At the risk of coming across as a killjoy, fireworks 'season' is one of my least favourite times of year.
Not that I haven't been to organised displays in the past and enjoyed some of the beautiful colours and shapes dancing across the night sky. I have, and would encourage anyone who enjoys fireworks to do the same.
But my gripe surrounds the general sale of these explosives, that every year cause injury and claim lives. Dramatic? Possibly. But unfortunately and very sadly for the families who have lost them, all too true - click here for this recent BBC news story.
I am particularly vehement about them this week due to painful first-hand experience. Fortunately the majority of my dogs suffer firework noise with stoic ease. But unfortunately not my handsome Kai.
Kai, like many hundreds if not thousands of pets up and down the country, is terrified by the sound of fireworks.
He communicates this to me by panting profusely, his eyes go wild, he dashes from one spot to another and tries to hide in spaces far too small for him. His whole body language screams distress and fear - something no dog lover wishes to see :cry:
There are things that help alleviate his anxiety, but they really only act on a small percentage of his stress. And the biggest problem I face is protecting him from people setting of the odd firework at random times rather than on one evening or just at weekends.
This is what I returned home to on Sunday after a long day of guest agility workshops..
So frightened by firework noise he'd either caused a brief scuffle with his usually best brother Spud (collie), or caught his face on something trying to escape from his fear :cry:
What hurts me the most is how gentle and kind he was when being examined by the emergency vet. Clearly extremely painful, his powerful jaws and large teeth were close to the vets face as he was examined - but I doubt snapping in pain ever crossed his mind. He is so trusting and sweet - being frightened by something so ridiculously trivial is so dreadfully unfair :-(
I'm relieved to say that his actual eye was undamaged and after surgery on Monday, whilst still looking a little worse for wear, my boy is feeling a lot better. Thank you to everyone who asked after him - you can't keep a good dog down for long :-)