Fireworks

My dog,  Jessy, is having the terrors. Now we don’t have much by way of fireworks in Ireland but I expect that only makes things worse since the dogs can’t get used to the flash and bang. Still I expect if I was still living in the UK I’d have a very different view.

When this all started three weeks ago I looked up on the WWW if I should get her some sort of drug to blunt some of the worst aspects. So I took a questionnaire on how she reacts to fireworks and loud noise in general. Well it turns out she’s #1 on the scale where #10 is near death. I was both proud and disgusted. She certainly doesn’t need drugs, only a few slight changes mostly centered on where she can hide. To that end I’ve hung towels down from the dining table. This creates a darkened space under it where she runs when she hears them

Last year I forgot that I needed her inside once the schools released and she took to her heels and didn’t return to the house for hours while we were out on our late walk. This year I’ve kept her in after 3:30pm and she’s definitely a far happier little brat. And so far her only real change in attitude is her decision that either I’m sick or she is. Since she’s decided her new place is on my bed. This is a state I don’t want her getting used to. I don’t mind her on the bed when she needs comfort contact but not otherwise.

A few years ago when I got her first I wondered if there was something wrong with her. You see she has no lick.  She simply doesn’t lick. Hmm, well that’s noooot quite the case. She will lick herself dry. And if she is sitting on me while she’s doing this she will lick  her leg, then across my jeans and up her other leg as one doing. But that is functional. What she doesn’t do is that slather of licking other dogs do as a welcome. No, what Jess does is give one tiny tip of the nose touch with her tongue. So what I get every morning on awakening since the start of the firework is this delighted face looking at me with her tail going 90 mph.

 

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7 Responses to Fireworks

  1. Awww, the poor thing! I had a red setter that would go ballistic over fireworks, gun noises, and even motorcycles backfiring. We had to drug her every 4th of July until she got too old to take the medication. One year my family decided to go to Seattle to watch the fireworks for the 4th and since we couldn’t give Bonnie (the dog) pills anymore, we put her in my bedroom with a CD player on continuous play to drown out our crazy neighbor’s massive fireworks obsession. By the time we got home, the house was silent and we soon discovered why. We opened my bedroom door to find a dog very happy to see us and a room that looked like rhinos had run through it. She pulled the CD player from the wall, ripped clothes out of the closet, shredded books, and generally made sure that everything on a shelf was thoroughly covering the floor. The sad thing was that Bonnie developed this fear over time since we had been able to take her shooting with us when she was young and didn’t mind at all. I hope your dog’s fear doesn’t develop any further and that creating a safe space continues to work.

    • Vince says:

      I do think this year it’s not as bad since she’s not been out in the open air when they go off. She can run to her spot and I’m not really making that much of a fuss about it. So it’s not getting to be more of a think in her mind. That was one of the items on the WWW they said to look out for. That she would take some of her cue from me.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Oh poor thing. A few months ago we had a thunderstorm and one of the breaks was so loud it shook the house – felt like an earthquake. I thought Rigby was going to have a nervous breakdown. It’s hard when they’re so scared, and there’s nothing we can do to ease their fear.
    Someone recommended this http://www.thundershirt.com. I didn’t get it since our thunder is very few and far between, but apparently it’s based on Temple Grandin’s calming squeeze machine.
    Are the fireworks in celebration of something?

    PS – I tried posting this a few times last night with no luck…sorry if it’s come in multiple times.

    • Vince says:

      No, nothing more that pure gobshiterry. Little stupid fools not knowing why the English let off the bangers at this time of year. With parents too thick to grip their arse and utterly incapable of informing them that fireworks are directed against both the Catholic aspect and the Irish/Celtic part of them

      • Vince says:

        I found your comments in the spam folder. It was the link that caused it to move there I think. I’ll have a look at the shirt. But it seems she is on the very low level of the terror scale and reading the distinct levels, she is. She doesn’t wet herself which is only a #3.

  3. Rebecca S. says:

    Who needs kids when you have a Jess!? Poor little thing. I’d be grateful for the lack of slobbering. I don’t find that particularly attractive in a dog.
    Why the fireworks? – around here they are pretty much illegal, apart from Canada Day, but Native people are allowed to sell them on their land, which they do a lot of around Halloween, and then the cops are cruising the fields and school grounds looking for kids setting the darned things off. Not a fan.

    • Vince says:

      It was very noticeable last year when I had Belle in the house. She was only there for a few days but had licked my hand in affection anytime we were relaxing and when Jess would allow her in my vicinity.

      In theory they are illegal here too. But what with living next to the UK and there being no or very little border controls between the two there is a huge traffic in the stuff. Still you’d wonder all the same if the darn border controls can’t halt the vast majority of rather sizable rockets bangers and whatnot. How in the hell can we expect them to halt dirt like heroin and cocaine.

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