Independence Day. It only comes around but once a year. Oh, how I love this federal holiday!! The celebration of America. Freedom. Patriotism. I have, ever since Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, dressed myself--literally from head to toe--in the Red, White and Blue on July 4th!! I go insanely outlandish!! It is the only time, during my entire life, when I actually care about clothes, because, frankly, I'd rather like anything else!! Anything else. I know, I know, I'm weird for a girl!! But on Independence Day, I wear brightly colored clothing, which is often matching!! Shockingly!! Because the only times when I am ever even remotely color-coordinated, is accidental!! Seriously.... My "Independence Day Getup", as I call it, is even planned and prepared!! Also shockingly!! Because I am not the type of person who prepares for anything!! Ever. On Wednesday, I intend to wear my "star-spangled bandanna" atop a ponytail. This is tradition!! I wear it every year!! I recently purchased this new men's T-shirt, which resembles a draped Old Glory. All the way down!! I own a patrotic cross necklace. Wearing it is also tradition!! My fingernails will be painted Red, White, and Blue. Every other didgit!! I painted my fingernails Red, White and Blue last year!! I looked like some eccentric, immature teenager!! Sweet!! And, yes, I want to look like some eccentric, immature teenager again!! Just for one day.... On my feet, I will wear American flag socks. This, too, is tradition!! However, if you're me, who shares her existence with a Beautifully Unique mutt that suffers from "Noise Phobia" issues, there's only one part about Independence Day which you dread. One word. Fireworks. Our suburban cul-de-sac has actually, surprisingly, been quiet. Oddly. No pops, whistles, or bottle rocket "bomb"-like explosions. Nothing!! Until Saturday that was. Now, as soon as night falls, inevitably, we hear several resounding BOOMS. Which cause poor Rose to unsteadily stand up on all fours, resembling some newborn foal. She hides. Anywhere. Under beds. Beneath tables. Under our computer desk while I type. She glues herself to my side, like magnets on a refrigerator. Tremors work their way through poor Rose's body. And, like last year, she has made a return appearance as my stubborn little girl who refuses to walk at night!! I gently, yet firmly pull Rose halfway down our cul-de-sac. It is like some highly competive human-canine game of tug 'o war!! Last night, I even offered Rose a baby carrot. Which she snubbed!! Snubbed!! Imagine that!! My "food-lovin'" Beagle mix was not interested in a treat!! Then, after minutes of silence, bottle rockets exploded!! Sigh.... Here we go again....
This information was taken from a Summer 2011 local dog newsletter issue:
"Every year, many companion pets escape and are lost or injured because of their fear of fireworks. While many of us love the big bangs and beautiful lights, our companion pets do not share our sentiment. Many dogs and cats escape their homes, some never to be reunited with their families. We encourage each of you to please take the necessary precautions to make sure your companion pet remains safe, at home and healthy. If your pet is easily frightened by sudden noises or bright lights, talk with your veterinarian about a mild sedative to ease your pet's anxiety. Keep your pet in a safe place when the fireworks begin. Options include the pet's crate, a safe room or the basement. Turn on a radio for background noise to help muffle some of the bangs. Provide a high quality chew toy to help keep them busy and distracted. Provide their favorite stuffed toy, blanket or other item that helps them feel safe. Every year all animal shelters see many pets that have escaped over the July 4th holiday."
And.... Its veterinarian writes:
"With the Fourth of July right around the corner, fireworks and loud noises are plentiful and for some pets, it's anything but a happy time. They can become anxious, stressed, terrified or uncomfortable and can suffer from a fear of loud noises known as noise phobia. Learn to recognize the signs of a noise phobia. Signs commonly seen are: shaking or trembling, excessive drooling, barking or howling, hiding, and trying to escape from the house, fence, or other enclosure. Some animals will lose control of their bladder or bowels and some may experience prolonged diarrhea from the stress. Keep in mind, dogs that escape can end up with wounds, lacerations or worse-hit by a car. To help you manage your dog's anxiety, try these tips: keep you dogs at home. Keep dogs inside in a safe, quiet room, turn on music and pull the window blinds. Remove any items that might be chewed. Take your dog for a walk prior to the start of the noise. Provide a safe "escape" place. For safety measures, make sure your pet's ID is current. If needed, visit your favorite vet for medical help with the noise phobia/anxiety behavior to ensure a safe holiday for you and your pet."
I acknowledge completely that some facts were repeated in this Blog post. My apologies for that!!
This may turn out to be a long Summer of fireworks exploding daily, then, when the bottle rockets are over, and our nighttime skies seem silent, they will still be booming within Rose's head. Still booming. Like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in humans. This happened to us last Summer. But on the bright side, God has given me perseverance, plus an iron-will that, along with surgeons' skills, and His Grace, I employed to fight for life as a sickly infant. I can endure this!! I can!! Even though there may be many failures, tears, impatience, and frustrations along the way....