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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fireworks and Fido

 Tomorrow is Independence day, and we will be celebrating our country's 238th birthday. The day when our ancestors decided they no longer wanted to live  under the tyrannical rule of England. It is a great day in our history, and although our country isn't perfect, it is still the best place on Earth to be from. Tomorrow, most of us will be eating BBQ and hanging out with our family and friends. Many of you will go camping, or rafting, and most will wind up watching a fireworks display somewhere. That is great and I am grateful that we have the ability to do all of these great things. I would like to remind all of you, that your dog probably isn't that stoked about the whole ordeal.

Most dogs, don't like loud noises, of any kind. In fact many are down right terrified by them. I have a coonhound  named Shunka, who is so scared of Thunder, that she will hide in a closet or bathroom for hours. She shakes, and cowers, and buries her head in her paws until it passes. I have never exposed her to fireworks, and can't imagine how terrible of a reaction she would have. We live a little ways out of town, and she can hear them and it scares her.

 Even dogs, that are not scared of thunder, don't handle fireworks that well. The main reason for this, is that fireworks are not an ordinary day to day occurrence. Dogs, being creatures of routine, get freaked out when suddenly the skies start erupting with loud bangs, and huge flashes of light. Each year at the shelter, the day after the 4th of July is one of our busiest. We usually get a bunch of dogs in whose owners left them home while they attended the fireworks display. Top that off with dozens of people calling in lost reports because their dog took off while they were away. Many dogs, who never escape their yard, will be so scared that they will break out of their confinement, and even injure themselves in an effort to escape.

All this can be prevented. If you are attending the fireworks, then leave your dog home, confined in a room, or a crate. One person I heard about, takes her dogs to friends house, way out in the county. This way her dogs are not exposed to the fireworks at all. At my house, we often take our dogs on a hike far from town. This gets them tired out, so that when we return they are less likely to be concerned with all the noise.

I am not asking you to forgo the festivities. Far from it. I want you all to enjoy your independence, in what ever manner you see fit. That is what freedom is about. All I am asking, is that you think of your dog before you celebrate, and make sure she is safe from harm.

Happy Birthday America

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