Thursday, July 05, 2007


For our dog, Shasta, the 4th of July has traditionally been the worst night of the year. This is because she is simply terrified of fireworks. In the past we have tried many things including covering her ears, "sedating " her with herbal remedies, crating her in an underground garage where we were certain she was out of earshot and most drastically, taking her to a town so far up in the Eastern Sierra that fireworks were not allowed due to fire danger. The former three attempted remedies did nothing to reduce her full-body tremors of fear. The latter did no good either since there are teenagers wherever you go and those teenagers always seem to manage to get their hands on some lady fingers (the fireworks, not the desserts). I have to say that that trip to the Eastern Sierras was amazing in every other way.

In any case, as we prepared ourselves and our dog for this year's 4th of July festivities, we took extra care and, for lack of any better ideas for calming our dog, decided to spend the evening at home (although we had tried this in the past with no obviously positive results). We started the day with a visit to West Coast Grandma and Grandpa and found it hard to leave as we saw the barges rolling into place for what was sure to be a spectacular show. Rather than stay and enjoy the show, we drove home under a beautiful sunset and enjoyed some incredible aerial displays from what surely must have been backyard fireworks. (Where and how so many people came upon such impressive ammunition I don't know and don't want to know.)

We arrived home just before 9:00 and the neighborhood (along with every other neighborhood) was in high gear with booms and whistles. Shasta started to shake. We brought her in the house and that didn't help. We turned on some music and voila! We witnessed something we have never before seen on July 4: Shasta put her head down and chilled out. Awesome.

p.s. The music that soothed our trembling "beast" is not what you think - we weren't playing Mozart or Bach. Apparently, our little princess has a predilection for RUSH.


M3 said...

Aw, the sweetie has some dang good taste. Did she like "Tom Sawyer"? One of my faves... (Yes I'm an 80s girl)

R... said...

She started calming down to "Closer to the Heart", understandably, but remained calm throughout old and new tracks - "Working Man", "Tom Sawyer", "Far Cry" - you name it. If it was RUSH, she was happy.

Long live the 80's! :-)

shelley said...

We knew she was a SMART dog, now we know she has wonderful judgement. RUSH was my first concert when I moved away to college...their music seemed to soothe me as well, made me feel like I was at home in my bedroom again. So glad you found a way to ease her fear.