carrie, who as well as being a dog trainer, is also a qualified dog behaviourist. Carrie's opinion was much the same as mine - whilst it's not a good idea to fuss too much over the dog, as it could reinforce their view that there is actually something to worry about, neither do we want the dog to carry on being distressed. She advised talking to Betty calmly and giving her some strokes, but said if she was in a very fearful and distressed state, then don't make her stay in the situation but try and take her away from it, if possible, without making too much of a big thing about it.
So I had Betty sit on the sofa with me, she had her head on my lap whilst I stroked her and read a book for a few minutes, until the thunder had moved away and she had calmed down. I then put her back in her pen (she went quite willingly) and went back upstairs to bed, and didn't hear another peep out of her.
Everyone has their own ideas, of course, quite rightly so. In my case, if Betty is scared, then I'm not going to leave her to suffer and possibly get more distressed. She's not our first dog, our 5th or 6th I think, although our first puppy (the others were all adult rescue dogs).
Warm and quite muggy today, it's making me feel very lethargic.....rain forecast for tonight, so hopefully it will feel fresher later. OH is making the front garden fence a bit higher, just in case the farm dogs make an effort to get to Betty! No sign of them yet, but I gather the danger time is more mid-cycle.