July 4th: Lesson Learned

Latke happily enjoying her marrow bone.

Three years ago, on our first July 4th with Babka, we left her safely at home with some treats and the TV on while we went out to dinner and to see the fireworks. We went out. We came home. Babka was happy to see us, and she was not bothered in any way by the fireworks.

Babka generally sleeps through fireworks.
Babka generally sleeps through fireworks.

I’ve read the articles, and studied the statistics – more dogs run away on July 4th than any other day of the year, and I can only assume more shoes are chewed than on any other day of the year. I don’t worry about them running away, as neither Babka nor Latke has mastered unlocking the door.

This was the first July 4th Latke was with us, and I had no reason to believe she would be anything other than fine. After all, she is in a state of near-constant tail wagging, gleeful licking and contented cuddling. Plus, nothing bothers her. She likes all people, most dogs, and is not fazed by thunder storms, knocks on the door, or the clanging of a dropped baking pan while she is snoozing.

With an abundance of caution, we wanted to make sure both pups were tired, so they would simply sleep through our annual outing. For several hours in the afternoon they each gnawed intently on a marrow bone, slurping, chomping and savoring the treat. That evening we realized it worked. They were exhausted! We could go out confidently knowing that the girls would nap away the evening.

Fireworks… Beautiful to us, unimpressive to Babka, terrifying to Latke.

Upon our return home, around 10:30 PM, Babka came to greet us, jumping and licking and generally pleased to see us. Latke, on the other hand, was not so happy. She had been introduced to fireworks, and she was not a fan. She spent the evening huddled upstairs with her sister, demanding to know what she did to deserve this, and wondered if the hideous banging noises would ever stop.

We assured her that the deafening cracks would stop eventually, and she would once again be able to go outside to her favorite bathroom spots. I am not sure she believed us until seeing for herself the next day.

Latke, though she was terrified and a bit angry that her servants would subject her to such horrifying sounds while they went out with friends, soon realized that her evening had a happy ending. She got to sleep in bed, with the humans, all night. She woke up refreshed, forgetting all about the trauma of the night before.

Next year, we will stay home and protect the dogs from the evils of the outside world. And I will buy a Thundershirt. (Do they work? If you have experience with Thundershirts, or freaked out dogs, feel free to share your advice in the comments below!)



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