I have had this post started for quite some time, but finally have the opportunity to finish my thoughts about fireworks and their impact on our fur friends. The pyromania starts in my neighborhood a week before the 4th of July and ends when all the rockets have finally been spent and then whenever the grandchildren come to visit, another box seems to be found at the back of the closet for their entertainment. Oftentimes, it becomes a block party with a competition for the loudest and brightest!
Fireworks are nice to watch and are a focal point for the neighborhood children, but our poor dogs have to suffer our human silliness.
This post isn’t about the fireworks themselves, but about keeping our dogs safely contained and calm during the foray. My own dogs don’t seem to mind the noise too much as long as they are inside in their comfort zone, but some pets go into panic whether inside or outside so it is our responsibility to protect them.
This post is prompted by an experience that I had over this past Independence Day. I got a call from the new owner of my previous pet sitting business who was out of town asking me to come to the aid of her employee who was trying to track a dog that had escaped his yard during the “shots in the dark”. This particular dog was an older and very calm lab that had a doggy door and had never left his yard on a good day. He was trained to an underground fence and knew his boundaries.
Since I knew Bert, I came in as a backup to help find him when apparently he got freaked out and escaped his yard, running for his life thinking the militia was behind him. The good news is that Bert was found 3 days later and turned in to our local Animal Control. The good news is that we were looking for him and had left our phone numbers with AC. The good news is that he had a collar and his rabies tag so his vet could have also been contacted after the holiday weekend to determine his owner. The good news is that he wasn’t hit by a car on the busy highways he crossed trying to find a safe place. The bad news was that he was microchipped but his chip was never registered and couldn’t be traced by AC (always free by the way). Under different circumstances, that might have been his safety net. The bad news was that we found out later his underground fence wasn’t active. The bad news was that his owners should never have instructed the pet sitter to give him outside access without supervision during the holiday. The bad news was that Bert was traumatized and is still recovering from his fear of noise and being lost.
Lessons learned and applied are the ones that count!