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Specifically, I hate how terrified one of my dogs is at this time of year.  We seem to have a constant barrage of fireworks every evening and it makes her completely crazy with fear.

I apologize for venting about this, but I really need to do it before I go out tonight and get into trouble.

There seems to be absolutely nothing we can do.  Either to help our dog or to stop any of the fireworks.  We'll be hearing them until sometime in late August if previous years have been the norm.  Grr.  

I've tried calling the fire department with no results.  Turns out, the entire neighborhood has tried that.  From what I hear we've all tried calling the police as well, but they just direct us to call the fire department.  I can't even lay this at the feet of budget cuts, since this has been going on for 9 years now with the same results.

If it gets really bad, and I'm sure it will, I'll have to resort to the same tactic that I used last year.  There was one night that was incredible.  Wasn't even the 4th of July.  It was sounding like someone was firing a cannon and I just couldn't take it any more.  This time, when I called the police I reported gun shots.  They asked if it could have been fireworks.  I didn't let them write it off and they actually sent a car out.  Seems they might have run across some people with really large fireworks, since it all stopped very shortly after that.

Setting aside how much of a fuckwad asshole someone doing this all night happens to be, how stupid are they?  We live in San Jose, CA.  Land of no rain until at least October.  It's been 95+ degrees every day for the last several days.  Do these morons really think this won't start a fire?  ARRRRG!

OK.  I'm done now.  It's unlikely I'll be paying attention to this thread tonight, as I'll be hanging out in my living room with a totally freaked out basset hound.  Thanks for listening.

Originally posted to obviouspseudonym on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I can commiserate (12+ / 0-)

    I trust your basset hound is doing better by the time you see this!

    Creating a cover noise sometimes helps with our dogs.  Running the television louder than normal works for one of the two.  The night-time sound machine set on white noise is enough for the other (and setting it loud).  The machine does preclude using the television, but I'm happy reading so that's OK.

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:57:04 PM PDT

  •  Do you have air conditioning? (8+ / 0-)

    If so, does closing up the house help?

    We have the same problem with our cat, but with the A/C on, it seems to muffle anything short of thunder.

    I've never been much on amateur fireworks, having been born on the 4th.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 07:59:56 PM PDT

  •  My Shelties sympathize (10+ / 0-)

    My four shelties hate fireworks some more than others.  I too have to put up with firework nuts a few blocks from me who seem to set up fireworks from June til August, usually right when I'm letting the dogs out for the final time of the night.

    That often makes them so scared they don't take care of business and poor Durham was so scared he hid in the bushes and wouldn't come when he was being called until I figured out his hiding place and grabbed him.

    My dear departed Raleigh used to freak out so bad we'd have to get him into his crate so he wouldn't hurt himself.  His littermate Thunder these days is now so deaf that he doesn't hear them anymore.

    Some folks swear by those thundershirts.  They are pricey though and my budget is stretched thin due to the morons on Congress causing me to have furlough days. ARGH.

    •  I was incredulous about the thunder shirts/vests (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, radarlady, BlueDragon, weck

      but since they had a good return policy I decided to try one.
      Our dog is quite nervous with storms coming in/thunder/lightening/weather alert signal on the TV and fireworks...not to the point where she has injured herself...but, quite nervous and pacing about.
      Got the thundervest and it really helps her.
      Have not tried doggy valium but I do use Rescue Remedy/windows shut/AC and loud TV or radio.
      Try ebay for a good deal on a used thundervest.
      Wish you luck.

      Ask me how Obamacare has helped my family.

      by cosette on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 11:35:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Might it help (0+ / 0-)

      to put long lines on the kids when you take them outside, so that they can walk around a bit, but you can still retrieve them? It also ensures they don't bolt if someone sets off some fireworks really close to you when your back is turned.

      Cheap cotton clothesline makes a good longline for very little cost.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:58:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fortunately I have a fenced in yard (0+ / 0-)

        I have a fenced in yard from which they cannot escape, the fences are high on purpose.  But the yard is large enough with so many trees and bushes that clotheslines don't work.

        I have great neighbors abutting my property, the nutsos are blocks away but within earshot alas.

  •  I'm with you, I fucking hate fireworks. (9+ / 0-)

    I especially hate reading stories of pets that have, in their frantic attempts to escape the noise, do serious harm to themselves or even die in the attempt - for example that gets caught in fence and strangles. I've seen this kind of story ever since the days of Dear Abby.

    No fucking idiot's right to be an asshole trumps the life of even one dog or pootie.

    The only good thing about the drought in the SW, imo, is that for the past couple of years the city of ABQ has seen the light and banned the sale of most fireworks. That cuts down on the harassment considerably.

    I hope your city fathers get some clues about fireworks and drought, too. And I wish you peace.

    "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:15:18 PM PDT

  •  Fireworks are so pointless. They do frighten the (5+ / 0-)

    animals. A total waste of money. Dangerous in summer droughts.

    They should shoot them off on New Year's if they have to shoot them off and be done with it.

    •  Oh, go to Washington State. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      New Years Eve is just as insane as July 4.

      No wait, I think it's possible that a lot of the folks shooting off fireworks are even drunker.

      We have fireworks twice a year, every year. Rain, snow, ice, shine...

      It's nice that risk of fires is lower. But injuries especially still happen, and it's much harder for ambulances to zoom around on a couple inches of ice on the roads.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:54:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We Always Vacationed in Canada At This Time (7+ / 0-)

    before we got dogs. Given the quantities of rocket bottles that washed off our roof over the following weeks, it was always a bit of anticipation to see if we still had a house when we drove around the last bend.

    It started here tonight, 2 houses down some kind of consumer mortar that fires shot that explodes up in the air. Launching between houses that are barely 30 feet apart.

    It goes without saying that we had to deny our dogs their beloved back yard for most of the evening, as we will for the next week.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:23:24 PM PDT

  •  Count on a Ruling That Fireworks Are "Arms." nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, obviouspseudonym

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 08:24:16 PM PDT

  •  I hate fireworks too (7+ / 0-)

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 09:10:39 PM PDT

    •  I hate it too..Flashback to last year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pam from Calif

      and my son told me.. WHO NEVER has a problem with anyone that he almost called the cops when we were out of town THANK some neighbors shooting off Shotguns over and over... He knew it would affect vets in the area.   I won't hesitate to call.   Shotguns in a residential city limits area... REALLY !!!!!  We got a 150 new laws...I hope they enforce the one about discharging firearms in residential areas.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:08:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My big bear-dog was always terrified of fireworks (7+ / 0-)

    she once jumped through a screen door trying to escape the noise. She'd try to stick her head under the bed, which was funny/sad.

    I found that a combination of keeping the tv up a bit louder and using 'doggie valium' along with lots of love and comforting helped. I'd keep the windows shut even in the fiercest heat until very late at night.

    In my neighborhood, the teens go out on July 5th and buy up more fireworks at half price, so they'll be setting off more stuff for a week or more.

    Now, our state is on fire, and the drought is gripping us around the throat. There's no state wide ban, and people can go out to some counties or reservations and buy all sorts of more powerful fireworks that aren't legal in many cities.

    I'm sad to say I expect to hear of several fires started by negligent use of fireworks over the next week or two.

    Do talk to your vet about what you can do to help your critters deal with the problem. Make sure that they have proper ID tags and collars on at all times. Sometimes even a dog who has handled the noises in the past can just finally freak one night, or will follow another dog out of a window or door, trying to escape the sounds.

    Love and calming thoughts for you and all your four-paws.

    "You bring politics into everything, Congressman" - Gabriel Gomez (R) to Ed Markey (D) 6/5/13 during debate.

    by NMRed on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 09:44:39 PM PDT

    •  The state is on fire and the're still selling fire (0+ / 0-)



      Years ago, WA was in the throes of a multi-year drought. It's a state that is obviously COVERED with stuff that burns, especially when it's dry.

       Gov Gregoire wisely proposed a fireworks ban that year.  The argument that shot down the ban? The high schools use the sales of fireworks from the fireworks stands to support sports, cheerleading, band and other extracurricular activities.

      So, because we weren't properly funding our schools, we put the whole state in danger.

      Craziest thing I've ever seen.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:49:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've tried everything. Talked to my neighbors, (7+ / 0-)

    called the police. Drove around taking pictures of offenders. When they asked what I was doing I told them writing an article about people who break the law in the name of patriotism and gave them my business card. (I did write for a paper at that time.)

    I have put my 4' speakers outside and blasted music in the direction of the fireworks.

    Written letters to the editor of the local paper - which they don't print.

    You know, this activity is illegal in the city limits. Seems like the city could make big bucks by sending the police out to ticket everyone breaking the law.

    My own dog isn't afraid but my cats are and I'll have 6 other dogs here, some who will be afraid.

    I am very generous with the valium. (The cats get Rescue Remedy). I use calming aromatherapy. I play reggae music, it may seem like classical is calming but often it's not.

    I really tire the dogs out in the daytime so they are beat but the time the worst of the noise begins.

    Buy yeah, I don't like fireworks!

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 09:45:26 PM PDT

    •  I wonder if it depends what classical music (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they listen to? My dogs respond really well to Mozart mostly. I have a bazillion-disc set of that and they like it.

      They also like when I leave the "popular classical music" (lots of piano and violin concertos) TV channel. But they don't like the classical music radio station which plays more hardcore classical music.

      They don't like jazz at all.

      And they dig Celtic music.

      Not an Irish dog in the bunch, either. Go figure.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:44:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yeah, some classical is great but some really (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        booms, bangs and clangs!

        Some jazz is soothing too but not this ping, ding kind. And sadly, we don't really have jazz stations anymore.

        My last dogs really liked the Brandenburg Concertos. Nothing calms my current dog down like Arabic music - hence his name Said (pronounced Sigh-eed).

        And yes, everyone here likes Celtic.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 07:35:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you all for the replies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, cosette, jan4insight

    At this point the only thing we haven't tried is doggie Valium.  I think I'll be calling the vet about it in the morning.  Fortunately, the 'safe place' Josie runs to when she just can't take any more is the shower in our master bathroom.  I think since it's an interior room with no windows she can't hear the booms in there.  I feel so awful for her.  Our other basset doesn't understand what all the fuss is about but does start getting agitated after Josie's been increasingly upset for several hours.  He's pretty easy to calm down.  We're lucky that he's a complete glutton for attention so he's easily distracted.

    You all have a safe 4th.  Pet all of your furry family members for me.  The bassets send drool and best wishes.

  •  My dog has severe noise phobia. (5+ / 0-)

    I'll outline for you what I do. If you start tomorrow, you can ensure your pup will have a much more serene 4th.

    1. Thundershirt. It helps most dogs some. It helps some dogs a lot. Your local pet store or trainer MIGHT have one, if you want to call around. You can order them 2-day shipping from Amazon. Order now or tomorrow and it will arrive Wednesday.

    2. Dark quiet place, preferably a crate if she's crate trained. If she's not, start making that a priority for next year.  If you have a plastic travel crate, great. If not, drape a dark sheet, towel or lightweight blanket over it. If she's not crate trained, a small closet with a bed in it is perfect.  I put my dog's crate IN a closet.

    Be sure that you have a comfortable chair (I use a low beach chair) that you can sit in nearby and read a book, surf the net, listen to music.  Your CALM presence (no getting angry at neighbors!) is the most soothing thing you can offer your pup.

    3. Comforting scents/essential oils/lflower essences. Dogs, of course, are scent-driven dogs.  Comforting scents are helpful. Some people like Rescue Remedy™  that you can pick up at many pet stores. I've never found it to be useful, but others I know think it can be useful.

    Regular "aromatherapy" stuff for humans is often made with chemicals. Skip that stuff.

    Whole Food Market carries lavender oil and sweet orange essential oil. Lavender is the classic oil for stress. My girl responds even better to sweet orange oil when stressful conditions arise. I suppose you could buy both (sweet orange is pretty inexpensive) and test drive them over the next few days. See which your dog prefers. Lavender is pretty pricey. But it smells heavenly. I use it on our sheets, towels, etc.

    (Other health food stores carry oils too. But these oils can be adulterated, and we want pure oils.  So I'll leave it to your good judgement about where to buy them).

    Use only one drop of essential oil on a hand towel. And place it near your dog's dark safe place. Not in, that's going to be too overwhelming. I put it about 10 feet away. For a pug, I might put it closer, a hound, a little farther.  You'll know what to do.

    Different from calming oils and essences is DAP which also works for some dogs. I had one dog it seemed to work magic on.  It never really seemed to affect my others at all.

    It's available at most pet stores.

    3. White noise. A fan or HEPA filter is perfect. It helps drown out the loud noises.

    4. Soothing music. Classical music (not 1812 Overture, obviously) works perfectly. My dogs love to chill to Celtic music too. Soooooooooothing is key.  Yes, I play this over (alongside) the white noise.

    5. Dim lights in the room. Close blinds. Hang cardboard in the windows if the flashing from fireworks will be visible.

    6. A nice favorite chew that your pup can be distracted with (and use to work out stress) is helpful. Nothing she can choke on, though.

    7. Rx meds

    Xanax, Valium, etc. Call your vet tomorrow and ask for enough Xanax to get through the holiday weekend. Vets would rather prescribe this anti-anxiety medicine for your dog than treat broken legs (or worse) because she became terrified and bolted out on an open door or a window (open or not).  If your vet can't fit you in this week, go to an emergency clinic, explain the situation. They should be able to give you enough at least for the night of the 4th.

    I don't let them prescribe Acepromazine. Ace makes the dog look relaxed. It's a muscle relaxer. But newer evidence is that the dog is aware of what's going on -- and still terrified -- but unable to do anything about it.

    8. Collar with current tags. Make her collar just a little snugger than normal, so that if she does bolt, it won't slip off.

    9. Bowl of cool/cold water. Stressed dogs sweat and pant.  They need water, but won't drink it unless it's really appealing.  Something this simple often gets overlooked.

    I know this seems like a lot of work, but we do this every thunderstorm, every fireworks celebration in our town, and after the first 1-2 times, it's routine. We have our Thunderstorm Kit that is always ready to go!

    For next year, crate train your dog if she isn't already. Also, we go camping to National Forest or Park Service Sites were fireworks are always strictly forbidden (and there are rangers to ensure that everyone complies because the risk of fire is too great).  We book far in advance, so that we know we'll be at a campground that has a good ranger presence.

    We have a friend stay at our home to ensure no morons burn it down. But we take the dogs, the Thunderstorm Kit, and we get out of town.

    Good luck!! I know how hard this is. Smooches to your hound from mine.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:36:27 AM PDT

  •  I'm feel for them AND you... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I live in a VERY remote and rural area and still have this problem this time of year. Apparently no matter how thin the local town budgets are stretched (the excuse they trot out every year when they raise our already extortion-esque property taxes), each little town apparently needs its own fireworks night.

    AND so as not to compete with each other...they have worked out a schedule so that it's pretty much every night for a week. (Unless the weather is bad. Then it goes on every weekend for a month or so.) Yeehaw.

    My big old hound mix is a wreck and the other three are worried because he's worried. One thing (besides the Valium, which does help) that helps is that every day when I go to work I turn on the classical music channel on the television. The dogs now associate those playlists with sleeping in their kennels so it helps relax them when they're under stress.

    They're so habituated by this point that if I just turn on that channel, they head for their crates.

    Obviously that won't do much for you this year, but thought I'd offer it for next year along with my sympathies.

    P.S. Two of my cats are oblivious and the third crawls into my lap a shivering wreck. Funny how different they can be!

  •  My plan for the 4th (0+ / 0-)

    Doggie Valium.  Got 'em from the vet today.

    All doors & windows shut tight with the AC on.

    Crank up the sound on the tv in the bedroom and stay in there.

    Plenty of fresh water for the dogs in our master bath.

    A couple of blankets off our bed on the floor of the shower for Josie to nest in when she hides.

    Hopefully this will go relatively smoothly.

    Thank you all again for the great suggestions and wishes.  Stay safe.

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