Today, 2 November 2017, is the day when fireworks legally go on sale in the name of celebrating Guy Fawkes night aka Bonfire Night (5 November each year).
I’m sad because I know that many dogs, including those of my clients and friends, will be in for a stretch of nights filled with fear and anxiety.
Their human owners will be doing everything they can to manage. Some will have gone to the veterinarian for sedative drugs which they will need to give before the booming starts, others will be playing music, changing routines to ensure nighttime dog walks are finished before the sun sets, wrapping their dogs in Thundershirts, spraying essential oils to help calm…the list goes on…
And like being in a war, you never know when the next barrage will happen. It’s not just on Guy Fawkes Night. It could be tonight, tomorrow. It could be next week. It may even be in a month or two for the people who stockpile their fireworks for random use.
Where I grew up, the sale of fireworks was illegal. Only public displays – properly licensed and advertised in advance – were allowed. It was more manageable and humane.
I fail to see the reason why the sale of these items is still legal in New Zealand and I haven’t seen a political party (or coalition) yet that is prepared to take a stand on this issue.
I have other arguments against fireworks, including the fact that the waste left over just adds to our landfills and that many fireworks users disrespect our parks by leaving their fireworks packaging and other rubbish overflowing from rubbish bins or, worse, strewn across the park for someone else to pick up.
Today I’m sad because, for the animals, the war is about to begin again.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand