Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ugh. Already with the popping?

High on the list of Darby's more neurotic endearing traits is his reaction to certain noises, especially those emitted by fireworks.
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.


snoopy@snoopysdogblog said...

Oh No!!

Poor Darby!! I'm sending you hugs, yeah I know boys don't normally do that, but after seeing that look on your face, I can't help it!

Not sure how I'll feel about them, this is my second year to experience them, last year I was really cool about it and even went to the block party in Mum's arms - think I'm too big to be carried this year - but hoping I get invited to the party and I'm brave enough to hang around for the fireworks, either way Mum will be on hand to take care of me......

I guess so many people don't think about how scared some Doggys are of fireworks, it's such a shame they can't limit it to just one day!

Wags to you,

Your pal Snoopy :)

Anonymous said...

Poor little thing! Try some Benedryl. That works for my little Romeo!

Judi said...

I can so commiserate! I lost Sadie on New Year's Eve because I went to bed not realizing that people had saved half their July 4th stuff to blow off. Sadie dug under the fence and ran off and wasn't found for a week. Thank goodness for microchips!

She's been squirrely for the last week, too, almost like she knows it's coming. Raven and Ebony are not nearly as terrorized, but they will all be hanging out with me on Monday night, hiding in the house with the music turned up to help block out some of the noise.

Pamela said...

Poor boy, Are you sure you don't want to spend July 4 in Canada?

Vicky at PPCT said...

Snoopy, you're a very brave dog! Darby will take a hug from you any day of the week.

Since Darby's main defense is to hide in the back room, I'm loathe to medicate him. If he were engaging in anything that would put him at risk I'd give him something, but since he's just a hider, we'll probably leave him be.

Judi, I remember when Sadie took a powder on you...so glad Darby doesn't run away, even if I think the reason is because he's afraid no one else will have better treats :)

Pamela, we may well head up there next year. I've seen the weather forecast and it's expected to be 106 or so on July 4 down here. *sigh*

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

Here at the shore there are fireworks, most professional, going on starting Friday right through the 4th. We're on the water so sound carries. The neighbors on both sides have a fireworks display too.

I bark at first, then my Humans tell me it's okay. I go to sleep.

I have a buddy in the mountains that hides in a closet when things go BOOM. We have lots of BIG thunderstorms that run the ridges round and round. Poor Lucky goes and hides the entire time.

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Sam said...

I sympathize with you in a HUGE way. People love to do illegal fireworks here in my neighborhood in NYC. Marge is terrified of them (yet thunder doesn't bother her very much). I always make it a point to throw a party with cookies and happy words any time Marge hears a firework. But, on days like the 4th, it is just impossible to console her fully.

Talking Dogs said...

Excellent post! I dread July 4th. Our very rural neighborhood lights up like World War III and all our critters need tlc.


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