West Fargo residents love their fireworks. They especially love things that go “boom!” Hence, the couple of weeks before and after July 4th are filled with lots of loud noises that can be heard far and wide. That is all well and fine for most folks – most folks love fireworks. I personally don’t love the noise, but I love the big firework displays that you see pyrotechnic folks put on. I love the colors and the artistry of fireworks (go figure).
Alas, over the last six years my joy of fireworks has diminished substantially. The source of that diminished firework joy is simple – Cooper. Cooper, the big orange dog who would happily bark unabated for days if allowed, is deathly afraid of loud noises. He becomes frantic when he hears booms from thunder or fireworks and is reduced to an anxious, whimpering puddle.
I have tried different things to help Cooper get through the weeks of fireworks. I have played loud music and tried to create other sound barriers. That technique is only successful until the big booms come out. I have tried the Thunder Shirt - that only results in a better-dressed frantic dog. I have tried distraction via the big rib-eye bones he likes – epic fail. I have tried exhaustion – trying to tire him out before evening time (when the big booms are most prevalent) - I learned fear overrides exhaustion. I have tried desensitizing him to the sounds – another epic fail. I have tried everything short of tranquilizers that I have run across as a suggestion.
Nothing has alleviated the problem. Cooper continues to be a hot mess where loud booms are concerned. As such, while others are looking forward to Independence Day, I am dreading the dependence weeks. I especially dread the five or so days before and after July 4th as those days not only are rife with loud booms, but additionally the booms tend to go far past the midnight hour. That situation makes for a stressed dog and a stressed and tired owner…and the combination is not a pretty one folks.
I hear that there are other folks who likewise suffer as their pets suffer. I feel their pain. I think we should perhaps start a therapy group where we can come with our pets to talk about the shared challenges we face. I can envision it - we can arrange our chairs in a circle with our pets sitting in front of us (just like all the group therapy sessions you see on television). There can be a collection of pet treats at the ready, and for the owners lots of snacks and wine – lots of wine; and yes, there will also be whining – lots of whining - from the human contingent.
The group therapy meeting sounds oddly appealing to me I must say…of course, I am already about 10 days into the dependence weeks and wine and whining are about the only remedy I have at this point.
Day one thousand and ninety-one of the new forty – obla di obla da