Sunday, June 29, 2014

Unhappy Holiday

When I was a kid we lived in a small village in Central New York. On the 4th of July there was a big parade on Main Street and just about everyone in town, who wasn't marching, lined the streets to watch. Then we all had cookouts and get-togethers with friends. At night many of us drove to the lake where there was a public fireworks display. It was great fun and we all looked forward to the holiday.

When I lived in Myrtle Beach I could watch the public fireworks display from a friends apartment balcony as we sipped wine and prepared for the crush of tourists invading our sleepy city. It was fun.

When Rob and I were first married we went to the public fireworks displays, first in Pennsylvania and later in Maryland. I remember lying on the hood of the car and watching the sky. It was fun till one year in Maryland one of the rockets went astray and set the roof of a nearby building on fire. The show was stopped but we were all stuck there as emergency vehicles descended on us. The traffic jam getting out was awful. It really ruined the event for us and we haven't been back to a live fireworks display since. We do watch them on TV out in Boston Harbour.

Now however, the holiday isn't so much fun anymore. In fact, I dread it each year. Around here people shoot off fireworks in their yards and driveways and  the streets and other people's property, wherever they happen to be, with no regard to anyone else. Often the ones playing with the gun powder and fire combo are children, sometimes unsupervised, or adults who have been drinking.

The dangerous and noisy event isn't confined to the 4th, it starts about a week ahead and goes on for a week or two after. Every evening brings loud booms that startle adults, to say nothing of babies or animals.

My dogs are on edge starting with the first booms which started about three days ago around here and even after the fireworks have run out and the nights are quiet once again, it will take weeks and in Mac's case months to relax at night.

Morgan used to be terrified of the noise but with her hearing loss, she isn't quite as bad as previous years. She still picks up on the anxiety of the others and paces and whines.  Noah runs to the door barking at every boom.
Sebastian came to us on the 4th in 2012 and may have been a runaway trying to escape the noise. He runs around barking when the noise begins outside.
Mac is the worst case. She is terrified and doesn't want to go outside once it gets dark. She refuses to eat or even take a treat. She just sits close beside one of us, trembling. During the night she must dream about the scary sky and whimpers in her sleep. Last year it took us about three months to convince her it was safe to go outside after dark, and now here we are again.
I still like fireworks when done in a safe place by people who are trained and know what they're doing, though I know even then things can go wrong. But now the holiday is no longer fun and I can't look forward to it. I'm tired of hearing about your freedom to do stupid things. Why does it trump my freedom to have a safe, peaceful and enjoyable holiday?


Jeanne Pursell said...

Oh Sue! How terrible for Mac! LadyBug is the same...I absolutely dread this holiday because of the idiots with the fireworks that seem to go off the entire month of July! Hugs to you all!

scotsmad said...

Home fireworks are banned here, so we don't have to worry too much. There are occasionally some on New Years Eve, but they're not too bad.

It's so bad for dogs, but at least yours can cuddle up and feel safe. Hope Mac is better this year.

XXXOOO Bella Roxy & Dui

Mitch and Molly said...

We hear ya loud and clear, Miss Sue. There isn't a soul in our household that likes fireworks either. We honestly wish they were never invented!

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Jo's World said...

We will join your "We Hate Fireworks" party, too.There are at least 30 stands in our area dedicated to selling fire works of all sizes .Poor Stella had the same kind of experience as Sebastian years ago but she is still terrified. Years back when I had Otis and Eddie, the kid next door wouldd light firecrackers and throw them at the dogs in the back yard. It took ages to get them over that. All your posts are super great.Jo,Stella and Zkhat

Nichole Burke said...

As you know, we're right there with ya on this one..........

Marjie said...

My daughter just rescued a shelter dog. She's a Russian something-pretty-big. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to the noise of the 4th. I think they will be here, and with our 18" thick walls, there's a lot of sound insulation. I think my son's cats will be hiding under beds, afraid of the dog, so they won't be too insane with the noise. I do hope you can keep Mac calmer this year than last. It's hard to see them suffer.

SissySees said...

On cue, Gg ran outside barking at some distance noise - someone playing music with too much bass somewhere? - and so our day will go. I'll pop popcorn - which she also hates, but is used to - when the fireworks begin to go off at the shows within earshot.

I used to love to watch the big shows, but luckily, the backyard varieties are banned here.

gMarie said...

Beau hates fireworks. Really anything with a big bang. Poor Mac - I hope it doesn't take 3 months to get her feeling safe again.