When I was a kid, the Fourth of July was one of my favorite holidays. There was always a picnic to be had, friends to visit, barbecues to attend, and gorgeous fireworks in the evening.
For the last few years I find that the fireworks and dumb people get on my nerves. I love fireworks – professional displays, that is. What I do not care for are the illegal fireworks, home made fireworks, and the sonic boom sounding ones. I also do not like that they start early in the day and continue on well into the wee hours of the next morning.
But what really upsets me the most is how much fireworks terrify pets. My cats freak out, and run under the bed. But I have heard other stories about dogs hurting themselves at home, just to try to escape the noises. Now, the professional fireworks are loud, but not nearly as loud as those of people who are determined to set off the most high pitched screaming and loud booming fireworks. These seem to upset the pets the most.
Last year, on the Fourth of July we were standing near my dad’s house to watch the fireworks display that is held at the high school every year. We had just begun to enjoy the show, when all of a sudden I saw something go flying past me, while also hearing the sound of nails on the pavement. Then it ran across the street making the same noise, and running incredibly fast. It was a dog…a little chihuahua. But I never saw him again. There was no way on earth that anyone would have been able to catch him, and nobody ever did. Luckily he didn’t run into the main road that was just a few houses down, as he would have been hit by a car. The next day I saw “Lost” posters of this little guy plastered all over the neighborhood. The posters remained up for months. I wonder if the owners of “Limon” (the name on the posters) ever found him/her. It broke my heart. I do not know if the owners were walking him or how he got loose, but people – PLEASE LEAVE YOUR PETS INSIDE, and if you know they will be terrified, stay at home with them!
Last night a similar thing happened, but with a happier ending, thank goodness. My hubby and I were in the front yard of our cul-de-sac, trying to watch the fireworks between the trees, when a dog went flying past us. We heard a “crash”. He was running straight into the neighbors yard but they have a gate. A few minutes later, his frantic owner appeared, calling desperately for his dog. My hubby and I were trying to help – we were calling too. I went in and got a flashlight and the dog’s owner took it to look around in the yard. He was looking for a good 1/2 hour, while more and more fireworks banged and boomed, scaring the dog even more. He finally found him huddled in a small corner of our neighbor’s back yard. He wasn’t a huge dog, but he had somehow jumped over the gate (probably the loud crash we heard). He came out holding the dog, and put him in his truck. The owner told us that they were looking for the dog at their before they went out for the evening, and discovered that the dog had jumped/crashed THROUGH their screen door. This is how he escaped.
These are only two stories – I know there are thousands more. My friend Casey, from A Couch with a View, posted on her blog last night about a Golden Retriever that was hit by a car where she lives.
Pet owners: Please stay at home with your frightened pets. They do not know what is going on. You would not leave a terrified child at home (I assume), so please don’t leave your pets there either. Your pets are your responsibility, and if you care about them, do not even risk one of these (or hundreds of other) scenarios.
I do not know the solution really, but somehow I wish we could leave the fireworks to the professionals, and ban the extremely noisy ones. Fireworks are banned in my county, but that does not stop people from buying them elsewhere. A few streets over someone was making an incredible amount of noise, and the loudest blasts I have ever heard. I felt like I was in a war zone. Not fun at all.
Another thing I don’t understand is why on earth aren’t fireworks (other than professional displays) banned….especially here in California with all of the wildfires we have had. Our state is incredibly strapped for cash – do we really need more wildfires to deal with or homes destroyed? I always fear that someone who should not be handling fireworks will be careless and start a fire.
Well, thanks for listening – I feel much better now.