I have loved city fireworks displays all my life. But this year fireworks began in Astoria neighborhoods just after noon July 3, and continued sporadically for a week from morning to night. As the City Council considers types of allowable fireworks, how about also looking at permitted days for setting them off within city limits?
I have one of the 40 percent of dogs said to be outright terrified by loud booms and the loud cracking sound of fireworks, nail guns and car backfires. Not something they can help, and no comforting works. My Bassett Hound, Moose, spent several pitiful days this year trembling, panting, drooling and hiding in an alcove in the bathroom, and when on leash, tried in a panic to get away from the fireworks, without anywhere safe to go, hurting us both. His nervous system sensitized by that week of fireworks, he continues to startle at sudden loud noises, then refuses to walk, and tries to bolt back home to safety.
I’ve never been one to support curbing enthusiasm, but may I appeal to Astorians to be kind to the nervous among us? May I suggest limiting fireworks in neighborhoods to July 4th? I note that for evening displays, some cities are using “boomless” fireworks.
I can’t imagine how it is for combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but I do know that all our dogs with this terror response can really use the consideration, and we dog lovers wouldn’t have to dread the annual celebration.