Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July... I think?

Fugly Horse of the Day honored Independence Day with a post that pretty much says exactly what I think about this holiday: Happy Let's-Scare-the-Pets-to-Death Day!

Don't get me wrong, I totally appreciate what Independence Day stands for. I'm proud to be an American*, and all that. But hey, I can't help it, I think getting sh!t-faced and trying to burn down the neighborhood is a really poor way to celebrate the freedom our Founding Fathers achieved for us.

Fugly's post has some tips on how to keep your horses safe on the 4th, including putting them in a barn if possible and at the very least making sure they're not surrounded with potentially dangerous fencing. Putting Panama and the other two horses in the barn isn't entirely an option, as I think they'll handle it better if they don't feel trapped. Besides, if someone lights the kindling in the pasture on fire I'd hate for the horses to be trapped in an old wooden barn, that also happens to be full of wood chips. Just the thought makes my heart skip a beat.

I'm actually planning on spending the evening in the pasture. I went there late yesterday evening to check on them, as there were quite a few fireworks going off in our neighborhood, and I suspected it was the same near the barn. Sure enough, very soon after walking into the pasture, I had three horses surrounding me with pleading eyes. At first glance they seemed okay, but boy were they clingy! And then I realized that they were all on edge, even if they weren't showing it — Panama shied away from my hand, which he never does, and when the barn owner brought out some extra hay to help soothe their nerves, the alpha was even more food aggressive than usual.

So that's what I'll be doing this evening: babysitting my horse. In the meantime, my husband will be at home babysitting our white shepherd, Grace, who spends most Independence Day celebrations (not to mention most thunderstorms) in the bathtub. (One of our cats is deaf and hasn't got a clue that things like fireworks and thunder even exist, and the other cat and the other dog don't care.) Sounds like a festive holiday, doesn't it? And people wonder why it's not our favorite...

What are your plans for the evening? Do you worry about your pets' reactions to the fireworks, and if so, what precautions do you take to make sure they make it through the night in one piece?

*Most days.



At July 4, 2009 at 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always check on the barn a couple of times during the evening. The road approaching the barn and the pasture aisleways make enticing fireworks set-off locations for some, and I like to keep an eye on things. It's raining a bit today so I'm hoping that'll keep a damper on things.

At July 4, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Yes, I board Panama across the street from a big field and a park with a parking lot. A friend in the neighborhood says the park (which, incidentally, is also next to a great big dry field) is a favorite spot for teenagers to light off fireworks.

I guess it's no surprise that I've been hoping for rain. It's been overcast most of the day, but dry. Supposed to rain later -- I just hope it will be at the right time!

At July 4, 2009 at 7:12 PM, Blogger jane augenstein said...

We live 16 miles from town and no fireworks out here, yippee, quiet! Gonzo and Lucy would be terrified too of all the noise because they are afraid of thunder.
When we lived in our other house, located 8 miles and there were about 40 houses there; they had fire works at the little store. We had a beautiful German Shepherd then, she loved to watch the fire works! No, I'm not kidding, she would sit with us and I would watch her move her head up as the rockets went up and watch them explode. Then her head would come back down waiting for the next one. She was an exceptional dog, very very smart and kind.
I am now glad for the quiet though. We are just staying in watching TV and I am here on the computer....trying to recover from Gilly's spook! LOL

At July 4, 2009 at 7:43 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

How cool about your shepherd watching fireworks! We have a cat who watches TV just like that. I could picture him watching fireworks too, if he looked up for long enough to figure out they were there. He's deaf, so the noise wouldn't scare him.


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