Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy July 4th to Everybody!

Dogmom has to post today, 'cuz we're kinda freaked out by the loud noises the last few nights...

Hi all! Thanks for clicking and commenting and posting the DogsAyeView 10K and spreading the word! This is the most fun I've had spending money in a long time! I know it's only July 3rd, but I wanted to post July 4th greetings before I "forget."

A few years ago, I was out of town during the July 4th week. I had a terrific dogwalker who came and took care of the boyz (Hi Jennifer at the Pet Crew!), and she even came early July 4th so they got their walk in before the fireworks started. Now, before this particular July 4th, Gomer and Opie would sit on the balcony of our apartment in Minnesota, or in the yard at my house in AZ, and watch the fireworks with me. We ooh'd and ah'd at the lights and the whistles and even the pops and booms didn't bother them.

But then, this one day, while Jennifer was walking them... some teenagers decided it would be funny to throw some firecrackers at Opie when he walked by. They detonated right underneath him; needless to say, they completely startled and freaked him out. Jennifer consoled him and took him back home, giving extra hugs and kisses and attention. But the damage was done.

Each year since, Opie is completely freaked by the sound of fireworks, or clashes of thunder, or the sounds of the highway pylons being pounded into the ground behind our house. If you've ever seen the movie "Because of Winn Dixie" ... and you can picture the dog's pathological fear of thunderstorms scene running back and forth in the trailer ... you have a good idea of Opie's reaction.

I've tried various desensitization techniques, to no avail. Opie's a smart one and he seems to interpret the extra attention as reason to be even more afraid. He has gotten better about repetative noises... like bumbly-rumbly thunder... but not for loud, sudden noises ... which, of course, are harder to predict! Cars backfiring... firecrackers... loud crashes of thunder... dropping a pan on the kitchen floor... all set him off in a tizzy.

So, I've now turned to medicating him around the 4th of July. He takes 1/2 milligram of alprazolam (brand name in the US is Xanax). It seems to be helping, if only from the standpoint that he's more apt to watch me and "hear" my attempts at soothing him.

Of course, he still prefers to run upstairs and sit in the bathtub with the curtain closed ... until all sounds have stopped.

Wuf Ya!


Peanut said...

poor Opie. Flash is afraid of Thunder but not the other stuff. At least he has good drugs and you to help him.

Kerri said...

Poor Opie, I somehow doubt you'll ever get past that one (though I'd be delighted to be proven wrong!).

Fireworks should not be publically available.

Snogs from the dogs


Katherine and Pippa, said...

Hi Gomer and Opie

I have been away for the weekend because it was feria here and I don't like noise either.

I hope your tail is better Opie.

Do we need to do anything else to lighten dogmom's purse?


Butchy & Snickers said...

Hey Opie,
You're not alone pal, I Butchy came to my new home afraid of thunder & lightning. I don't mind gun shot or anything like that, but lots of thunder or lightning I absolutely hate! I too have the medicine that you are trying now. Mama says I'm much better about the storms. The medicine seems to help calm you so that the noises don't bother you as much. We sure hope you get better about the noises after taking the drug several times. Maybe you can wear ear plugs tomorrow night, hehehehehe!
Luv & Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Oscar Airedale said...

Oh Opie, you poor thing, why do people have to be such idiots, grr,

Oscar x

PerfectTosca said...

wish I could find and bite those rotten little kids.

gomer and opie said...

Thanks, everydoggie!
I got my pjs that dogmom ordered from Butchy and snickers'mom ... So dogmom has been letting me wear them when it's not scary and then when I start to get scared she asks if I need my pjs. They make it better but I still like to hide in the bathtub wearing my pjs. It makes dogmom laugh.
Wuf ya!- Opie

Butchy & Snickers said...

Hey Opie,
Did your pj's show up today?? Please send us some pics so we can put you on the bubbleshare. We hope you like them. Do they fit well?? Mama thought she would start putting my pj's on too when it storms to see if it helps cause I like wearing them.
We clicked the purple box again, tee hee!
Luv & Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers (I Snickers am not afraid of anything, hehehehe!)


When I hear fireworks, I hide in my kennel or stand at rigid attention on the couch. Deacon is not sure how he'll react because this is his first Fourth of July. Keep up the good work with the 10K. Well, it is time to push your purple button. - Essex & Deacon

Johann The Dog said...

That is so mean what they did to Opie! Kids - they drive me crazy! No offense anyone. But when I was little I used to like kids. Then one day they decided to circle me and bend over me - well, being a herding breed I didn't take well to that. Now I can't take kids at all! And Mum has tried and tried to get me over it.

Luckily no one in our house is afraid fireworks - and we're working to keep it that way.

Be safe you guys!!!

Sitka and Tia's BLAWG! said...

Oh shame on those kids for throwing firecrackers at Opie. That is just not right.

I don't like thunder or fireworks either! Ha roo! I like to get in the bathtub too! Either that or under the bed.


TAPhillips said...

Yipee! So far so good! Only 12 more hours to go!