Dogs and fireworks

It’s the same every year and you can almost predict what people’s responses to fireworks will be.  There are two camps…for ease let’s call them ‘Them and Us’.

The ‘Thems’ believe that you choose to have a dog (or cat or any other animal that could potentially be spooked by fireworks) and that you should just ‘get on with it’.  They believe that anyone who is concerned for their pet should just go to the vet and get something for it or go into the bathroom and turn the shower and the radio on.  They think that you are just a killjoy who never had a childhood and should get a life, that the way to deal with a dog who is spooked by fireworks is to make it aware that it ‘has to learn’ because it’s only one night a year.

The ‘Us’ camp cannot get ‘Them’ to understand that it’s not so easy to calm a panicking dog;  that you cannot just expect it to learn that there’s nothing to be afraid of and that they’re safe from the unseen and incredibly loud thing that is all around them.  For some reason the ‘Thems’ can’t seem to grasp that, despite their protestations, it’s not just one night a year.  This year alone, because Bonfire Night was on a Sunday, we’ve had people celebrating on Friday night, Saturday night AND Sunday night not counting the run up to the weekend and the days following when there will still be fireworks left.  Then there’s New Year, Chinese New Year, Diwali…you get the idea but the ‘Thems’ don’t.  Many calming remedies have to be built up over a number of days but there’s always that one sneaky firework that refuses to be silenced!

Would they be as vile in their comments f their child was afraid of the fireworks?  If they had been a victim of a firework injury?  I know when I was growing up, I was terrified that a rocket would alter its trajectory or that someone would put a firework in my pocket. 

There is no quick fix, no easy answer, but personally I would like to see a ban on public sales and only licensed displays, or even quiet fireworks…after all, is it the sound or the spectacle? 

We aren’t killjoys.  We like to have a good time as much as the next person, but we’re also heartbroken for our terrified pets.

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