Monday, 5 November 2007


While I love fireworks, since having animals I view the whole experience differently.

To start with, people have been setting off random rockets for the past two weeks now, and that’s fine as long as they don’t do it too close to us – one landed on our doorstep the other night, and the animals hate it.

Bussie sits on his favourite chair with his eyes tight shut, facing away from the window (even though we have to close the curtains to keep the noise and light out).

Mollie, being two and a half, has only just become frightened of fireworks. Apparently puppies live in their own little happy bubble and don’t tend to be frightened of loud noises – it’s something they learn as they grow up.

Each time a firework goes off, Mollie cowers in the corner and shakes for the next hour. This, the terrier who isn’t afraid of anything. It’s horrible to watch, as my instinct is to comfort her, but that is the wrong thing to do apparently, as you encourage the fear.

According to our vet, you should shut all windows and close the curtains. Turn the TV or music up reasonably loud. Have a selection of toys for them to play with (though poor Moll is too frightened to be distracted). Feed them a carbohydrate rich meal beforehand – pasta or mashed potatoes are both good.

If you’re organised you can get a plug in defuser which apparently helps calm the atmosphere, and there are even CDs which will help animals get used to the loud noises but obviously that has to be done weeks in advance.

So please enjoy your fireworks – and enjoy them for me as I won’t be able to look out and see them. I shall be sitting inside with a glass of wine and the TV up loud, or singing in an effort to distract my poor animals.

You can imagine their reaction – oh Mum, shut up, please……


Aoj & The Lurchers said...

LI hate the damn things...Lurcher No.2 is absolutely terrified of them and altough he's much better than he was, I still have to get medication from the vets for him - the doggy equivalent of Prozac, they work a treat and he stays reasonably calm unless they are right overhead.

Another thing to do is to create a safe place - I have a throw over the dining table which falls down to the floor and he has a bed in there. I also created something similar behing the sofa.

You can also try Rescue Remedy and Serene-UM which help with the stress. Someone on Greyhound Gap, out of desperations, tried some earmuffs on her greyhound and apparently they worked a treat!

Em said...

Mollie's fine with fireworks, thank goodness - yesterday she was so exhausted after her class that she slept through them. Sammy cat gets a bit worried if they go off too close, but a quick cuddle soon calms his nerves. When he was small I used to have to hide him under my duvet. Now (aged 13 1/2) he just hides behind an armchair or clings to my knees...

Rebecca Taunton said...

Poor animals. There were quite a few fireworks last night and there'll be a few more tonight, I expect. I do hope the animals fare better this evening.

The fireworks at Flushing were pretty cool, but I think they should stay as part of an organised event and not be sold to just anybody.

We heard some close fireworks the other night, I didn't realise they were that close!

Flowerpot said...

AOJ - useful stuff, thanks. Moll often crawls under the bed where she obviuosly feels safe but she seems to prefer to be with us. Rescue Remedy sounds a good idea.

Em - glad both Mollies enjoyed their agility sessions and glad that your Moll isn't freaked out. Poor old Sammy though. Give him a stroke from me.

Flowerpot said...

I didnt see the Flushing ones RT - I do like seeing them but I suppose I could creep out onto teh front doorstep and have a look. there's a big display at the rugby ground tonight I think.

laurie said...

riley is terrified of fireworks, too.

there are a couple of things that help a little, but nothing helps very much:

a 3-mg melatonin tablet helps calm him down.

"rescue remedy" massaged behind the ears is supposed to help, though frankly i've never noticed any difference.

mostly he just hides in the bathroom and shakes.


Lane said...

One of ours couldn't give a monkey's and the other is a shaking wreck. Like 'oaj' I put a blanket over a coffee table and she goes under there until they've finished. Trouble is, they are so sporadic and spread over so many days, that she finds it hard to settle. Have you also noticed how they are getting louder. The bomb ones are phenomenal.
Hope yours get through tonight untraumatised:-)

Flowerpot said...

laurie - oh poor Riley, shaking in the bathroom. Next year I think I'll try one of those CDs and see if that helps.

lane - yes, we've had fireworks spread over weeks now and you never know where they will come from. I only hope people will go to one of the several large displays put on specially in town - away from us! Will be thinking of you and yours tonight!

Ellee Seymour said...

Actually Flowerpot, how many young people know the true story behind Bonfire Night, of Guy Fawkes and his fellow plotters - or terrorists as we would call them today.

I understand your concerns about animal safety, we have a pet rabbit and have been ensuring that he is tucked away safe in his hutch each night.

I shall be like you, putting my feet up with a glass of plonk in front of the fire and watching Dragon's Den tonight. I enjoyed a family firework party on Saturday at my sister's house.

Flowerpot said...

ellee - I don't suppose any of today's youngsters know about Guy Fawkes - or very few anyway. Shame really. I hope your rabbit doesn't freak out and you enjoy your evening in. For me it's Doc Martin night!

Mopsa said...

I hate them too - Mopsa is terrified, and always has been. The sheep career round the field and accidents are entirely possible. I almost had a fit when I saw Waitrose were selling fireworks by the luxurious boxful.

Kerrio said...

The sacre the willies out of me.

The dogs? Not bothered. (Apart from Meg who gets on the sofa for a cuddle when the bangs go off). Wierd huh?

Akelamalu said...

Call me an old fuddy duddy but I think fireworks should be confined to organised displays. This would mean there would be no tragic accidents and less chance of a rocket landing on your doorstep. When our lovely Guinness was alive he was terrified of the noise and I was thankful when his hearing got so bad he couldn't hear them anymore.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I was wondering how Jake would react to the fireworks. There was a bit of whimpering, but mostly he was OK, which was good since next door aimed all their rockets toward OUR house. the vet advertised something for animals that get really nervous on Bonfire Night. Can't remember what it's called.

LittleBrownDog said...

That's interesting - I had no idea fear was something they learned as they got older. There was I thinking, no need to worry about Brown Dog, he's fine - and he's not yet two, so who knows? One of the good things about living in the middle of nowhere is that the firework season is thankfully brief.

Flowerpot said...

Mopsa - poor thing and poor sheep. Why can't people stick to organised displays? Walking Moll this morning the ground is littered with discarded fireworks.

kerrio - sorry you hate them - perhaps the dogs can comfort you?!

Ak - I couldn't agree more!

Flowerpot said...

wakeup - there are various remedies you can use for dogs that get frightened, but as Jake is only little, he shouldn't get frightened for a while - another 2 years in Mollie's case!

LBD - yes, that thing about them learning fear was new to me also. Glad you got away lightly.