Fireworks and Doodles, Oh My!

I hate fireworks. I am not going to beat around the bush and start by saying I only hate some fireworks, maybe just the loud boom ones. No, I hate them all. As a kid I used to watch them and later when I had kids, we would drive somewhere in horrible traffic so we could watch an hour’s worth of flashes only to have to try and get back home before dawn in the bumper to bumper traffic. It was never my favorite experience and knowing me, I probably offered bribes to my children to make it more worth their while to stay home than to go.


Now that I have dogs that fear fireworks, I really hate them. We live at the lake and had I known that lake living means neighbors shoot off fireworks for days….last 4th of July it went on for five days….I really don’t think we would have moved here. My daughter tells me I am getting old when I complain. Keep in mind, she is also the same daughter who has no problem saying, “mom, that’s not a good look for you,” on almost every Skype call. I have tried explaining that in order for me to look better on Skype, I would have to have ten foot arms and the ability to use them to hold the monitor a good distance away from my face.  All she ever says is,  “maybe dad can hold the monitor in another room.” Even my grandson now says, “Meemaw, show me your creepy face,” sometimes when we Skype. I make a big production of screwing my face up in all kinds of different poses, but I suspect with parents like his it won’t be long until he says, “No, Meemaw, make your regular face!”


I am fine being called old, but watching my dogs suffer during all the loud booms makes me sad and mad. This year I decided to get some medicine for Fudge to take the edge off of her anxiety, but realized after one night, that the vet needs to tweak the dosage because Fudge was stoned. And by stoned, I mean out of her mind. I had to bring her in from outside because she kept getting herself stuck under a washtub I have on our patio for growing vegetables. She was convinced something was just outside her reach under our fence and seemed to think pawing the space in front of her would make her imaginary prey appear.   Fudge also had the munchies. She is a dog that eats like a bird, but that night, she ate her food down so quickly that of course it made a reappearance later in the evening. She kept prowling around the counter where her treats were kept and I was afraid at any time she was going to jump right up on the counter to find something that satisfied her cravings more than kibble. Fudge also kept licking and sniffing Vern, something she never does, and walked right over a sleeping Vern several times when walking around the living room. If you fail to see something as large as Vern in your path, there is a problem. I didn’t know if there was some kind of “fifty shades of Fudge” thing happening or she really didn’t see him, but I knew right then Fudge would never get the same dose of medicine again. The next morning, after finding her licking the bed sheets and making a mental note to self to change all the bed sheets, I called the vet to adjust her medicines.


We have had almost nine days straight of fireworks and loud booms and we still have to get through the weekend. This means we have had nine days straight of trying to move freely around our house without a dog underfoot. Nine days straight of going to the bathroom with two dogs crowding into your space and making even getting to the sink a trek. Nine days straight of trying to find Fudge’s hiding place in the house and telling Vern he is a brave boy. Nine days straight of second-guessing whether we can go out for a bite to eat or if we should just stay home. Nine days straight of cursing our neighbors and dreaming of a quieter place to live. I can honestly say the 4th of July is now my least favorite holiday ever. My worst memory ever of a 4th of July incident at my sister’s party when some guy asked our daughter, Hayley, if he could use her fork when she was finished, has now been replaced by the loud booms of this holiday making it sound like we are under attack. I swear if someone really were attacking our house, I am pretty sure I could single handedly take them down just imaging they are the ones making my life miserable this week. I am not usually a violent person, but I have been shouting things like, “I hope someone sticks a firecracker down their pants and their horsetail blows off!” and “I’d like to stick a roman candle up their nose!” Nose has also been replaced with other body parts on several occasions. Can you tell I have been researching names of fireworks to see if they are all legal in our area?


Around here, it seems like this holiday is THE one. Two restaurants that we visited this week had closed signs when we got there saying they were closed for the entire week. A niece sent me a quote from someone she knew and I will clean it up just a bit, but it essentially said, “When did a one day holiday become an excuse for drunk people to shoot off fireworks for an entire month?” The answer is I don’t know, but I have had enough fireworks in my life this week to last me my lifetime.

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  • Laurie our Monty in the past year has become afraid of loud noises, we live in the mountain, lots of hunters, we have metal roof that the snow loves to slide off and hit the lower roof with horrible booms. He even leaves the room if DH is watching military shows. Last spring we had a 3 week vacation planned and were worried to death. We rent homes and are able to leave Monty there till we come back from dinner or whatever, but we thought of geez what if we have a thunderstorm or something else. The immediate meds that were available was Trazodone HCL 100mg. The vet said we could give him 3 every 12 hours. Well the reality is that ONE will last 12 hours and do the trick for us! I can't even imagine giving him 3 at one time. He is very docile on the pill, we don't like it but otherwise these loud noises make him nuts, I feel your pain. 

  • Laurie, Can you get a petition together to outlaw the fireworks? A city council vote? I mean 4th of July is long gone.

  • DJ, I love that Chance has a theme song :) The fireworks continue around here, but Fudge is on meds. now and has seemed to learn to calm herself by going down into our basement. We are coping, but it breaks my heart when I see her suffer. I'll have to check that song out.

  • Great rant, Laurie.  For some reason, one song that I've grown to hate, because I have to play it over and over again for a week before the 4th and a week after, seems too calm Chance down.  It is "I Got this friend" by Civil Wars. It was the theme song for my page here--back in the days when we could put up music--and it played over and over again when he was a pup in my lap and I explored topics such as, "Will my doodle shed?, "How big will your doodle be?," "Can I feed him ice-cream?"

  • Nancy, I took her out on the boat the other day and she did great. I was so glad that she happily retrieved her toy as I threw it in the water. Thank you!

    Trish, Thank you! We have tried it all....a loud fan, music, TV, etc. She has become pretty good at managing her fears and seems to prefer the basement laundry room when she gets scared. We usually let her stay down there until bedtime and then bring her up with us. Fireworks are still going strong around here. A notice was sent around, but people do not care.

    Jane, I am so sorry Guinness hates those thunderstorms. Both dogs seem to do ok during storms. The shaking is so hard to watch. We have had to put her on meds. and the thunder shirt seems to help a bit. Fireworks are now a going on every weekend. I will be glad when kids start back to school and the weekend lake people go home and stay home :)

    Maryann, Thank you! My heart breaks for Tigger without Roo. I don't know what Vern would do without Fudge. I think Fudge would be fine, but I know Vern would not. He takes so many cues from Fudge. Fudge is on a low dose of Trazadone. We tried some other meds., but she was stoned on them. I feel like it is helping. It is hard to know what to do. The vet suggested some other things to try, but so far, we are getting by with the thunder shirt and meds. The fireworks continue here every weekend. It makes me furious, but not much we can do.

  • I am so sorry that Fudge has so much trouble with fireworks.  Tigger does not like them either, but at least we are not plagued for weeks with them.  Tigger is worse this summer without Roo.  Murphy seemed impervious to them, but don't think Tigger trusts her judgement yet.  I was talking to my vet about it and there is a new thing, not the pill that zones them out.  It is liquid that you rub on the inside of their cheek.  Probably will try it next year.

  • We didn't have a lot of fireworks this year (thankfully) but we have had days and days of evening thunder storms.  Guinness is terrified of the noise and the poor little guy shakes so much it breaks my heart.  He has a little "safe place" that he goes to in the back of the bathroom and he lies there shaking uncontrollably until it's over.  I'm hoping that your neighbors have quieted down now that the 4th is well behind us and that you're all enjoying the pontoon boat again.

  • So sorry this happened to you. My pup was scared once like this too. Sometimes turning on soothing music at low volume in the room they are in or while you do chores helps them after something like this. Hope they use all the fireworks up soon; they are prohibited in our town but it still does not deter some people despite the hazards.

  • Laurie, I am so sorry for Fudge.  Our doodles are so sensitive, that one scary incident seems to make them afraid forever.  I hope she still likes her pontoon boat days.

  • Stacy, I need a million dollar idea, because I would love to move from here :) Fireworks are not done. We went out on our pontoon boat for the first time this season with the dogs. We were having a lovely time and the dogs were so happy jumping off the boat to retrieve their toys. Then someone shot off what sounded like a cannon TWICE and we had to go home. Fudge was not herself the rest of the night. I am hoping she still wants to go back out on the boat. Thank you!

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