New Year’s Eve and 4th of July

December 31, 2016


I’m sitting in front of a fire in my den on the day before New Year’s Eve, looking back over all the posts and likes and comments that have been shared on my greyhound page. Thank you so much for reading and caring about these remarkable dogs.

My little blue greyhound, Bea, is very much on my mind. Well, I’m not sure you can call a 65 pound dog little, but when compared to my red and white, Alex, who tops out at 78 pounds, she seems little in comparison.

The reason she is particularly on my mind today is that she is one of those . . . a dog that absolutely freaks out with any kind of fireworks. That means that New Year’s Eve and July 4th are absolutely terrifying to her. She will shake so hard that all four feet will come off the floor. She has occasionally lost control of her kidneys. Her eyes become dilated; she pants; she won’t eat or drink. It is heart-wrenching.

If you have a dog like this, I sympathize with you. Here are things I have found to help.

  • First and foremost, do not get uptight or nervous or panicky. They sense your feelings. Give them your strength. Give them your calm. Let them know that you are the leader; that you are not freaked out. No, this will not solve their problem, but it absolutely helps them . . . and you.
  • Be sure they are fed, hydrated and have had lots of body elimination time during the day. They will not want food or water during the noise, and they won’t want to go out. If they do go out, be sure they can’t bolt.
  • If they eliminate in the house, stay calm. They just can’t help it. Don’t add to their stress by fussing at them.
  • Give them a very quiet cave, of some sort. I have cleaned out the bottom of a closet in a quiet room and put a dog bed with blankets in it. Bea will go into that closet and definitely feels safer there.
  • If you use noise to counteract, be sure it is calming.

I know that a lot of people use calming drops, thunder shirts, etc. My experience is that none of that has worked. If it works for you, great.

My last resort (and it should be your last resort) has been talking to my wonderful veterinarian and having him prescribe a tranquilizer for Bea. I start her on a half dose in the morning, then give her a full dose around 6 p.m. when she gets her evening meal. She is still awake and functioning with this dosage but is much more calm and can even sleep a bit during the melee. I am not a big believer in medicating, but seeing what this dog goes through, and having tried everything else, I am relieved that there is a way to help Bea deal with what is a major trama for her.

I do hope all of you have a wonderful, safe new year, filled with nature’s gift to us: amazing creatures to fill our lives. All my love to all of you.


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