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Sigh! Another awful 4th of July


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Fireworks are illegal in Kansas City. And they are everywhere. The law is simply not enforced and everyone knows it. Fireworks tents are up in every small town just outside the city limits. Riverside is about 5 miles from my house. There are rows of tents selling just about everything there. I think they have to be back out of town 48 hours after the 4th is over.

 

So here we go again. Some years have been absolutely agonizing. There were times when the fireworks started three weeks early and went on another couple of weeks after. But its been better the last several years. We kind of have about three really bad days. They often go on until 3 or 4 in the morning. So far three people have been critically injured trying to mess with a commercial grade explosive in their bedroom. Just about blew the house up. How many houses will burn down this year. How many children will loose eyes or fingers?

 

The smaller fireworks aren't too bad. The M80's are awful.

 

Ellie does pretty well. She just stays in her crate. Last year Tommy just ignored them. This year she has started barking everytime she hears one. I just don't know what will happen when they are exploading non stop. I got Xanax just in case.

 

As a petsitter I won't take dogs over the 4th. I want to be at home with my own dogs. And I just can't imagine leaving a terrified dog in an emply house with explosions going off all over the place. That is isane - and really cruel.

 

How do you cope?

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I know, I'm in the same boat.

 

Last year was brutal. They started two weeks before the 4th and continued almost until August.

 

This year they have been quiet so far, but I know this weekend is going to be horrendous.

 

I don't leave Dean home (without us) after dark during this time of year. We don't go to the movies. We don't go anywhere unless he can go. This is only for a few weeks. The other dogs are OK.

 

We go to see my parents on the 4th and Dean goes with us. We are planning an evening road trip afterward with all of the dogs.

 

I have two new tools for him this year. The Thundershirt, which has helped Dean considerably during thunderstorms, and Mutt Muffs. Last weekend we could hear a professional fireworks display off in the distance at our house. I put the Mutt Muffs on Dean and we had the TV going. He could not identify the sound of the fireworks once he had the muffs on and he calmed right down. After it was over, he was back to playing immediately. A miracle.

 

I'm not sure how they will work when the yahoo's down the street start exploding things, but I'm hoping they will still help. I'll take him away for the worst of it.

 

My next house is going to have a basement and I am going to soundproof it as much as possible. Until then, we just don't leave Dean at home after dark at the end of June and through July. It's a hassle, but it works.

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I hate this holiday - as well as New Year's Eve, and of course, if you live in Yewtah, there is a celebration for "Pioneer Day" on July 24th - where folks use up all the leftover fireworks from the Fourth. Argh.

 

One benefit of an old dog with hearing loss is a little less worry....but she still can hear the really loud ones. I either load up and head to the mountains (where, because of fire danger, there really are NOT any fireworks), or turn on the fans and radio pretty darned loud ("What is up with THAT noise?" say the dogs...), and keep the windows closed. Still.....I hate I hate I hate! (OK, I don't really hate much...but the pre-celebration, post-celebration, and ongoing-for-days-before-and-after celebrations annoy me no end.....)

 

diane

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Thankfully, so far, Scooter (5 1/2 years old) isn't noise reactive but I know he could flip flop at any time. Sleeps through thunderstorms, fireworks, cannon fire. We live near an historic site in Ohio and they're always doing a civil war reenactment of some sort or other, complete with musket and cannon fire. :rolleyes: Life would be really miserable if he freaked every time we heard a loud noise! I feel for all of you who have dogs with noise sensitivities. No fun for you or your four legged friend. :D May everyone get through the holiday without incident.

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Thankfully, so far, Scooter (5 1/2 years old) isn't noise reactive but I know he could flip flop at any time. Sleeps through thunderstorms, fireworks, cannon fire. We live near an historic site in Ohio and they're always doing a civil war reenactment of some sort or other, complete with musket and cannon fire. :rolleyes: Life would be really miserable if he freaked every time we heard a loud noise! I feel for all of you who have dogs with noise sensitivities. No fun for you or your four legged friend. :D May everyone get through the holiday without incident.

 

Yeah, I live near a quarry and a military base, so I think that's why Mick doesn't mind fireworks/guns. Fireworks bother him some, but the explosions from the quarry/base never seem to bother him, and they can shake the house sometimes.

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I feel for all of you who have dogs with noise sensitivities. No fun for you or your four legged friend. :rolleyes: May everyone get through the holiday without incident.

 

Seriously - give me reactivity to other dogs and/or fear of people any day of the week!!!!

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I have been blessed the last 4 years, I live so far out that we really don't hear anything but a few strays.

 

Before bc's I loved this holiday and always had a huge bbq for family then a little fireworks show out in the street with the neighbors. I don't know what was wrong with me...

 

When we are in an area where they are a problem, I stay in shut everything up and turn the tv up and we sit around shaking till it's over. It's tramatic but we make it through.

 

It is one nice thing about a senior dog. I have 2 of them, as their hearing goes they get less worried about things like thunder, guns, and fireworks.

 

I took Dew hiking yesterday at Maroon Bells in Aspen. IT's beautiful but 10 minutes into the walk we encountered the worst thunderstorm we've seen since being here. Not only did it thunder and lightening, it hailed. We tried to run back but it was to far so we sheltered up under some brush by a creek till it was over. Dew stayed freaked out the rest of the day. So much so that we didn't even enjoy the beauty of our hike!

 

I HATE fireworks!

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I hate this holiday - as well as New Year's Eve, and of course, if you live in Yewtah, there is a celebration for "Pioneer Day" on July 24th - where folks use up all the leftover fireworks from the Fourth. Argh.

 

One benefit of an old dog with hearing loss is a little less worry....but she still can hear the really loud ones. I either load up and head to the mountains (where, because of fire danger, there really are NOT any fireworks), or turn on the fans and radio pretty darned loud ("What is up with THAT noise?" say the dogs...), and keep the windows closed. Still.....I hate I hate I hate! (OK, I don't really hate much...but the pre-celebration, post-celebration, and ongoing-for-days-before-and-after celebrations annoy me no end.....)

 

diane

I absolutely hate the 4th. There have been years that were so bad that I got crazy. If I had had a gun I would have been dangerous. Those were the years when the fireworks started early and just seemed to go on and on. I couldn't get my dogs to go outside. At night I would listen until it was quiet for a while and then I would try to take the dogs out. I would no more get outside the door and more explosions would go off and the dogs would run for the house. I didn't have air conditioning then so I had to leave the windows open and it was hot and humid on top of everything else. And sometimes its hot and humid and then we have thunderstorms on top of the fireworks. And there isn't anywhere to get away. I used to put the dogs in the car and just drive around trying to find somewhere quiet where I could at least get them out to potty. But the fireworks are abslutely everywhere - in the city and outside the city.

 

Now I have central air and can just close the windows and get the fans going - the fans are pretty loud. At least its cool inside and sounds are all pretty muffled unless they are right outside. Well except for those awful M80's that shake the whole house.

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I live on the South side of KCMO, and I haven't even heard a pop yet, other than the Church professional fireworks display a BLOCK from my house, I felt so bad for the dogs, next year we will send them to Grandma's for that. But they really didn't seem that upset by them, just barked when they went off, everyone seemed just fine after the noise was over.

 

I lost a dog over the Fourth 4yrs ago, my shepherd mix was with a housitter because my whole family was on vacation, Jessie (dog) was 10yrs old and I had rescued her as a 6mo old. The housesitter put her outside without a collar and fell asleep on the couch, of course Jessie had taken off when she finally woke up. She called me sobbing the next day, I had a hunch she may have gone to my parents house about 5mi away (crossing several busy roads), I called the housesitter at my parents and described the dog and they said OMG, she was just here 15min ago, but they didn't let her in, and she took off again, I never saw her again.

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I have 2 dogs who are terrified of the fireworks and I live in a town where they are legal for several days before and after the 4th. This year they shortened the 'legal' window to July 1-4 and I am so grateful. Theres a few strays here and there but no barrage yet. I am stocked up on the Valium for the next 3 days. I am considering trying a thundershirt as well.

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So far three people have been critically injured trying to mess with a commercial grade explosive in their bedroom. Just about blew the house up. How many houses will burn down this year. How many children will loose eyes or fingers?

How do you cope?

 

The parents of children who are injured are responsible. Kid suffers. The parent needs to get hit with some suffering for their stupidity as well.

 

Other than the children, I look at it as thinning the herd.

 

A few years ago in a nice suburb of Cleveland --- nice homes, although close together. A mother was sitting oin her front porch with her baby -- about 18 months old, I think. The next door neighbor, an adult with a pea brain, was entertaining himself on the 4th with fireworks --- also illegal here. He lit a rocket which bee-lined it's way into that child's face. The kid lived yeh, but can you imagine the pain??? I would rather have seen the jerk blow off a few fingers than have that kid injured. The law got him though. Bet he'll never mess with fireworks again.

 

I bring every one inside and I turn on all the fans to drown out the noise. It's not a pleasant time for us either.

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On the one hand, we have very little in the way of fireworks in my neighborhood, and my dog is not much upset by them. (Except, of course, for the bi-annual M-80) We do, on the other hand have guns. Lots of guns. And while my dog and cat are not much bothered by them. I tend to stay pretty flat and read a lot, keep the lights low and stay clear of windows.

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Other than the children, I look at it as thinning the herd.

 

This is where I will make a shameful admission...my favorite sweatshirt bears a burn mark on the sleeve from me lighting a firework with a cigarette last 4th of July. The year before that, my stepdad got stuck up a tree minus his shoes. Two years before that, my cousin got shot in the head with a BB gun.

 

I wonder what stories this 4th of July will bring. It looks like I'm staying in NJ and hanging out with friends, since my dogs aren't welcome in CT, so I should be safe.

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My dogs are fine. I've had some thunderstorm phobics years ago, but they weren't afraid of gunfire or fireworks. It doesn't appear to be the same thing.

 

I don't understand the fascination with the whole ammo/blow crap up/fireworks thing My Dad hated them - had a friend as a kid who blew a bottle rocket up in his hand, developed tetanus and died. So he never let us have any other than sparklers, and when I got old enough to buy my own I was too cheap and too uninterested.

 

For all you click/treat trainers...I've always wondered if you started clicking and shoving the steak in them for each bang if you could change their perception of the noise. Sort of like retraining a gunshy hunting dog...

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For all you click/treat trainers...I've always wondered if you started clicking and shoving the steak in them for each bang if you could change their perception of the noise. Sort of like retraining a gunshy hunting dog...

 

 

LOL! Not sure why this struck me funny, but it did. Not a click and treat trainer, but just wondering would that effectively reinforce "thunder brings steak" or "freaking out about thunder brings steak"? Kip has begun being weird about thunder (no big, big freakouts yet, but the signs are there and we've been trying distraction, making sure he is with us when storms blow up, so I am curious to see if 4th goings-on will affect him this year. The way last weekend was as to thunder, we would have needed a side of beef.

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For all you click/treat trainers...I've always wondered if you started clicking and shoving the steak in them for each bang if you could change their perception of the noise. Sort of like retraining a gunshy hunting dog...

 

Not with Dean. He's too far gone to eat anything, even the most tantalizing of food that he would go nuts over normally. That was pretty much the first thing I tried when his sound phobia surfaced. In the midst of the hyperventilating, drooling, heart racing, and being frozen with fear, the best he can do is spit the food right back out if he even takes it.

 

In fact, if I were to click/try to treat him during fireworks, I'd be willing to wager I'd manage to create a strong negative association with the clicker. I definitely wouldn't want to risk that. I've managed to sensitize him to other things in that way and I definitely want the clicker to remain a "good sound" for him.

 

I could see something like that working for milder cases of sound fear, or with dogs that are not noise phobic, but are fearful of the noise because it is unfamiliar or unusual.

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Not with Dean. He's too far gone to eat anything, even the most tantalizing of food that he would go nuts over normally. That was pretty much the first thing I tried when his sound phobia surfaced. In the midst of the hyperventilating, drooling, heart racing, and being frozen with fear, the best he can do is spit the food right back out if he even takes it.

 

In fact, if I were to click/try to treat him during fireworks, I'd be willing to wager I'd manage to create a strong negative association with the clicker. I definitely wouldn't want to risk that. I've managed to sensitize him to other things in that way and I definitely want the clicker to remain a "good sound" for him.

 

I could see something like that working for milder cases of sound fear, or with dogs that are not noise phobic, but are fearful of the noise because it is unfamiliar or unusual.

 

Yeah, Mick will not eat during thunderstorms, and he's freaked out by the clicker. He's an odd dog.

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Two summers ago, Quinn became sound sensitive where he had been fine before. Thunder, fireworks, air guns in lots nearby, any kind of banging really. It got to the point that he often had a hard time being in his own backyard without ending up frightened and asking to go inside, even in the middle of games of fetch which he loves. The holistic vet sent me a remedy which to my surprise helped a whole lot with just the one dose. As he began to improve, I did things like convincing him to stay outside and finish playing, only going in when he was calm. And inside, when thunder started, I'd pull out a Frisbee to do indoor tricks. He still doesn't like thunder and will go for lower ground during storms, but he isn't a wreck. And if we're outside and the thunder is in the distance, he is fine.

 

It has been weirdly fireworks free around my neighborhood so far, but I plan to try the Frisbee distraction thing this weekend if I notice he looks nervous and see if that helps. I do think if the dog isn't in a complete panic that positive association can be very helpful. That was pretty much how I got my first Sheltie who was very fearful out into the world, making friends and having a blast in agility.

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Yea, Lacee hates fireworks also. But what really got me was when we lived along the Mexican border for six years. They didn't do fireworks, they shot guns in the air. :rolleyes: For the 4th AND for New Years. And every year, without fail, there would be fatalities. If a bullet goes up, it must come down. So we would always be locked in the house those nights, although my husband had to work, but he said he took cover. :D

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If a bullet goes up, it must come down. So we would always be locked in the house those nights, although my husband had to work, but he said he took cover. :rolleyes:

 

We used to live next door to a whacko -- nice guy, but a whacko, who'd go out on the back porch on New Years Eve at midnight and shoot his gun --- or guns. I often wondered where his bullets came down. Of course, alcohol had nothing to do with it. :D

 

A friend of mine who had shelties noticed one of her dogs swinging around and biting at his back. She'd look, couldn't find anything, but the behavior got so bad she took the dog to the vet where x-rays produced a bullet lodged close to the spine --- the "what goes up must come down" and in this case, lodged itself in the dog's back. This was shortly after New Year.

 

Fireworks brings out a latent something in a lot of people and I'd sooner not be around. It's not kids running around with sparklers.

 

Thinning the herd. Thinning the herd. Thinning the herd. See, there IS a positive side to all this.

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Not with Dean. He's too far gone to eat anything, even the most tantalizing of food that he would go nuts over normally. That was pretty much the first thing I tried when his sound phobia surfaced. In the midst of the hyperventilating, drooling, heart racing, and being frozen with fear, the best he can do is spit the food right back out if he even takes it.

 

In fact, if I were to click/try to treat him during fireworks, I'd be willing to wager I'd manage to create a strong negative association with the clicker. I definitely wouldn't want to risk that. I've managed to sensitize him to other things in that way and I definitely want the clicker to remain a "good sound" for him.

 

I could see something like that working for milder cases of sound fear, or with dogs that are not noise phobic, but are fearful of the noise because it is unfamiliar or unusual.

 

 

There are indeed some things that override the desire for food....I tried to give my boys "good job" treats after working sheep. They were so mentally stressed they couldn't even eat...didn't even want them.

 

 

Robin seems pretty steady to lights/noise but at just a year, I'm watching for things to emerge. Brodie had a tough time last year -- not to the bangs so much it seems, but to the flashes of light, which seems easier to control....anyone with dogs who are "light sensitive?"

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