|Fireworks? Don't like 'em...|
Maybe spending his first "real" Fourth of July living a block away from the largest professional demonstration in town ruined him for life when it comes to things that pop, whiz or bang, particularly if such sounds occur at or after dusk. The noise level of that show was such that the first "bang" of the evening routinely set off car alarms in the neighborhood as the ground shook from the force of the rocket's red glare. Perhaps it was that the noise was followed by more whooshes and booms as the firepower exploded overhead, any explanation for which was far beyond anything his puppy brain could comprehend.
In the end it doesn't matter because all roads lead to Rome, or, in his case, to the guest room where he can cower between the bed and the wall, waiting for the world to be safe again. So imprinted is he by the trauma surrounding the Fourth that any loud popping or banging sound at night will metamorphose him from playing-in-the-yard dog to cowering, running for the back door dog. A car backfiring? He's outta there. Same goes for cargo doors slamming on semi trucks as they unload their bounty at the nearby convenience store, someone dropping a large tool on a concrete patio or the whir made by the blades of a helicopter as they patrol the neighborhood after dark. Darby may have never met Keyser Soze, but he will guarantee you that should Soze come to the house he'll be accompanied by some great and horrible noise that any creature worth his salt would do well to avoid. And even with all that, I know I'm lucky.
Lucky because of all the options at his disposal, Darby chooses to shut down. Yes, it's hard to watch him huddle in the back room, utterly inconsolable, but at least he's securely indoors with his family. So many other dogs (and cats) bolt in terror from their homes into the dangers of the night. They break gates, dig under/climb over/slip through fences, and in a few extreme cases break windows or sliding glass doors in their panic to escape the assault on their senses. It's often repeated that more pets are lost on July 4th than any other single day of the year. Darby may be scared, even terrified, but he's home and whether he comprehends it or not, he's safe.
With the fireworks stands now open for business the evening "pop" has begun again, leaving me with a dog who will avoid an evening potty trip if there's so much as a whistling sound after sunset. Last night someone several doors down felt the need to test out a few firecrackers, blissfully oblivious to the terror their fun instills in my pooch, and there's still a week left before the "big show".
Being well-versed in the drill, we'll be especially attentive to his needs over the next week or so. Should your pets need some extra love and reassurance during this period, we know you'll do the same.