Dear Lola,

Independence Day is upon us once again and I am gearing up for a long night with my terrified dog as fireworks are detonated all around us. We’ve tried the anxiety medicine, even a light sedative, and neither worked well. They did leave us with a few surprises on the carpets! I’ve also used the special shirt for dog anxiety and it seemed to help but not nearly enough. My dog continues to pant and whine all night long and I hate seeing him like this. What special tips and tricks do you use to help with the booms echoing across the dark sky?


Fear of Fireworks

Dear Fear of Fireworks,

The dreaded day of explosions is indeed upon us once again. Humans seem to equate freedom and happiness with the sound of explosions and great big bursts of light across the night sky. To every other species on the planet this celebration looks more like an invasion, but I’m guessing it’s just a throwback to their innate need to play with fire.

Perhaps the humans secretly miss their caveman days.

While the humans risk their life and limbs to explosions, innocent pets are huddled in their homes wondering when the madness will end. Medicines can definitely help, though I must admit that I also seem to have a problem holding my bladder and bowels once those sleepy time medicines begin to work. My Mommybeast swore off them when she had to scrub a couch cushion.

Luckily I’m cute or I could have lost my couch privileges forever!

While no plan is foolproof, I have developed a few coping mechanisms that may help your cuddly canine get through the night. My favorite thing to do is lay on the couch next to one of my parents. I then proceed to jam my body into them until they cry out from pain. That’s when you know you have achieved maximum closeness to your human. The next phase is what I call the Shakespeare. I tremble gently and add in a few large shudders, causing my human to wrap me up in a warm blanket. They gently cover my head (not my face!) so that my ears cannot catch as much noise.

There’s something very comforting about becoming a bulldog burrito.

The next phase of my coping strategy is to turn on my favorite movie or television show and crank up the volume to help drown out the noise of the explosions outside. I do not recommend any programs that involve explosions or gunshots as these can add to the fireworks anxiety. I was foolish enough to watch a Bruce Willis movie one year and it took days for the shaking to subside. In my defense, I never before noticed that every movie he stars in involves a minimum of 100 gunshots and/or explosions in order to make it to the screen.

Musicals are usually short on explosions and big on catchy dance numbers.

My final tip is one so simple you may not have ever thought of it. Blackout curtains. Putting up a set of curtains that block the outside lights as they explode across the night sky can be extremely beneficial. My Mommybeast has sheer curtains in the living room so I typically like to hang out in the manly room where my Daddybeast enjoys more cave-like conditions for his Playstation gaming. Not only do I feel safer when cocooned in the dark room, I get the added bonus of helping him with his top score by bumping his controller as I tremble.

Can you believe he’s never thanked me even once?!


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