Want to be a true patriot this Fourth of July? Be considerate of those who fought for you.
When Buddy gets nervous his body shakes to the point you can see his ribs vibrating and hear his nails tapping a frantic Morse code of distress on the floor. That’s what he is doing as I write my column this week.
It’s Monday afternoon and the skies have opened up and a heavy rain, complete with thunder, has required the Thunder-shirts be brought out for both dogs. Problem is the tight-fitting grey shirt doesn’t work as well on Buddy as it does on Kodi.
Buddy has just trotted down the hall to my husband’s office to wait out the storm under his desk, and probably on his foot. I say foot because I have no doubt Kodi is already in there waiting to take his place on the other foot.
This is just the first day of more than a week of unwanted noise, and not just from Mother Nature. We have already heard the percussion of personal fireworks in our neighborhood. The professional fireworks are for a limited time and accommodations for the dogs can be made, but it’s the fireworks the week before and well into the night that are just too much.
The adverse reaction to the noise, smell and light flashes is not limited to pets.
“Most veterans with PTSD are bothered by fireworks,” said Dr. Tracii Kunkel, Clinical Psychologist at Orlando VA Medical Center/Port Orange Veteran Wellness Recovery Program. “Veterans whose trauma is related to combat may also experience a range of other reactions ranging from triggered memories of their trauma to a full-blown flashback. Even smaller items like firecrackers and flashes of light can simulate mortar attacks.”
Kunkel said one veteran he spoke with said he likes fireworks as long as he knows they are coming, but he has also asked his neighbors not to fire them off after midnight because not only does it awake him, it puts him on “high alert” for several hours.