Help Your Fur Friend Who Doesn’t Like Fireworks

Happy 4th of July! To my readers in the US, I hope you get a day off and are able to enjoy it 🙂 Today’s post is mainly about helping pets who are afraid of fireworks.

Way Pup and me all decked out in our red and white celebrating the 4th of July a couple of years ago

Brief Life Update

You may have noticed that it’s been a few weeks since my last post. For the first time this year, this isn’t because I’ve been too tired or too busy…I just haven’t felt as if there was anything I particularly had to share and I promised myself and you that I wouldn’t clutter up your inbox unless I had something to say. Because I didn’t have anything to say, there were no posts. Any post would have been purely just to have another post out there, not because I had something valuable to share with you.

The past few weeks have been busy and an opportunity for me to practice everything I’ve worked to learn over the past many years in order to keep our lives running as smoothly as possible. We were lucky enough to have renters move into our old house, so that’s covered now, though there is still some work left to do at the old house that we started before my pregnancy and need to finish. However, it was confirmed that Way Pup tore his other ACL (yep, he tore the first ACL last year) and had surgery two weeks ago. Recovery is going really well thankfully! Now, he has 2 matching metal plates and severe arthritis on his rear knees. Thankfully, dogs only have 2 ACLs and the surgery to fix it replaces his ACLs with metal plates instead of repairing the ACLs (unlike in humans), so he can’t tear either ACL anymore. Taking care of Way Pup has replaced the time we spent at the old house.

Our Fur Friends Don’t Like Fireworks

Speaking of Way Pup and the 4th of July, today is a big day for fireworks all across the county (though chances are, fireworks have been going off for about a week now). I admitted last year that I don’t like fireworks. They’re just not my thing. Thankfully, Way Pup couldn’t care less about fireworks. He simply doesn’t register that they’re happening (see image below).

Way Pup not caring about fireworks last year on July 4

However, there are lots and lots of pets and animals out there who become absolutely terrified of fireworks. You know who else can get freaked out by fireworks? People suffering from PTSD, such as veterans or anyone who has lived amongst or dealt with gun violence. As a pet owner/mom and someone connected very closely with the military, this matters a lot to me. There’s no way to get rid of all the fireworks shows out there (not practical), but there are definitely ways to help our friends. While I would love to post about how to help people who don’t like fireworks, that topic isn’t as familiar to me as helping animals who don’t like fireworks.

Helping All Pets Who Don’t Like Fireworks (Even if You Don’t Have a Pet)

First off, here’s a tip for everyone: DRIVE CAREFULLY. Even if you don’t have a pet, know that a lot of pets will run away from home tonight. These are probably pets who are used to being on a leash with their owner and not used to being out alone at night with loud noises all around. So, please, please, please be careful when you’re driving so that you don’t accidentally hit a dog or cat.

Helping Your Pet Who Doesn’t Like Fireworks

If you do have a pet, here are a few things to keep in mind to help your pet when there are fireworks:

  • If you do nothing else, put your pet inside! If your pet is outside, there is a chance that he or she could get out and run away. A few years ago, some family friends put their dog outside during a fireworks show and she freaked out. The dog got out from her yard and ended up getting run over in the street. Yes, this is sad. Yes, this happens.
  • If you have to let your pet outside, keep him or her on a leash. See sad story above. It doesn’t matter if your pet doesn’t care about fireworks. Way Pup will still be on a leash when I take him outside to do his business because I can’t risk anything happening to him. He’ll also be on his leash well before and well after the fireworks have ended just in case somebody decides to set off fireworks early or late. That way, we won’t be caught off guard.
  • If your dog freaks out both inside and outside, give your pet a safe place to get away. One option is to crate your pup or cat and cover the crate with blankets to make a secure cave. Or let your dog or cat hide under the bed during the fireworks displays. Thundershirts are also a popular option for dogs. We used one for a previous dog who didn’t like fireworks or thunderstorms, and it helped her quite a bit.
  • Turn on some white noise, the TV, or music to help cover up the sounds of fireworks. Even if you usually don’t leave noise on while you’re gone, consider doing it while there are fireworks going off. Your pet will probably appreciate it.
  • If you know your pup or cat will be terrified no matter way, talk to your vet. Today may be a lost cause, in which case, good luck! But if you have some time, talk to your vet about medication. You might not want to give your pet additional drugs, but that might be better than letting your pet become wild with fear.
  • Consider staying home or getting home before the fireworks shows start so you can help comfort a scared pet. Your pet knows and trusts you, and would probably prefer that you be home with them. That way, you can snuggle with them and let them know that everything will be alright soon.
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped! You should do this regardless of fireworks season, but in the event that your pet gets away, a microchip can make all the difference in making sure your pet comes home. So many dogs and cats run away on the 4th and many of them end up in shelters. Making sure that your pet is microchipped can mean the difference between you spending hours calling and visiting shelters, and the shelter calling you right away to let you know where your pet is. If you haven’t microchipped your pet, do it as soon as possible. If you have microchipped your pet, good for you! Now, make sure the information is up to date. I made sure to update Way Pup’s information within a couple of weeks of our moving to the new house.

Short Bit of Advice for Talking to Someone Who Doesn’t Like Fireworks.

If you know someone who doesn’t like fireworks, don’t make a big deal about it. If you happen to love fireworks, don’t make someone else feel guilty for not liking fireworks. There’s a good chance that they really like something that you don’t, and hopefully they wouldn’t try to make you feel bad for not liking their thing. So, if you’re with someone who doesn’t like fireworks, there’s not need to make a big deal out of it. Instead, you can ask what they do like about the 4th of July or simply say, “Yeah, fireworks aren’t for everyone.” then change topics.

With that, I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July and enjoy celebrating!

How to Be Excited for a Long Distance Pregnant Friend

You have a friend who announced that she’s pregnant – YAY! If you’ve been pregnant before, you already have an idea of how you can be supportive. However, if you haven’t been pregnant before or haven’t really had anybody else close to you get pregnant, you may not be entirely sure how to show your support – especially if you live far away. You want to be a great friend and you want to say/do the right things. I’ve had several friends get pregnant, but my closest friends have been far away and my local friends haven’t been very close. As a result, I never knew what to say or how to be supportive, particularly because I was so not at a stage where I wanted kids. Or if I’d been having baby fever and wanted kids but had been unsuccessful so far, it would have been hard knowing how best to support my friends. So, if you don’t live near your pregnant friend or don’t know how to support her, here are some easy ways to show your support!

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Have a Happy Birthday!

Sometime this past week, I turned one year older. And just like most years, my birthday was pretty low key…just how I like it. As we get older, birthdays tend to become less and less important. Whether it’s because we don’t want to celebrate getting another year older, we have too much going on, or maybe you just aren’t a birthday person…birthdays tend to be for the young and for the old, but not for the middle (except for your 50th). However, I completely disagree. Birthdays should be celebrated!

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New Year’s Resolutions When You Don’t Feel in Control

It’s never too late to have resolutions. Yes, we’re ¾s done with February, but better late than never! I try to follow the saying, “today is the first day of the rest of your life” (sometimes easier said than done), and so it’s absolutely fine to come up with resolutions a little after the first of the year (hey, at least we’re still in the 1st quarter). Resolutions (or goals as I tend to think of them) don’t have to be very lofty or much of a stretch. Really, the main things are that you want to accomplish them and they’re somewhat specific (so you know whether or not you achieved them). And of course, you have to write them down.

As promised, I’m sharing my 2019 resolutions with you this week. Over the past couple of weeks, I spent some time (mainly daydreaming while driving or during meetings) and came up with 14 resolutions/goals for this year. There’s nothing special about 14 – that’s just the number of resolutions I came up with. There’s also nothing special about these resolutions; they’re just things that I want to accomplish this year. Several are carryovers from previous years, but I am making a more conscious effort to have specific goals for the year instead of generic or abstract goals.

At the end of 2018, some health stuff came up and it felt really hard to come up with resolutions because a lot of stuff feels really outside of my control. I am used to being extremely active, having enough energy to do what I want, and being in control of my body. Then, over the holidays and for all of January, my job became really, really busy and I felt like I had no time. Looking forward for this year, my job doesn’t seem like it will slow down for months, maybe years. My health stuff will thankfully get a little better, but it will have lasting consequences. Can you sympathize? Do you feel like work or school or just life is taking it out of you and you don’t have control?

In writing down my goals for 2019, I realized that there really is a lot that I can control. And if you feel the same way that I did, know that you too can actually control quite a bit. For example, I realized that I could make 15 minutes to be somewhat active twice a day…by walking Way Pup. Ain’t nobody got time to workout…but I do have time to maybe give Way Pup an extra 5 minutes twice a day…and I can put on my tennis shoes for our walk instead of my boots so we can jog a little bit. Bam! There’s my activity for the day! (Even if I feel tired, at least he and I get outside for 10 minutes twice a day.) And, because Way Pup doesn’t care about the weekend, he needs this attention 365 days. I can also spend 5 minutes cleaning up my kitchen every night. And, while I’m zoning out during incredibly boring stuff, I can think about what I want to eat for lunch and buy those ingredients at the store. Those are 3 things I can control in my life.

Despite my advocacy for specific goals, there are a few abstract/nonspecific resolutions for this year. The first one is that I want to enjoy this year as much as possible. Life, in general, is hard to enjoy unless you make a conscious attempt and I have a big year of changes ahead of me. It would be so, so easy for me to put my head down and get through this year without pausing to enjoy any of it. But if I did that, then I would look up at the end of 2019 and wonder where it went. So, I want to enjoy this year and make a conscious attempt to find joy. Second, I want to be patient with myself with my health stuff. There’s nothing particularly measurable about this, but it’s something I need to be reminded of – and I will because I have my resolutions written on an oversized post-it note right under my computer screens on my desk at work!

My 2019 Resolutions are posted where I will see them all day 5 days a week

With all that said, here are my 2019 resolutions:

  1. Exercise/move 4x week (includes a good walk for Way Pup)
  2. Personal
  3. Enjoy this year as much as possible
  4. Pack healthy lunches for work
  5. Work as long as possible and work on delegating
  6. Take my full vacation/leave available from work
  7. Save $X dollars by August (goal agreed to with Way)
  8. Have Christmas Cards ready by Black Friday
  9. Take monthly photos
  10. Celebrate Way’s birthday
  11. Be patient with myself
  12. Clean the house 1x week
  13. Turn thesis into journal article by June
  14. Run 2 5k’s (1 in April, 1 in ?)

Let’s see how I do this year! I’ll do what I can to update you as the year progresses. Now it’s your turn! What are your resolutions? Did you have any that you created back in January and let slip? Now’s that chance to get back on. Are you like me and just now coming up with yours? Have you had any years when you’ve felt completely out of control? Do you still feel that way or have you managed to get a bit of control back? If you have some abstract/nonspecific resolutions, go ahead and add them – it’s totally okay to have a blend of specific goals and nonspecific resolutions. This is your list! Let me know! I’d love to get some comments!

Love is for Everyone, Not Just Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day! I Last week when I posted that I would share my New Year’s Resolutions with you this week, I completely forgot that today would be Valentine’s Day. I do have my resolutions written down and ready to go, but I’m going to save them for next week. Today, I am thinking about Valentine’s Day and love. No, not necessarily romantic love (even though that’s all very well and nice and I am hopelessly in love with my husband). I’m thinking about love in general. Love between a parent and a child. Love between friends. Love for your family. Love for your pets. Love for your job or school. Love for your hobby. Love for your neighbor. Love for other people. Self-love. There are so many ways to love and none of them should be excluded, particularly today.

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