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It’s that time of year when we’re mentally and emotionally preparing ourselves for what most of us consider dog’s-least-favorite-days. All any of us want is for our dogs to feel safe, yet they don’t understand the loud booms and crackles as we attempt to help them before fireworks and comfort them during what many of us likely loved as children. 

My brother Chris told me he could never enjoy fireworks again after seeing how it affected Gavin when we lived with him. My sweet boy’s medications weren’t enough that year for us to be smack-dab in the middle of three city-level celebrations.

Mabel’s been enjoying several more treats as I counter condition (thanks, Lizzy!), scary neighbor vacuum sounds at ridiculously early hours, hourly church bells, and delivery truck after delivery truck on our street. And I see Mabel relaxing, more at ease at home every day. She even slept on the dog bed at the end of my bed last night instead of in a ball on the pillow next to me, breathing on my neck all night.   

So far, thunderstorms don’t seem to phase Mabel, and she only perked her head up briefly at the sound of Juneteenth fireworks. However, like you, I still plan to get all my sweet dog’s exercise in early and hunker down with her during our city’s fireworks (which they advertised as dog-friendly. gasp.)  

I want Mabel to continue to know she can count on me, and I’ll do everything I can to help make her life easy and enjoyable. We’ve had no more growling incidents, but I’ve been proactive and mindfully, not fearfully, watching her body language as she blossoms and learns to trust that she’s secure and safe.

I wish you and your dog(s) the same sense of surety this holiday. I genuinely hope blaring celebrations are easy for you and your crew. I hope your post-fireworks days are quiet while your dog(s) decompress. And I hope they feel you protecting them with every blast and burst we all dread enduring. 

Be safe and well.