Its July 5th and it's all over, thank goodness. The celebrations of July 4th are behind us and we have a year to worry about the next 4th. It seems like I have always had one dog that is freaked by fireworks. When I was 18 with my very first dog Mandy (an airedale) I learned the lesson of never taking a dog to the fireworks display. At 18 you don't think about consequenses; I think that's pretty much across the board.
So needless to say Mandy had firework issues; she had thunderstorm issues and vehicle backfire issues. Back in rural Canada thunderstorms were frequent, fireworks were frequent and backfiring a common daily occurance; poor girl. But we did our best to help her overcome. Then my boy Clyde had the same issues although Clyde reacted much more physically to these noises. Once Clyde slipped into the zone he was gone basically; his fallout reaction was to run. There was no talking to him he was in the zone.
Since we lost Clyde 8 years ago this month all seemed fine with Jessie, Tilley and our newest addition Luke. Within a year of the loss of Clyde; Tilley started to exhibit fireworks issues. Here is Southern California we are lucky if we get one bout of thunder in a year so that is not something we worry about but we worry about the 4th. Tilley started reacting early lastnight, during our dinner in the backyard it started; the neighborhood fireworks.
Tilley quickly reacts by digging; I think she is trying to get away in her own way. She digs dog beds, bathroom mats, our bed, anything that she thinks she can dig into. And she trembles; her whole entire body shakes as her terror stricken eyes dart back and forth from people who might possibly be able to save her. Her ears are flat back listening for the slightest rumble in the distance; she is terrified.
As human nature would have it everyone jumps into console her; that's where I start my educational process. I let everyone know that this only makes matters worse. Everyone is to ignore her behavior and go on like nothing strange is going on. I then decide to get her ball and give that a whirl. Tilley has chase drive off the charts so that overrides her fear for the time being and she happily plays a retrieving game with me. But as soon as we stop she slips into her intense listening mode.
Once the humans got on board with the ignoring routine she was much better. She even joined my daughter and her friend on the balcony as they watched the fireworks. She quietly lay on one of the dog beds, listening but not trembling. It is a big and taxing night for Tilley but now on the 5th of July it is another one in the past.