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Fireworks And Greyhounds (Other Breeds Too), Cats and Wild Creatures, Do Not Go Well Together.

July 3, 2009

I am dreading July 4th. I feel for all the young children, the domestic and wild critters that will be scared out of their wits for the few hours of raucous human reveling.

For the past two weeks someone in our neighborhood has let off a lone fire cracker in the middle of the night. This distant “popping” sound has induced our greyhound Gracie to leap up off her cushy dog mattress in our bedroom and make a dash for the dark, windowless safety of the walk-in closet, the door of which now remains open for just this purpose.

Thunderstorms in the Midwest elicited what looks like the same, “I got to get out of here fast,” response from this lanky, elegant beast as she fled whatever room she was inhabiting – even though she was around her favorite humans – in order to get to a place without windows. As dogs go she’s a pretty smart one, knows when I tell her to check out her water or food bowl for fresh “additions,” she’ll go to the specific one mentioned. (And it’s worked dozens of times.)

I have a slightly different response to pyrotechnics in that they don’t do that much for me. Mostly there are similar looking explosions year after year which elicit the same obligatory “oohs and aaahs.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a cynic, I just feel for all those creatures, human and animal, who are scared to death. The best part of all of the “hoopla,” is being with family and friends, often huddling close together for the same “best” view.

I remember the first time I went to a July 4th celebration quite a few years ago at the small park in the town I was living in in Wisconsin. Friends were gathered close to the band shelter in an area that was completely ringed by very tall trees. Blankets were strewn around every square inch of grass and many folk were already lying on them. Where on earth would the fireworks be and how the heck would one be able to see them? I discovered that the fireworks were lit on the baseball diamond behind the trees and the reason everyone was lying on their backs was to enjoy the boom, bang, wow as they soared above the trees. It was fantastic! What fun it was to be stretched out on a hot July evening with no-one’s head or body in one’s line of sight.

I think I’ll get to see very little of the celebrations this year, as I’m going to stay fairly  close to Gracie and sooth her each time there’s an “explosion.” After all as intelligent as she is, she has no clue as to why us humans resort to such horrendous noisy behavior, far too often as far as she is concerned.

So have a great and safe 4th of July! And please remember “those” who might not be enjoying it quite as much as you.


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