We are relatively new dog owners. Our yellow lab (almost white, she is so light) turned two years old the last week of June. We got her when she was a puppy, at eight weeks of age. Last year, we were at our cabin when new neighbors set off a large display of fireworks. Molly, our lab, trembled and shook visibly with her dark eyes as wide as they could be! We had another family with us and she was consoled fairly easily. The fireworks only lasted a short time – maybe, 30 minutes tops.
We forget. Molly goes on to live a happy, well adjusted dog-life, responding well to training classes, mini-boot camp, and lots of loving. In short, we cannot imagine our lives without her.
Fast forward to this weekend. We planned a week at our cabin, staying through the fourth of July. Late in the week, before the holiday, my husband ran into our neighbor. They have three dogs. She told him that they were planning fireworks for Saturday this year, instead of right on the Fourth of July. When asked if they had the amount of explosives they had last year, she said, no. But, did admit to some mortars.
We were warned.
Saturday afternoon I was sitting on our dock enjoying the peacefulness of the lake. My husband was doing yard work and Molly – our lab – was wandering in between us at will. Suddenly there was a great boom! A mortar! The dog immediately ran to me for safety! It was soooo very loud; I know I jumped! My husband was more puzzled. it was 3 in the afternoon!
The rest of the afternoon was relatively quiet. There was a lot of activity on the lake as you would expect – boating, fishing, tubing, loud music playing – not ours. But, around 10 p.m. it started!
BANG, BOOM, CRACK! Fireworks at our neighbors.
Immediately, Molly jumped up on a chair where our son, Matt was sitting. She started to quake, although not as badly as last year. But, after another few loud bangs she was on our guest’s lap and starting to pant. Then, she’d get down and pace. Back and forth, panting heavily.
After 45 minutes, with intermittent bangs continuing, we all went to bed. Molly was not ready to go outside to go to the bathroom for the last time of the day with all the commotion and noise from next door. So, we took her into our bedroom and shut the door. Soon, I invited her onto the bed. She has never, ever, been on any of our beds at home or the cabin. But, I could see she was distraught.
BANG, CRACK, BOOM! It continued…. It sounded very close (because it was) and there were a few more mortars shot off.
She got on the bed and made sure she was touching either my husband or myself. Molly was panting harder than I’ve ever seen her. Fear was visible in her deep brown eyes. After an hour and a half, it stopped.
Molly was able to go outside with my husband (on a leash) to do her nighttime duty. She then went into her kennel and fell fast a sleep!
We weathered another July Fourth Fireworks storm. And, the fear has retreated until next year.
Maybe, we’ll make different plans.