July 3rd marks the sixth birthday for my best canine friend. If you believe Merriam-Webster, she has finally hit middle age. Maybe that's why the fear of sudden and loud noises seems greater this year than in the past. In addition to crawling under any piece of furniture that will support her golden retriever's frame (something she has always done), a new sign of stress for her seems to be excessive panting and drooling during these times. Other noises will cause panic, too, such as thunder and loud trucks, and when we had our roof replaced, she spent the entire time in her crate (a place she feels safe). It's the July 4th celebrations, however, that do the most damage.
Our sweet dog has always been afraid of the fireworks associated with the July 4th holiday...going into sheer panic and running aimlessly and wildly throughout the house. We call it bouncing off the walls and sometimes it literally takes a wall to stop her. She's terrified and I'm terrified of her ever getting out of the house during these times. Too often our pets get lost this way because they take off when hearing these sounds and there are no walls to stop them.
I'm certainly no Fourth of July Scrooge, as I love to see fireworks to celebrate the holiday. It is symbolic, after all. However, I could do without some of the pre and post celebratory bangs. When you hear loud booms from dusk throughout the night, everyday, for about two weeks prior to the big event, well, that's a bit much. Add a week or two of winding down and our pets could use a prescription for Xanax. We might need it, too, simply for dealing with them. Of course, the normal concerns arise, such as fireworks legality (depending on where you live), fire, safety (kids can get hurt, after all). Yet, the celebrations continue for weeks. Maybe I'm just getting old. According to Merriam-Webster, I've been there awhile.
So, have a safe July 4th holiday, everyone. Take care of your pets, keep them as calm as possible. I have a feeling my girl will be secured in her crate for the evening. If she could understand me, I'd tell her we were all just celebrating her birthday. If she could talk, she'd just say a new can of tennis balls would suffice.