A Mellow Fourth

When Mr. C and I took the puppies to the ocean for the first time, we seriously messed up.  We were in tennis shoes and long pants.  When the brownish surf came roaring in, we didn’t want to get our clothes yucky, so we playfully screamed and ran from the wave, having fun with the puppies.  What we didn’t realize was that we caused a fear of waves in the puppies.  That’s right – our golden RETRIEVERS (who are supposed to love water and swimming) are afraid of waves.  Oops!

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I had that in mind as I approached the Fourth of July.  I didn’t want them to be another of those dogs who are insanely afraid of fireworks.  Granted, as Retrievers, loud noises (like gunshots) shouldn’t affect them.  Then again, they shouldn’t fear waves, either.  😦

So, instead of going out with family or friends, instead of going to a community fireworks show, we stayed home.  The fireworks actually started on the 3rd, but they were far worse on the fourth (obviously).  On the third, we heard faint explosions.  At first the puppies were curious about it, maybe even cautious.  We had fun with it.  “Boom boom boom,” I sang in my high, playful voice.

On the Fourth, the puppies paid a little more attention to it, a little more concern going on.  I was careful to spend a while with them at the beginning of the fireworks, having fun, normalizing the explosions.  At their normal bedtime, we put them to bed, no fuss, no muss.

And it seemed to have worked.  As far as I can tell, they couldn’t care less about the fireworks.  Yay!  At least we didn’t break our puppies where fireworks are involved.  🙂

However, I do feel like I missed out on an important day of the year.  I’m not patriotic or anything, but I’ve always enjoyed going to community festivals for Independence Day celebrations – being among a bunch of celebrating strangers, listening to music while watching fireworks, enjoying the weather by a lake lapping at the shore.  I feel like I missed out on all of it.

I guess that’s what we, as parents, do – give up our own pleasures so that we can give our kids (furbabies or otherwise) the best we can give them.

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