Cleo vs. Fireworks

So tonight we learned the sad way that little puppies and fireworks do not mix…

Although we were going to try and find a dog beach where we could go and watch fireworks, or even just leave her in her cage and go enjoy them ourselves, we ended up just staying home because we were afraid that she would freak out being locked inside if our neighbors decided to celebrate with rockets blazing throughout the evening. And it ended up being totally the right thing to do – around 7pm when it just started getting dark, we heard the first bangs out in the street and Cleo ended up being petrified for most of the night. At one point she ran underneath our bed, afraid to come out even after Sara left a trail of treats leading back out into civilization.

I mean, I can only imagine what it all sounded like to her – for all she knew, the castle was under attack, and so ultimately I am glad that we opted to stay home so that we didn’t return to find a traumatized puppy even more scared of the world than when we left her! The last thing I would want to do is reverse a lot of the training that she’s been able to pick up in her classes and just with us – about being around other people, not barking at random things, not throwing a fit when it’s time to go to bed. It’s a whole learning process and I guess along the way you have to make sacrifices, just like you would with a newborn baby or whatever.

Hopefully we’ll be able to condition her, though so that maybe next year we can take her down to Bayshore Blvd. to watch the fireworks in the distance over Old Tampa Bay. That might be a little easier on her because being a little farther away, most of the noises aren’t as loud – the concern more at that point would be with the inevitable other people who just randomly shoot off stuff from the sidewalk in between swigs of their cleverly-concealed beer bottles. But we’ve got a whole year to work towards that – she’s been doing really good on her leash lately, so with any luck just the more she’s around other people and cars and strange noises outdoors, maybe she’ll eventually become desensitized to at least some of the sounds…

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