Our old terrier hates this time of the year (I know because he’s told me). All it takes is a single firework going off and he becomes a shivering wreck, looking at me with his big puppy dog eyes, whimpering and asking for me to make the noise stop.
Of course I can’t.
Over the years we’ve tried everything to calm him down; cuddles, having the radio on, talking to him in a calm voice. But none of it helps. Sometimes he even looses the control of his bladder (which makes the cuddling interesting). The trouble is, where we are in North London the fireworks season can go on from pretty much now until January. Sometimes I wonder how people can afford to blow money up like this, but I digress.
The situation is worse when we are out at night and the terrier has to cope on his own. On our return we quite often find a wet patch on the carpet, but worse is the thought of the terror our little dog has had to endure on his own.
This year, when I saw we’re going to have the return of the Alexandra Palace fireworks, which is very close to us, I decided to look for something that I could give the terrier to calm down. A dog Calpol if you like. British parents will know this children’s medicine as a miracle worker: it takes away pain and makes your children into charming little angels (ok, not quite).
But instead of a medicine, I found a plug-in diffuser called Adaptil with a smell that only dogs can sense, and which emulates the scent of their mothers. You can plug in this device whenever you think you might need your dog to be calm. And ladies and gentlemen it works!
We’ve only had the occasional nasty pang or two so far, but judging by what an amazing effect this thing has on our (still at the age of ten!) hyperactive terrier, I’m hopeful that the Guy Fawkes and New Year’s celebrations won’ t be as dramatic as they usually are for our little ‘stinky’.