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Tommy Coyote

4th of July Weekend

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I absolutely hate this holiday. It's so hard on my dogs.

 

I always stay home with them as much as I can.

 

I know people love fireworks but I can't say I understand why. Go out there and blow stuff up - doesn't work for me at all.

 

I'm fine with picnics and stuff but I don't get what is so fun about exposions.

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In 30 years of having dogs, I have been fortunate in not having any with noise sensitivity issues to fireworks and only one who, very late in life, developed storm fears (which went away when she became deaf). The 4th was hard for a couple for my gun dogs but that was them wondering why they weren't out there in the action. I feel for those that have dogs who hate fireworks. It must be hell. Halloween is the holiday I hate with the dogs. Our GSD wants to eat all the goblins so she gets locked in the back of the house while I sit out front to intercept the potential knocking on the door.

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Every thunderstorm is hard on Sage. He has severe PTSD and generalized anxiety after being attacked multiple times by loose pit bulls. :angry: I have to give him clonidine to block his fight or flight response, otherwise he wants to sit on my head quivering. At least in the USA people mostly only use fireworks during the 4th of July.

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I miss my Ross dog, but I don't miss the July terrors he had. Last night everyone here was calm and relaxed while the noise starts. It was such a relief.

 

I don't personally get the fun of blowing stuff up myself. I like the big ones that the pros set off but watching a bottle rocket or ladyfingers pop has never done anything for me. My entire neighborhood, however, must think they are awesome as they go off nonstop from about 8:30 pm until 11:30 they whole week (even though they are legal from July 1-4 from 9-11 only). It looks like a war zone out there. Thank goodness its been raining and the fire danger is lower this year.

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I also hate this blowing things up nonsense. Poor Buddy just stood in the middle of my living room last night, barking with his tail down. It's probably too late this year (vet's closed today), but next year I think I'll get some pre-emptive valium for him.

 

Mary

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I know this will not work for dogs truly affected with noise sensitivity but....

 

We live within a few blocks of the State Fairgrounds. Fireworks displays are an almost monthly occurrence for us and during the Fair, nightly for two weeks solid.

 

We have had seven dogs in the time we've lived here and this method is one my wife hit upon early and has employed with each of our dogs with success.

 

When the dogs are pups, she takes them outside about five minutes before the fireworks are due to start, and engages them in their favorite game. When the fireworks begin, she completely ignores them, just amps up the game a bit. When they are over, brings the dogs inside. We do this every night. If we don't know what time the fireworks are starting, we take them out at the first bang. Do the same thing for thunder, and for the monthly tornado siren tests. By the time they are a year, they're desensitized. Most of them, will note the start of the noise, some will bark once or twice and then go back to ignoring it, and a couple will grab the nearest toy and head for the door.

 

Again, this won't work for truly noise phobic dogs but for most of the rest who get only moderately stressed by it, it seems to help.

 

I've noticed that older dogs, as they begin to lose hearing, seem to start stressing about thunder and fireworks but not high frequency sounds. Not sure why that is but it seems pretty consistent among my dogs. Not to pathological levels, but more to the "hide in the closet and look a bit worried" level.

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Pearse, I do something similar with my thunder/noise phobic dogs. During storms a special ball that they LOVE comes out and we play a really crazy, upbeat, noisy game. We ONLY do that game with that ball during storms and fireworks. The phobic dog is already drugged so feeling better than he would otherwise. We do play it inside because of the danger of being hit by lightening. ;)

 

The ball that I use is the meteorlight ball. It flashes different colors of light, which makes them very happy. I think that they now associate the flashing lightening with the flashing ball.

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Oh, boy. We have double the fun today. Fireworks and thunderstorms.

 

It's awful here - just like a steambath. I don't think it's going to rain tomorrow so it should be better - except that is the worst day for the fireworks.

 

Dogs are doing pretty good with the little ones. It's those awful bombs that go off and shake the whole house.

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All my older dogs have gone through that noise sensitive phase. I've gotten them through it the same way. Similar to Pearse but I cheat with natural meds.

 

If I got a rescue in who was chewing through window frames (oh yes), I had to start from square on without knowing cause - I had no choice but to assume it was treatable.

 

Fireworks? Y'all are lucky! It's yet another excuse to get out them ballistics laughingly called black powder "rifles" i've never seen them but I've heard them. I'm sure they draw them out on six-horse carriages.

 

Fireworks are expensive. Ammunition, apparently, is cheap.

 

Do far I haven't failed to desensitize anyone here. Even poor Min and Lu the LGDs who were shot point blank last fall at a crime scene on our own property. Min still needs her happy place but good grief, wouldn't you?

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We do something quite like Pearse does when the dogs are young, just make sure to play engaging games that they love and ignore the noise. And we've probably been fortunate that we just haven't had phobic dogs.

 

Even now, the thunder peals or fireworks or guns go off, and I can hear Ed say, "Are we having fun yet?!?"

 

My sympathies are with those that can't handle the storms or noises, and their owners. I can't imagine the stress.

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Friday night, Buddy was a mess. Standing, barking, twitching. I did learn early on with him that if I had a soothing hand on him, he could at least be still and not bark in terror. So, he lay in bed with me and I just rubbed his neck when the loudest of the fireworks went on. (Seriously - it's like they need to explode BOMBS in the street. I will never, ever understand the young male need to make really loud noises.)

 

Then, at about 2:00 a.m. Friday night after the fireworks had stopped, a very LOUD, shrieking, squealing noise started happening every 3-4 minutes. Sounded like the grind of the train as it approached the local station, or an incredibly large gate swinging on rusty hinges. Since this was a noise we've never had before, and since Buddy was apparently still all revved up from earlier in the night, every squeal made Buddy alert, again: head up, tags jingling, ready to start barking. So, I got to lie and calm him again for another hour or so.

 

Last night, however, despite the din of explosions and what appeared to be several local fireworks shows coming to their dramatic conclusions, Buddy more or less just lay on the bed calmly. I'm guessing he was exhausted from the night before, not having gotten any sleep, and decided to just suck it up and lie still. Go figure!

 

Mary

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We always take Dean to my parent's house when we visit on 4th of July weekend, just in case things explode here. Doesn't it figure while we were there yesterday they had big thunderstorms. Nothing here. He would have been better off at home.

 

Still, he handles thunderstorms a lot better than fireworks. I think because they are more predictable. He knows they are coming, he is able to tell when they end. Fireworks are random.

 

It has been strangely quiet around here this year. Most years they start up in mid-June and go until mid-July. This year, nothing. Only distant pops.

 

I'm not complaining. It has been wonderful!!

 

I don't expect we will get off so easy tonight, but one night of the stupid things is a lot easier to take than weeks on end.

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Greetings all,

 

A quick history lesson....

 

John Adams, serving in the second continental congress, just after congress voted to declare independence from Britan, wrote to his wife Abigail:

 

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

 

John Adams missed the date by 2 days as America chose July 4th as our independence day due to that being the date on the written Declaration of Independence.

 

So, and I own deaf border collie who is terrified of fireworks, I believe the only way to honor the founding fathers is to desensetize your dogs. We work on this by taking him to firework displays, and when he shows agitation putting him inside the truck until he calms down. We then reward him for calming down. We also let him see that his sister, who isn't afraid of anything yet, is being played with and having attention paid to her. He is getting better but it may take a while.....good luck....Greg

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To each his own, I guess. I honor the founding fathers by gathering with family for quiet celebration, by eating good summer food, and taking a day to relax.

 

And I honor my noise phobic dog by minimizing his exposure to fireworks to the greatest extent that I possibly can.

 

Works for us!!

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I'd be fine if people would celebrate the birth of our nation on July 4th. They celebrate their adolescent need to make big noises from mid-June to mid-July around here. John Adams had nothing to say about that, and I'd be willing to bet his wife (dealing with crying babies or grandbabies) would have thought the constant noise-making irksome.

 

Meanwhile, tonight: fireworks from our nearest neighbors, and at the same time, a cold front pushing up some of the LOUDEST thunderstorms Buddy and I have ever heard. Oy!

 

Mary

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So, and I own deaf border collie who is terrified of fireworks, I believe the only way to honor the founding fathers is to desensetize your dogs. We work on this by taking him to firework displays, and when he shows agitation putting him inside the truck until he calms down. We then reward him for calming down. We also let him see that his sister, who isn't afraid of anything yet, is being played with and having attention paid to her. He is getting better but it may take a while.....good luck....Greg

 

Well, the problem is it can be hard to desensitize a dog to something that you can't control. Believe me, having owned 2 very noise phobic dogs its not always that simple.

 

I really have no issue with the fireworks if people would follow the rules and shoot them off when they area allowed (July 1-4 from 8-11 pm here) instead of for two weeks until 2 in the morning.

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Well, the problem is it can be hard to desensitize a dog to something that you can't control. Believe me, having owned 2 very noise phobic dogs its not always that simple.

 

I really have no issue with the fireworks if people would follow the rules and shoot them off when they area allowed (July 1-4 from 8-11 pm here) instead of for two weeks until 2 in the morning.

 

 

I have come to hate the fireworks since my sweet Lexi is terrified by them. She is already noice phoebic and between fireworks and thunderstorms,she has really been on edge. I have her with me with the fan blasting louding so it muffles it some what but I know her hearing is much better than mine. I gave her Xanax two days ago since the doopy people start shooting them off during the day and several days ahead. Didn't do anything for her except make her somewhat uncordinated and we had to scale back play time since I was worried she would hurt herself. I had given her some sort of sedative last year but the vet won't prescribe it now - ugh. She was sleepy and quieter with that. I am just hoping she will out grow it. I played and played with her and took a realy long walk today in hopes that she would be tired and react less. I am keeping my fingers crossed for an uneventful evening.

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I've had several border collies since the early 80's. most of them were noise sensitive to some degree. Some of them it didn't start till they were 8 or so. I have a 7 year old that's extremely afraid of fireworks, thunder to a lesser degree. We have week long community celebration with fireworks every night for a week. I keep the house closed with the air on, take early morning walks when its quiet. He likes the bathroom, sometimes the shower, I allow him to go where he feels safe. He will play with me a little, but is very distracted. Never had a dog desensitized to thunder/fireworks - I tried that many years ago when that was "the thing to do". It's hard to understand, as one of my dogs had no reaction to fireworks/thunder for 9 years, would go out and play in a storm, then suddenly completely change to being ready to go through a gate to get away....now that's hard to understand?

 

Dr. Deva Khasla just had this in her newsletter, if someone wants to try this;

Melatonin at the dose of 3 mg per 10 kg can help with fear of thunderstorms. The homeopathic remedy Borax 6c has a pretty good success rate for fear of thunder and fireworks. Give this remedy three times a day for a few weeks and see how your dog does with it.

 

Happy 4th!!

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I feel so lucky - neither of my dogs pays any attention to fireworks or thunderstorms. I think I have teenage boys and video games to thank for that. My dogs were raised listening to boom, boom, boom, pow, pow, pow. They seem to think fireworks and thunderstorms are just another noise created by the kids.

 

Hmmm... Finally a benefit from those darn video games.

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