My husband, who is not at all what I would call a dog person, nevertheless makes some uncannily good observations about dog behavior sometimes. He’s the one who, about a year ago, stated that he thinks Woody is going to be our best chance at having a non-neurotic dog. And darned if he’s not right.
Otto, who will be 10 in November, is, by and large, a content and confident dog, but he does have fears and concerns about certain things, including floors that he suspects might be slippery. He lights up at the sight of a tennis racket, because that means a game of fetching tennis balls, but runs from the room if you pick up a fly swatter, because fly-swatting . . . well, I don’t know why fly-swatting is so terrifying. He could not care less about gunshots; several of our favorite places to hike are within easy earshot (pun not intended) of a shooting range, but fireworks? Well, every single year, he gets more and more reactive to the sound of fireworks.
This year, fireworks were being set off all around town starting days before Independence Day. Every time we could hear one pop off close by, Otto would come to me and park himself by my chair, shaking and panting. For the actual holiday, I sent him to my sister’s house; she lives out of town, where fireworks are strictly illegal due to the fire hazard. He spent a very restful afternoon and night there, thank goodness.
My town actually welcomes fireworks – it’s a much safer place for them than anywhere in the outskirts, where any spark poses a huge threat of wildfire in the tinder-dry grass, tall from last spring’s record rainfall. People from outlying areas all around us come to town to light their fireworks. Every parking lot in town, I swear, was sparkling and crackling all afternoon and well past midnight, when I finally fell asleep.
Woody could not care less. Not about the booming ones, the crackly ones, nor the ones that sound like a missile is shrieking down toward our house. He slept through them all. Ah, that’s nice.
How did your dogs do? I’m particularly interested to hear how many of you tried the new medication Sileo on your dogs this year, and how it worked – particularly because I think I’m going to be trying it on Otto soon enough.