Tuesday October 15th, 2019 3:42PM

The beasts take on Independence Day

By Alyson Shields Reporter

There’s nothing like some pure Americana activity on the July 4th holiday. I’m pretty sure fireworks have become required for this holiday. While the sparkly fire booms can be pretty and magical, they can also be misery-inducing, especially for combat veterans or a pet that thinks the apocalypse is finally dawning.

We covered some pet safety tips earlier this week on AccessWDUN, check them out here and check out Smidgey’s AccessWDUN debut. Last year we had a very successful first Independence Day for Smidge. Keep in mind that the Chihuahua is visually impaired (not fully blind but definitely visually-challenged) and both she and the cat have standy-uppy ears. Meanwhile, the family dogs, Sparkle and Zoe, are marshmallows with folded ears and also have a lot of hair to dampen sound.

My big secret (I guess) was that I just tried to recreate a spa-like experience, but for animals. All of the dogs are crate trained, so we oriented the crates so they felt close to each other, and therefore not alone, in my bedroom. The delicious scent of yesterday’s running gear wafted from the laundry basket to Sparkle and Zoe’s crate, giving them a full aromatherapy experience and assuring them that Girl is with them. Smidge cares more for plush textiles, so her fleece pillow and blanket make a cozy den filled with one or two of her favorite toys. All the dogs get fresh water in their bowls and little treats stashed in nooks and crannies of their crates. The blinds are closed and curtains are drawn, the bedside light is on and the radio is set on a frequency that won’t be broadcasting any fireworks shows.

I religiously close and lock my bedroom door at night, ever since I saw the video of what happens in a house fire if you sleep with the door open and also I am still afraid of monsters. So Cairo’s amenities are always prepared for any kind of lock up. He sleeps on my bed, usually on the pajamas I haphazardly discarded that morning. I hide a few treats for him in the covers and ensure his bowl is fresh with Hall County’s finest tap water.

While I enjoy dressing up my babies for any holiday, everyone is naked in their crates to avoid any tangles. However, collars are on and microchips were checked in advance for accurate contact information. Everyone was fed and walked during daylight a.k.a. non-fireworks hours, so they are ready to rest.

Sparkle, Zoe and Cairo are all old pros when it comes to fireworks, but I was impressed that Bat Ears McGee seemed alright with the loud go-booms. Even more so, when we returned from our outing and took the beasts outside on leashes, they were mostly unfazed by the neighborhood kids lighting few Roman Candles in the community center parking lot.

The little beasts slept peacefully that night, even with an occasional pop or boom. I, however, was jacked up on a ballpark souvenir-sized Coca-Cola and had the early bird shift the next day. Unfortunately, I have no advice for that Independence Day celebration conundrum, except either get a shift change or don’t have any fun.

  • Associated Tags: fireworks, Independence Day, Reigning Cats and Dogs
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