I love Bonfire Night. Explosives, booze, the risk of potential fire and death, a celebration of attempted religious terrorism – what’s not to like? However this year, our house was light on Catherine Wheels, Roman Candles and incredibly loud rockets because of CJ. Great, what celebrations is she going to veto next?
You see, dogs don’t like fireworks. At all.
Of course, I knew this. After all, in the UK it’s hard not to miss the numerous safety warnings during the week before Bonfire Night.
- Don’t go back to lit fireworks
- Keep all pets indoors
- Don’t pretend sparklers are lightsabres
I got an early introduction to how much CJ disliked fireworks the night before Bonfire Night. Due to Helen visiting her parents, I was drafted in for walking duties. Less than five minutes after leaving the house, en route to the park, a large rocket soared over ahead and exploded in a supernova of sparkles and shooting stars – coupled with a large flash and a massive bang.
CJ suitably freaked out. After attempting to dive under the nearest car for shelter, she refused to take another step forward. Or back.
For the next 10 minutes, she did an award-winning impression of a rock which saw me essentially drag her home. Each garden we passed, she attempted to hide behind the wall and every car she came across, she tried to crawl underneath.
It was only when we were about 25 meters from home that she suddenly sprang to life. Moving faster than I’ve ever seen her move, she sprinted the rest of the way home, huddled up on the front door step and gave me a look that essentially translated into, “Hurry up and open the door, you bastard. The sky is exploding.”
This essentially ruled out any prospect of us having a Bonfire Night Party. So what to do for the following evening, when loud bangs and whizzing rockets would be commonplace? The only plan was to tire her out so that she would essentially sleep through them.
Apparently spiking her water with gin was out, so the back-up plan was to go to Weston-Super-Mare and tire her out on the beach. It worked a treat.
It seems dogs love the beach. If CJ wasn’t chasing assorted birds, she was wrestling with other dogs and retrieving various rubber toys I hurled into the surf – except for the one time she didn’t bring it back and then Helen had to fetch it.
That night, it seemed the plan had worked. Wedging herself between my beanbag and the sofa, she drifted between sleep and exhaustive worry. Even when a firework went off over the house, she merely lifted up her head with moderate concern before passing out again.
Sorted. Of course, what are we going to do at New Years?