Fireworks and dogs

Our collie Beca shook and panted for an hour last night due to local fireworks, and I can see from Facebook how many other dog owners are experiencing similar with their frightened dogs this weekend, with more to come, I suppose, on 5th November. It reminds me of a poem I wrote some years ago, when we had different dogs, but a similar scenario. I realise from the poem that Alice hid and shook like Beca does now, while Oscar is like our present Mabon in his barking response.

I know that some adults enjoy fire work displays, and children probably do, but I wonder why, in this day and age, they need to recreate a war zone?


Bonfire Night 

Bonfire night and I'm in with the dogs.
Alice hides in the toilet. Oscar doesn't:
he charges the length of the house, jitterbugs

at the window, raises roaring comment
with his tail sprung and his body bristling.
Across Llyn Maelog, fires blaze like beacons

or bombed out holiday homes; rockets go whistling
up into sky-night, to burst bellies of light, aliens
to scoff at the stars for one climaxing moment.

A machine gun rattles, there are crackles, pops, and snaps
like over-amplified Rice Crispies. This is a war zone, testament
to all the noise man can make: bangers, fizgigs (lock up your pets).

I am unimpressed by this flex of muscle, this magnificent feat,
this shot-gun display. My mother says they went to sleep
under tables when the air-raid sirens wailed. Erased whole streets.

Fiona Owen (2003) Imagining the Full Hundred.

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