Did you know that July 5th is the busiest day of the year for rescues and animal control? A couple of years ago when I was out running late in the morning on July 5th, I spotted a little Shih Tzu off leash wandering around totally alone without a human anywhere in sight. I was able to coax her to me and laced her collar up with my shoe string, and then I proceeded to seek for her owner. It turned out that I ended up bringing her home with me for the weekend, much to the displeasure of my cats – Bart didn’t mind too much, but he’s really not a fan of sharing attention with other dogs at home. I searched for her people on foot, online, in the papers, craigslist, lost dog sites, animal control, you name it. As fate would have it, that same weekend a co-worker (who didn’t know at the time I had found a lost dog) happened to see a lost dog flier up in his neighborhood – way far south from where I found her. The flier showed a picture of a dog that looked a lot like a pup my friends used to know and love. It was written in Spanish and broken English, and my friend just happened to snap a photo of it for sentimental reasons to show to his partner when he got home later. When we all gathered at work after the holiday weekend and shared our stories, believe it or not, we discovered that this little dog’s angels were out working full force for her because the lost dog in the flier was the very dog I had found!
We got the number and connected with the family who had lost her while they were celebrating at the lake. She was off leash when someone had set off fireworks, and she startled and bolted. She was a new dog for a sweet little 9 year old girl who was absolutely devastated without her. So needless to say, everyone was thrilled when the brother (the only one who could speak English in the family) came and got her. They were so grateful and pleased, and the little pup was ecstatic when she saw their familiar faces.
This is a rare story, with an amazing happy ending, and one I’m happy I was a part of. Unfortunately, many other dogs, cats and families are not so lucky during this scary loud holiday weekend. So here are some helpful tips to make note of for keeping your pets safe and inside this weekend.
1. Get some “Bach Rescue Remedy 20 ml” for pets, at a pet store or Whole Foods, and rub a drop or two between your thumb and forefinger, and then massage it into your pet’s ear tips about 30 minutes before the festivities.
2. Keep your cats and dogs secured in a closed off and secure room with the windows shut and A/C going, especially if you plan on going outside and coming back in during the fireworks.
3. Play the television or some soothing musing on a lower volume in the room with your pets.
4. Make sure they have their collars on, and proper I.D. tags, just in case.
5. Take current clear photos of your pets regularly.
6. A lot of people don’t realize that many pets also drown in pools during this holiday, so keep your pets away from pool parties.
7. You may want to get a Thundershirt Dog Jacket for Anxiety,
which helps keep your pet calm during high stress noisy situations.
8. If you plan on staying home with your pet, and if your pet gets anxious and nervous, rather than cuddling him (which reinforces fearful feelings) play a game of tug, or ball in the house of course!
9. Keep your pet occupied with a fully loaded treat ball, possibly with frozen goodies that will keep him busy for a long time. Maybe have a few waiting in the freezer to follow the first one with – you can put his or her dinner inside the treat ball instead of treats if overfeeding is a concern.
9. The best thing you can do to ensure your pet doesn’t get out is keep him or her indoors all night. Take your dog for a good long walk just before sunset to be sure he gets some relief and can comfortably stay inside until morning.
Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July everyone!