Three years ago this July 4th, we were celebrating the holiday with our neighbors the usual way with grilling, socializing, imbibing a frosty beverage or two - fairly average behavior all in all. Our dog, who is always on my husband's heels was right up in the thick of it, having a grand time since all other dogs were contained in their houses due to her completely rude, crude and socially unacceptable behavior. Having all the humans to herself, Winnie became quite the party animal, visiting and snitching treats at every opportunity.
Around 10PM, it was decided that the time was right for the fireworks. Personally, I was anticipating some bottle rockets, roman candles, sparklers etc. What I was not expecting was a reenactment of the Battle of Fort Sumter to happen in front of my driveway. Truth be told, it was a miracle no one was hurt but I came to realize long ago that God protects the morons, and so we all walked away unscathed.
As we came in to get the kids ready for bed, I realized our dog was missing. So for the next three hours, Lawton and I took turns cruising the neighborhood looking for her. At 2AM we were about to call off the search for the night, both dreading telling the kids she was missing when they woke up. Lawton took one more lap around the hood and lo and behold here came Winnie running down the road towards his truck. Brought her home and realized that she had been given a bath. Uh. Okay. Anyway, dog was home and crisis was averted. For then.
Ever since that night, Winnie has been terrified of thunder, fireworks, gunfire and the like, which has made our lives very exciting on more than one occasion. Not only is it amazing to wake to a huge clap of thunder in the middle of the night, now we also have a vibrating twelve pound animal in our bed, whose "coping strategies" include tunneling around under the covers, panting wildly in our faces and wanting me to carry her around. I've tried all manner of medication, and for whatever reason, she is completely immune. Benadryl doesn't even slow her down. Neither does Xanax or Valium. Dog is an ox in Jack Russell clothing.
This past 4th, I secured a secret weapon. Feeling quite pleased with myself, I came home with some Ace, which is commonly used to sedate horses. Oh yes, you read that right. HORSES. So there! Giddy with anticipation, I call for the dog - no answer. Check around the house - nothing. Um. Go back to the garage and ask my menfolk where she is and am assured she was inside. Which she wasn't. Apparently Lawton and Will had been doing some minor firework prep and Winnie was not secured inside as she should have been, so she left. We began the search around the neighborhood and eventually located her, thank goodness, because I probably would have been on the news for the world's largest hissy fit if we hadn't.
We gave her a few minutes to calm down and I gave her the medicine tout de suite. About half an hour passed, and I began to think that she was some kind of animatronic dog because nothing seemed to be happening. Then, about ten minutes later, the synapses pulled away from each other or something and my puppy dog was high as a kite. Eyes half closed, walking a little sideways, needing to lie down while crossing the room...it was amazing. I laughed, Lawton fretted over her, and fireworks went off all over the place and she did not give a damn. It was an awesome 4th - Winnie slept all night with no panting or tunneling and so did we. And so, I would say the lesson to be learned here is this is why you make friends with people who have better meds than you do. The end.