Sunny, seen above with our granddaughter in a 2016 photo, is the sweetest and gentlest dog you’ll ever meet. She’s a show-winning purebred Blue Merle Collie who we rescued from the show circuit in 2010. She can be a fierce protector of our yard, keeping the squirrels and chipmunks and turkeys and various other wildlife at bay, barking at them and chasing them. But with humans, Sunny is the kindest dog around.
This week, the week of our Independence Day celebration, is Sunny’s week in hell.
Sunny is scared to death of fireworks. She hides, scratches the floor or carpet with her right front paw, hyperventilates, and paces. Her older sister (actually, half-sister) Shadow, our other Collie, isn’t bothered by the unpredictable loud booms. But the noise really gets to Sunny.
I understand some people want to indulge their propensity to make loud and unpleasant noises on the 4th of July, but for the past several years, some of our exurban neighbors have taken it to the extreme. They buy professional-grade fireworks like aerial bombs and cherry bomb mortars and set them off all night.
Not just on Independence Day, but, since it falls on a Wednesday this year, they’ve assaulted us with their explosive devices starting the weekend before and will continue every night through the weekend after the 4th.
Our township has noise ordinances and rules about fireworks that go into the air, but the cops won’t enforce the laws. I understand lax enforcement on the 4th, but – 10 nights of aerial bombardment from 9 PM to 1 or 2 AM? Please. I’ve called the cops and given them the exact addresses of the three “launching pads” within a few blocks of our home, but – no joy.
Last year our veterinarian gave us some “doggie Prozac” to use in calming her down, but the stuff, even at the lowest dose, knocked her for a loop. One dose made her sleep so soundly I worried about her respiration and made her loopy the entire next day. She could barely stand 16 hours after the dose was administered.
We haven’t tried the thundershirt, because reviews from actual users on Collie discussion boards are split 50-50. Half swear by them, half say the expensive garment did no good. Maybe buying one and trying it is our next step.
Channel 15 in Madison did a great TV story with a war veteran who suffers from PTSD, and how the fireworks affect people like him. I can’t find it on their website or I’d give you a link.
If you’re one of those people who loves to blow things up and make loud noises, just please be aware that all of us do not share your joy in these things.