There are only two possible explanations for this stand I am about to take:
One, I have come around to my dog’s way of thinking on the matter of fireworks, which is that they are to be feared, freaked out by, and avoided at all costs, even if it means hiding in the bathtub.
Two, I have become a certifiable old fart.
Oh wait, there’s a third possibility: Maybe it’s a combination of the two.
I am speaking here of the entire gamut of fireworks, from big sanctioned municipal events to small backyard displays to solo performances by those who feel the need to mindlessly fire a gun into the air while intoxicated.
With New Year’s behind us, and the Fourth of July ahead, I pose the question: Do we really need any of it? And, if so, is it possible to have the spectacle without the noise?
There’s a town in Italy, called Collecchio, that has reportedly introduced legislation requiring people to use “silent fireworks” out of respect to animals, for whom the noise causes some serious stress.
That’s an idea worth importing.
Other than a reference on a travel website, I couldn’t find a lot of information about the proposal on the Internet. Then again, on the Internet, good and quiet ideas tend to get buried by loud, stupid and flashy ones.
Nor could I find any truly “silent” fireworks. There are a few videos on YouTube that claim to feature “silent” or “quiet” fireworks, but the companies behind them seem to be promising more than they are delivering.
In the UK, this past November, Birmingham Botanical Gardens offered a silent fireworks show they promised would be “ideal for the little ones,” but it was followed by complaints from parents who said they were forced to leave because the loud noises frightened their children, according to a BBC report.
Why is it society has been able to come up with the technology to put silencers on guns, but not on fireworks?
Fireworks have been an American tradition for more than 200 years, and any voice calling for putting a muzzle on them — much like any voice calling for gun control — is likely to be blasted as unpatriotic.
For dogs, they are more than just annoying. They confuse and stress out many dogs, often leading them to run away, sometimes getting hit by cars in the process. They have negative effects on birds and other animals, too, not to mention air quality and all the injuries to humans the do-it-yourself variety cause.
But the spectacle, and the tenuous link to patriotism, somehow rate as more important than all that.
Even in an age of heightened fears over terrorists, we still feel the need to see and hear the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air. We need to see and hear what is, in effect, a re-creation of war.
Fireworks displays are like Donald Trump — big and loud and in your face, full of bangs, booms and bombast, a spewing spectacle that prides itself in being outrageous and pushing the limits.
I would not mind in the least if they both went away. But neither is likely to, even though there are quieter, saner alternatives.
Laser light shows are one, but they don’t seem to have wowed us like traditional fireworks displays.
When an air pollution control district in California offered three towns $10,000 to call off their fireworks shows and replace them with laser light shows in 2012, none of the towns accepted the offer.
“You can’t have a Fourth of July show with just light beams,” one fair official said. “It would have been two minutes and the kids would have been done and gone.”
Another California town, Morro Bay, tried a light show in 2009 — due to predictions of a foggy night — but says it won’t do it again.
“It was like a bad Pink Floyd concert,” one official said.
I’m not sure there is such a thing as silent fireworks or, for that matter, such a thing as a bad Pink Floyd concert. But both my dog and I — while not being so brash as to suggest celebrating peace instead of war — cast a vote for quieter celebrations.
Here’s a not entirely quiet example, from a company that provides “quiet” fireworks for weddings and other events:
Posted by John Woestendiek January 11th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, celebrations, collecchio, dangers, displays, dog, dogs, environment, fireworks, fourth of july, guns, hazards, italy, loud, new years, noise, patriotism, pets, pollution, proposal, quiet fireworks, run away, silent fireworks, war
In her defense, forethought and consequences are concepts that may not be fully understood by Jenelle Evans.
That would explain, among other things, why the star of this season’s “Teen Mom 2” on MTV let her dog play with lit fireworks, videotaped it, posted it on social media and says she would do it again — except maybe for the posting on social media part.
The homemade video, which she has since deleted, showed the reality TV star tossing a lit firework into her yard as a voice seems to encourage her dog, Jax, to fetch it.
Some reports say the voice is that of her son, Jace, who Evans gave birth to at age 16.
After she posted the video, animal lovers gave Evans a richly deserved verbal pounding, and she took it down.
A snippet of the video aired on TMZ, along with an interview with Evans, who defended her actions by saying she has seen similar footage of animals playing with fireworks on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
That, she said, makes it acceptable.
She told TMZ she was not encouraging the dog to go after the firework, and that the incident has been blown out of proportion.
“Anything I do is going to be so such a big deal to everyone else, because I’m on TV. If I wasn’t on TV you guys wouldn’t give a shit right now.”
“Teen Mom” is a spin-off of the MTV documentary series “16 & Pregnant.”
It follows the stories of four girls from the first season of 16 & Pregnant who are “navigating the bumpy terrain of adolescence, growing pains, and coming of age — all while facing the responsibility of being a young mother.”
Posted by John Woestendiek July 7th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 16 and pregnant, animals, backlash, dog, dogs, fireworks, fourth of july, jace, jax, jenelle evans, july 4, mtv, pets, reality show, safety, social media, star, teen mom, teen mom 2, uproar, video
Fall’s grand finale
Nature’s fireworks — ooooh! ahhhhh! —
(Highway Haiku is a semi-regular feature of “Travels with Ace,” the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America.)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, autumn, colors, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, fall, fireworks, foliage, haiku, highway, highway haiku, nature's, nature's fireworks, poetry, road, road trip, traveling with dogs, travels with ace
There ‘s an incredible tale in the Quad City Times today about an owl that swooped down on a Pomeranian, grasped the tiny dog in its talons and took her on a two-mile flight.
Sadie’s flight last weekend covered between 24 to 30 city blocks before she either freed herself or was dropped, falling through the Iowa night sky and landing next to a street in Davenport.
The fall broke her tail and bruised her, but she survived and is recovering.
Sadie’s owner, Michelle McCarten, was watching fireworks with friends when the dog, frightened by the noise, jumped off the porch and ran to a nearby wooded area. Despite McCarten’s calls, and a search by friends, she couldn’t be found.
Two miles away, Jamie Padden of Davenport had brought her car to a halt at a stop sign when she was a small dog falling through the air. “It dropped out of nowhere,” she said. The dog landed right in front of her Jeep.
The owl glided down and again set upon the dog, which scrambled to get away. Padden open her car door and started screaming at the large owl.
When the owl departed, Padden scooped up the whimpering dog, took it home, gave it a bath and called police to report the incident. Then she took the dog to bed with her.
The next morning, Sadie’s owner and a friend, Kris Overstreet, resumed their search, calling police in Davenport about the missing dog. The police gave them Padden’s number.
Padden delivered the dog to her owner, who was in tears, the newspaper reported. Though no one really knows how long the dog was airborne, the distance from the woods where the owl was known to hang out and the spot where Sadie landed is about two miles.
Sadie is reportedly still shaky, and suffered bruises on her hind end and a broken tail. “She’s nervous. I’m giving her an aspirin a day,” McCarten said. “Getting her back is my best early Christmas present.”
(Photo: Michelle McCarten and Sadie, by Jeff Cook/Quad-City Times)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: dangers, davenport, dog, dogs, dropped, drops, fireworks, flight, flown, grabbed, grabs, iowa, jamie padden, michelle mccarten, owl, owls, plunged, pomeranian, quad city times, sadie, scared, scooped up, sky, snatched, two miles, wildlife
Gabrielle, the 8-month-old cat a witness says was set on fire twice by two boys in northwest Baltimore, was the sixth animal torture case to surface in Baltimore this summer, according to Caroline Griffin, chairwoman of a task force set up last month to fight animal abuse.
The abuse was reported by a witness last week, but the cat, who appears to be recovering despite serious burns, wasn’t located until this week, said Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter director Jennifer Mead-Brause.
Two boys were seeing throwing rocks and bricks at the cat, then pouring liquid on her and setting her on fire. When the cat managed to roll around and put the fire out, the youths set her on fire again, BARCS says.
In addition to Gabrielle, at least five other cases of animal torture have been reported in the city this summer, starting in May when a pit bull was set on fire. A police officer put the fire out, but the dog, dubbed Phoenix, had to be euthanized several days later when the burns — over 98 percent of the dog’s body — led to other complications.
After that a dead cat was found with a blue cord tied around its neck, and another was found secured to a fence. It had apparently been killed with fireworks. Last month, two cats were found in an outdoor cellar in Elkwood Park, where they had apparently been stoned to death.
Jack Domm, who owned one of the cats, named Squeaks, said the cat had been missing two weeks when it another were found dead in the hole.
“These cats were put in the hole and stoned to death,” Domm told WBAL-TV. He said he thinks neighborhood kids threw the cats in the hole and battered them with broken concrete.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, barcs, burned, burning, cat, cats, dogs, fire, fireworks, gabrielle, gasoline, pets, phoenix, sixth, squeaks, stoned, task force, torture, youth
With the Fourth of July approaching, it’s time once again for a few reminders, most of which we all already know, but, as they say, better safe than sorry.
First off, make sure your dog is wearing identification tags — even if you’re both planning a quiet evening at home.
Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) has issued a reminder that even animals not inclined to roam may uncharacteristically do so amid the bangs and booms. Animal shelters across the country are accustomed to receiving a surge of “Independence Day” dogs — so make sure your’s is carrying the information needed to get him or her back to you.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 4th, akc, american kennel club, dog, dogs, fear, fireworks, fourth, health, july, loud, noise, safe, safety, scare, startle, tips
The Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter is seeking the public’s help in an investigation into the death of a tortured and executed cat whose remains were brought to BARCS this morning by Baltimore City Animal Control.
The cat’s body was found tied to a fence in the 3700 block of Lewiston Avenue in Baltimore. According to Debra Rahl of BARCS, it was wrapped with a blue cord and had a heavy chain around its neck that was attached to a utility pole.
The cat’s head was placed on a “96 shot Phantom Fireball Display.”
The hair on the cat’s head was completely singed off, and it had multiple contusions and bruises to its body. Its right front leg was broken above the elbow and it had a 6 centimeter wound in its left shoulder area. There was an odor of a gunpowder type substance on the body.
This is the second cat found tortured and killed in the area in the past two weeks , BARCS said. The first cat was also found with a blue cord around its neck.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 17th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, cat, cruelty, executed, fireworks, gunpowder, killed, lewiston avenue, news, ohmidog!, pets, second, torture, tortured, wounds