Fireworks, Vets and Pets

We try not to be bitter, but it gets harder every year. There are certain holidays fur-parents, vet clinics and shelters dread; probably neck on neck with Halloween, Fourth of July is one of the most stressful weekends year after year for our pets, specifically our lovable dogs, and guess what? Our veterans find it hard to celebrate, as well.

Dogs are born death, but once their sense of hearing develops after three weeks, they hear noises we could possibly hear at twenty feet as far as eighty feet. Want to get nerdy? Dogs pick up ranges of frequency at about 67 – 45,000 Hz while we hear them at 64 – 23,000 Hz. Want more? Dogs have more than eighteen muscles in their ears, while we only have six.

So imagine how loud that vacuum sounds to them. Or those tools for the construction on your house. The guns from that movie blasting from your surround sound system.

Or those fireworks.

What’s more irritating is the fact that people don’t just break the law (yeah, that’s right- you’re not supposed to be setting off fireworks from your front lawn) on the Fourth of July- they set off fireworks the day before, the day of and the day after. If the Fourth is in the middle of the week? That day and the whole following weekend counts!

So for three days, we watch our pets try to cram themselves under the couch or into a corner, shaking and cowering.

For three days, vet clinics take in pets with anxiety and stress, or worse- burns from the fireworks the kids were playing with.

For three days, shelters reach high numbers in their kennels from pets bolting out into the streets trying to escape the noise, or strays coming out from their hiding in terror from the explosions they hear.

And this year I’ve learned from new friendships that they aren’t the only ones that fear those noises; our brave veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder suffer painfully, as well. It’s not just the worry they’ll react violently in a confused daze thinking they are back in war, but they could remember a death of a comrade at those sounds. Painful, vivid memories.

But did you know post-traumatic stress disorder could even affect your twenty-three year old neighbor going to college? Not just veterans. It can be anyone.

Let the professionals and few parks put on the celebration. Help our furry ones and brave neighbors get through this.

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