Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy July 4th! Now, Go Get the Pets Indoors, Please!

I saw this picture on the Facebook Feed yesterday.  It was posted by my Godmother, and good friend, Kathie.   She is much more aware of Animal Issues and Animal Rights than I am, and I'm quite in awe of some of her activities.

But the picture passed and I went on with my life.

I thought I had forgotten about it and went on my life, that is.

Things were fine until after dinner.  The traffic died down after the rush hour and all was quiet for my Simpsons Reruns, and the other oddball shows we ran last night.  On comes the Dog Whisperer and I didn't think much about the noises until the one dog came on that was much more shut down than Our Own Rack was. 

You see noises are a trigger for fearful dogs and they make them want to run and hide.

The dog on TV lived in Temecula California, and apparently that's a big Hot Air Balloon area.  Beautiful rainbow blobs of fabric floating gently in the air until ...

WHOOSH!  The flames go on and give it a boost to get over the rise and into the thermals.

They went on talking about Thunderstorms, which Rack seems to be fine with, and other triggers.

All a part of where you live.   This particular dog dug a hole THROUGH the cyclone fence in the back yard and ran into the front yard so it could scratch at the front door.

I looked over at my own Rack and noticed he was gone and hiding in the crate.

We hadn't noticed but the neighbors were setting off firecrackers down the block.   Rack Did.

The rest of the night we noticed that he was hiding until the dog walk before bed. 

Rack's mood was subdued as we met up with The Girls, sister Samoyeds who he will leap five feet in the air to see out of sheer delight.   He only jumped a little bit as there were mortars in Fort Lauderdale a couple blocks away shooting fireworks into the skies.  None of the dogs were in their right mood last night.

Since today is the Fourth, there will be more fireworks.   I will try to treat Rack like I did Lettie - turn Storm Time Into Play Time by giving him a chance to play with his toys, and hopefully redirect that energy, but when it turns dark, I am sure he's just going to want to hide.

I love fireworks, but for many dogs and cats, they are a trauma.  They will escape to perceived safety whichever way they know how.  Don't leave them outdoors tonight if you are in one of those areas with neighbors, friends, and family shooting off the Rocket's Red Glare in celebration.  Bring them in and let them hide under the bed or in the crate.  You'll have a better time of it in the end.

One dog training Helpful Hint.  If you pet your dog and coo at them while a fireworks display has them freaking out, you are not helping them.  Allow them to calm down before you pet them because that will associate your petting and acts of kindness with the noises and freaking out - it's not completely productive.  Try to let them work it out on their own when they're in a fearful mood.  Remember this "thing" is not something they can understand fully, so the reaction makes sense to your furry friend even if it doesn't to you.

Oh and don't forget your outdoor cats as well.  You may not see them again either.

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