Monday, July 2, 2018

Sunny's Week Of Hell

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.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Have your vet weigh in on Sileo if you haven't taken a gander already. Good luck.

  3. I agree, Tim. In the "old days," we waited until somebody’s dad took a trip to Tennessee or some other exotic place where fireworks were legal and they brought back firecrackers or bottle rockets. Precious cargo. You waited until the 4th and along with the sparklers and snakes, you had a short, but fun “blast.” Today, you can get aerial bombs seemingly everywhere and everyone thinks they are a pyro expert. The cumulative impact is wearing thin and today is only Monday. Our Chihuahua, Minnie, is like Sunny, adverse to loud noises, even ones off in the distance. She can hear a thunderstorm long before my old ears even have a clue. Last night, I took her out for the last potty stop of the night and someone lit something off in the distance. She tucked her tail and ran for the door. Doesn’t seem like much but imagine you can use the restroom for 14 hours. Not a pleasant way to spend the night.
    Maybe if folks who plan to celebrate with fireworks would think, just for a moment, about the noise, not only for those who may be sensitive to it, but for everyone, we could at least eliminate the 2 a.m. bomb bursts. But I fear those folks aren’t reading your blog –although they should!
    Saw this recently; “We tell kids to stay away from fireworks and then leave them to the adults who have been drinking all day. Makes sense. What could possibly go wrong?”
    To make this an even longer message, the thunder shirt works for Minnie. It just takes a while for her to settle down in a thunderstorm. If we get it on before she is in full panic it helps. Now with all that Sunny fur, I have no idea how it will work!

    1. Thank you for taking time to write this excellent response , Steve. I feel for you and Minnie. That beautiful lush coat of Sunny’s is a drawback to the Thundershirt and that’s what makes us hesitate to try it. Good luck - and, noise notwithstanding - happy Independence Day!

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