July 3rd 2021
A message to dog and cat lovers and lovers of animalKind in general. With the 4th of July, fireworks are all ready going off all across this great land, and a lot of pet owners are freaking out not knowing what to do with pets who go crazy when fireworks are exploding around the neighborhood. I will share with you an experience I had from working 3600 hours leashed to a highly trained German Shepherd. I was a skilled Sentry Dog Handler with the Security Police at Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam. We work the night, sundown to sunup. Every night! At least a couple times a week, after dark mechanics working on engines for our F-4's would run the engines up to full military power, hold it there for several minutes, then, shut-down! Dead silent. For those few minutes that engine was at full blast, your brain is reduced to jello. It was the perfect time for Sir Charles to attack, which never happened. They might have to run the engine up several times within, say an hour. The sound is like nothing ever heard, and it hurt my ears with excruciating pain. No ear protection for the handlers and less protector for our sensitive K-9's hearing. So what to do? My dog Junior never complained, he just stood their and took it. My first reaction to the high volume noise was to cover my ears. But their I was looking into the face of Junior, and reasoned his ears are more important than mind, so, from that point forward I covered his ears. Here is a visual to help you get through 'what to do' when your dog goes shit-faced during holiday firecrackers. In Vietnam we handlers utilized dog food buckets to carry extra gear in, and to set on. Kept us off the ground and out of the mud during monsoon. When it rained, Junior would be at my side and we shared the same poncho. When the mechanics would run up those engines, Junior would stand next to me, rest his head on my knees and that's when I would fold his ear over, gently push them as deep as you could go, and held on until the noise stopped. It became automatic, even when walking the post, patrolling, as soon as they fired those engines up, I would go down on one-knee the dog would rest his jaws on my knees and I folded his ears over and cupped those ears while both hands held his head, covering the ears. Holding the dogs head, covering the ears was serious stress reducer. And it helped. I have major hearing difficulties as a result and I am compensated for it. So hear is my suggestion on how to consul your pets. Hold your dog and cover the ears. Hold on, keep the human touch constant and soothing, always talking to your animal. Let all your energy be calming, softly but confidently. If you the handler is in control and calm, your pet will pick up on that energy and will be more relaxed. Again, fold down the ears into the ear canal, hold on gently. Show your confidence and love up the dog or cat and they will begin to feel safe. It's important that animals feel secure. It's not good to leave a scared animal in a corner shaking in fear. Hold-em. During firework season be on guard the noise is most painful to super sensitive hearing. Train them to come to you when the first fireworks goes off. Lightning is another event which terrify animals. Your pet in a short amount of time, will become accustomed to being held and comforted by a loving master during these stressful times. These animals may even get over being afraid of fireworks and lighting as long as a human shows 'it's OK' kind-of-love! Just hold them! May you and your pets have a calm 4th of July. Jimmie Moore, moorek9.com.