I’m sitting here in my office at 8.30PM on July 4th and my wee doggie is sitting petrified on my lap. As I look out my window, thousands of people are waiting for the annual fireworks display to begin, a display that will commence in about an hour and a half and will last about 15 minutes. In the meantime, since 7PM last night, July 3rd, and throughout the day today, I have been subjected to sporadic explosions, some small, some large, which have not only scared the heck out of me, but have literally driven my dog to insanity. It’s 86 degrees outside right now, it’s light, and it’s fucking noisy! Why do people insist on doing this? The animals hate it, I hate it, and what purpose does it serve? When did this ‘firework’ tradition begin? In the UK we have ‘Bonfire’ night. On the 5th of November every year, the same day Guy Fawkes tried to blow up parliament, in 1605 BC, we light bonfires and set off fireworks, none so elaborate as in the USA, but noisy enough and frustrating for not only those who dislike them, but for the poor animals who absolutely despise them. My friend Mary in Portland OR has her 12-year-old dog on puppy tranquilizers, just for today. I must admit, with Lola, my dog, shaking like a leaf as I type this piece, I too am tempted to go to the vet and get him to prescribe the same so that she doesn’t suffer again. Every year it’s the same. 9 PM rolls on in and BANG! Kaboom! Poof! Scared shitless and scared to the point of no return, a state that no animal and no human should have to endure. I know it’s tradition, I know it’s all part of the culture, but for goodness sake, with the drought the way it is, how stupid can anyone be letting off fireworks into an evening where the wind is gusting, then still, the grass and forests are like a tinderbox, just waiting for that one spark so the can erupt in flame, and every single animal, either domesticated or wild, has to suffer the indignity of fear unwillingly bestowed upon them by moronic behavior that goes beyond all common sense.
Fireworks should be banned, banned for good. Put on a light show instead, as they’ve done in some of the worst drought hit areas in CA. That way we will all get peace enjoying a show that will make great viewing, delightful music and keep our wildlife and countryside free from the possibility of yet more death and destruction.
To all my American friends, Happy 4th July. Stay out of trouble and keep smiling. You only became independent because we let you!