Mia hates this time of the year. Not that she is aware of what is to come, and for that we are grateful. Imagine if she had the comprehension that fireworks were coming, she would be a nervous wreck waiting for them to start. She hates fireworks (and thunder, loud bangs and we have now added Typhoon afterburners to the list, but that is for another blog). She can always hear them well before we can (obviously) and will retreat to 1 of her 2 “safe” spots. The first is her usual spot on the couch where she will curl into the tiniest ball and shake violently until the fireworks have finished. Her other “safe” spot is llay in the dark at the top of the landing (again, curled into a tiny ball). Our landing has no windows and runs along the side of the house where we are attached to our neighbours property, and so this is the quietest and darkest part of the house for her. We ensure bedroom doors are all closed and we place a radio on so that there is some sort of noise other than the fireworks. She always has her favourite toy placed next to her, we use an effective homemade “thunder wrap” which helps but does not cure and her blanket is moved to whichever spot she has chosen. But other that, we are unable to do much more other than wait it out and watch our gorgeous girl shiver and shake.
Don’t get me wrong, I personally like fireworks and I also fully understand the meaning behind Guy Fawkes night, something which is definitely disappearing as most seem to refer to it as “fireworks night” or “bonfire night”. But I have to see Mia petrified and confused, lasting anything from a few minutes to displays happening all over our area for most of the night and so for that reason I also detest fireworks.
I am not of the opinion that we should ban these displays, which symbolise a pretty major incident/near miss in British history. But, what I would campaign for is only approved and licensed displays to take place. No fireworks should be available to the public. That way, I would know that this weekend there would only be 1 firework display within hearing distance of Mia. I would know what time it would start and when it would be over by. That way I would know when it would be safe for her to go out into the garden and I would be able to ensure there is “white noise” to distract her. It could also mean that these “events” would have to apply for licences through the local council, whom could in turn create a list of local events, so that local pet owners (it is not just dogs that are affected – horses, rabbits, cats and local wildlife etc) could check the lists and know what would be going ahead in their area and at what time.
I know that tonight we will have the big organised village event on our local fields which is approximately 1 mile away, but I know what time it will be and within 20 minutes it is all over. However, I can also list 5 neighbours who will all set off fireworks this evening, all within yards of our house and they will all be a different times, so from approximately 6pm this evening until 9pm there will be fireworks going off into the night sky with no warning. Then don’t even get me started on the muppets that set fireworks off for the “fun” of it late at night or in the early hours when we are in bed asleep and a silent house makes it so much worse for Mia
We now have this uncertainty for the next 3 nights, until November 5th which is the actual day to set the damn things off in the first place. Last time I checked we don’t celebrate New Year for the 3/5 days before. We don’t celebrate Christmas with a huge meal and bucks fizz in the morning everyday from 20th December until the 25th. So why should Guy Fawkes night be any different?
So lets make a change. Don”t buy fireworks for your back garden. Go to an organised display in your local area which will be safer, more fun and usually a lot cheaper. Lets push for “quiet” fireworks, licences for organised events and hopefully we can limit or even stop millions of animals being forced to hide themselves away because they are so scared and don’t even have the understanding as to why
So I am off now to take her for a quick walk before it gets dark and the bangs, cracks and fizzes start.
Before I head out with hats and scarves for a quick walk – kudos to Classic FM for shining a spotlight on the issue and they will be broadcasting Classic FM’s Pet Sounds from 7pm-9pm, designed to help soothe and relax our pets during what can be a traumatic couple of hours. We will be tuning in our radio on the landing for Mia and even though it will not solve her problem with fireworks it will definately help