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I'm a children's author. Animals are a constant source of writing material for me. They are also my heart!

July 4th is Not Maddie's Favorite Holiday

>> Saturday, July 4, 2009

Look at this face. Would you leave it home alone if you knew that it was terrified of thunder and fireworks? Not me.

Who knows what makes dogs afraid of things, but for as long as I can remember, Maddie's been afraid of anything that goes KABOOM! That noise can't be avoided on July 4th....3rd....5th.....anytime around this noisy holiday weekend.

I try not to feed into any of my animals anxieties. I act as though nothing is wrong and go about whatever I'm doing. But, if it's at all possible, I do whatever I'm doing so that Maddie knows I'm nearby.

Last night some high school friends came over. For old time's sake, we built a bomb fire in the backyard. Around midnight, it got chilly but I wasn't cold. Why? Because of course Maddie was warming my lap. We could hear fireworks in the distance, but they weren't so bad.

I wish there was something I could do to help Maddie through storms and the 4th of July celebrations. I don't really want to use medication so I just stay close after 10:00 at night. I figure it's the least I can do for her...especially right now. She seems even more vulnerable since Kelly's gone.

Happy 4th of July to all of you!


Anonymous July 4, 2009 at 11:33 AM  

I have found that what you are doing is the best thing for your pet. Comfort them, let them know that they are safe, and just ride it out with them is the best you can do. I am also not a fan of the sedatives for pets. Good luck tonight!

Rae July 4, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

I always know when a storm is approaching long before the skies get dark. I'm not sure if Piper senses it or hears far away rumbles of thunder, but once alerted he stays tucked close to my side until it passes. Like Maddie, he needs my reassurance.

I wonder what makes some dogs fearful and other dogs have a laid back attitude about kabooms?

But on the other hand, dogs may wonder why I jump out of my skin at the sight of a mouse or a scurrying critter and they are delighted at the prospect of a capture. I guess that could be a story subject and something to write about!

Ziggy Stardust July 4, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

Maddie, I am terrified of boom-booms outside. I was a nervous wreck last night and probably will be tonight. Why do those humans think it is fun to make such loud noises? It makes my tummy hurt, can't they have fun without those loud noises?

Find a place to hide.
licks and sniffs, Sasha

SquirrelQueen July 4, 2009 at 5:57 PM  

You are already doing all the right things, just make her feel safe.
Our city has all but banned fireworks inside the ciy limits. Last year no one in our neighborhood set off any at all. I will still keep Miss Cindi Lou Who inside tonight just to make sure.


Anonymous July 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

Jan, I just wrote a post in my blog about helping a pet cope with stress. Let me know if you want more info on this after you read it.

2cats July 4, 2009 at 7:04 PM  

Comfort and love is all our pets want from us. Seems to me that you are giving both.

Tweedles -- that's me July 5, 2009 at 2:25 AM  

Poor little Maddie and me too!
I hate all these bombs and kabooms going off!
It's still happening!
Mom has the fan blowing loud and the tv going hoping it difuses it some,,,,, but it doesn't.

Sandy July 5, 2009 at 9:58 AM  

Toy, a Caren-Tarrier (is that spelled right?), hated them too. The local fireworks were set off right around the corner from where my folks lived in our growing up years. The Vet years ago told my Dad to give her half a baby aspirin. Not really much of a sedative, just enough to help calm her. Since this was once a year, it's not like you're medicating your pets. It worked well for her. She was strictly an outdoor dog, so being inside with TV or fan or other white noise type things wasn't an option.

Last night as hubby and I attending our local display, I thought how stupid people were for bringing their dogs. We were right across from where they fired them off. We were close enough folks around us got particules in their hair (I had on a hat and so didn't have that problem). If we're close enough to get stuff in our hair, it had to be way way to loud for the dogs. Why bring them? I'm not a pet owner, currently (have been previously), but don't understand the pet owners who treat their pets like possessions rather than thinking about whats best for them..

Hang in there Maddie

Sandra July 5, 2009 at 11:18 AM  

I'm glad Maddie got through it OK. My two dogs don't mind, but I've had dogs that became crazed by kaboom. You feel so helpless. I'm dog sitting an old girl who gets scared, luckily it was quiet.

ocmist July 6, 2009 at 3:38 AM  

AAaarrgh! I had a nice long comment written and just as I went to post it, my computer kicked me off line! I REALLY hate that!

Mom thinks your little Maddie is really cute! Not as cute as ME, I'm sure, but still very cute.

Mom and Dad have spent the last several years at home with us, watching a favorite Christian TV station that has a lot of patriotic specials on. We live way out in the country, so we don't have any problems with Kabooms on the 4th... just the ones from the hunters during hunting season.

We came sniffing on over here from Sasha and her Mom's blog because Mom got really interested in finding out more about you. She went to that Shelfari site and signed up after reading your writing blog, and then came here after going to Twitter. Did you know that this blog doesn't show up in your profile under your blogs?

We would like to invite you to come over to Corgi Country and visit us sometime! OC

Hi, Jan. I've loved everything I've seen so far in your blogs and your profile, and hope to find out much more as I get a chance to know you. We have a lot of loves in common! Linda (OC's Mom)

Tweedles -- that's me July 7, 2009 at 11:52 PM  

Psst looky what I found on LEXI's blog- some hints and tips for helping us scarred pups- i tried to share it here

Amy Drouin at 9:41am July 4
You won't believe it, but I use the snug fitting Tshirt on my dogs during every storm and it really helps a LOT. The dogs (& wolves) natually pull towards tention, like new dogs on a leash for the first time, they pull away from it because they are affraid. If they wear a Tshirt I usually loop the bottom up into a knot on their backs so it's snug, Ruger had one on last night and he fell right to sleep almost as soon as I put it on him...try it out!

ocmist July 11, 2009 at 4:34 AM  

Amy that is really interesting. Have you ever read any of Temple Grandin's books? She is a very high functioning autistic woman and has one called Animals in Translation. She mentions in one of her books that when she was young and needed comfort, she would find a place (later built a special place) where she was sort of surrounded and hugged by pillows or something that she could control, but that would give her "emotional support."

She feels that being autistic has helped her understand the way animals think, better than the average person. Her work is fascinating to me as I worked with autistic children for many years, and will animals and she has many interesting insights. OC's Mom

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