The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted July 4, 2012









Astraphonia (Part Two) 1

Yeah ... Dang Right it's Spooky!!





Astraphonia (Part Two) 2We Are A Happy, Close Knit Family!

Especially when times get tough!





Astraphonia (Part Two) 3

Kind of like "Find Waldo" ...

but it's ... Find the BC's!





Astraphonia (Part Two) 4We move around a little bit!





Astraphonia (Part Two) 5They are kinda pretty though, aren't they!

Dad would have taken more pictures,

but they always were popping when

he was trying to drink his beer!

He ought to learn how to take a picture

with one hand!


These are the ones north of us.  Actually,

the east side was really more impressive!






Astraphobia (Part Two)

Happy Freakin’ Fourth
By Gall


Yep … you guessed it … fireworks are just as bad as thunder!  Probably worse, if I had to compare them!  Thunderstorms don’t generally last that long out here … and the thunder doesn’t generally come from all directions!  We looked on the internet deal tonight, and you won’t believe this … we could find no name for a phobia regarding fireworks.  That seems plumb insane to us!  The best we could find was some phony shrink type dude that said Astraphobia was probably as close as a definition that he could find!  I think we need to take some of that money that folks are donating to the presidential election funds and use it to come up with a proper term and recognition for this very reasonable concern!


Now, both dad and Ronny respect my respect for these loud noises and such and don’t really permit any fireworks on their places … but, the neighbors on the self made Galindo Road to our north, and all the folks to the east do not have the slightest respect for my concerns that result from fireworks … look out, I think that one popped right over our heads!!  Gee, I wish we still had the burn ban in effect … but come to think of it, that didn’t slow down those folks over there on Galindo Road at all last year!


Now, surely, you are familiar with fireworks … Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used ERRONEOUSLY for aesthetic and entertainment purposes.  The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display.  A fireworks event (also called a fireworks show or pyrotechnics) is a display of the effects produced by firework devices.  Fireworks competitions are also regularly held at a number of places.  Fireworks (devices) take many forms to produce the four primary effects: EXTREMELY LOUD noise, EXTREMELY BRIGHT light, smoke, and floating materials (confetti for example). They may be designed to burn with DANGEROUS flames and EXCESSIVE sparks of many colors, typically red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and silver.  Displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations.[i]  Most notably in the United States, in my observation, that would be the Fourth of July and New Years.


Look, I am just as patriotic as the next Gall.  On the Fourth of July, I want to parade around and denounce the king, toss a box of tea into the harbor.  I just never translated this feeling into a desire to blow stuff up and scare the bejeezers out of everybody (and maybe catch the county on fire – the wind is blowing at about 15 mph tonight, and we are still pretty dry).  I am actually quite concerned about the relative amount of danger that people are willing to put themselves in, in the name of celebrating our nation's independence from the tyranny of the British monarchy 236 years ago!


I noticed tonight – it’s July 3rd as I write this (and the fireworks have been going on for several days already) – that even Momma Roo seems to be sticking closer to the shop around dark.  Tomorrow will be a tough one for us … but ya’ll too, I reckon!  I’ll be thinking about you, and you think about us!  Remember to care for your pooch![ii]


Dad and mom-D like to tell the story about when they lived in Washington, DC and were at the Desert Storm Victory Celebration (USA … USA … USA) and they saw the super-duper impressive fireworks show that evening.  Dad says the ground literally shook!  Their faces got covered in soot.  And they said that this was a GREAT experience!  Now, I am just as proud about being an American and kicking everybody’s butt, and I am terribly grateful for all the men and women (and dogs) in the military – but I think a better celebration would have been for everyone to just sit in dad’s shop, have a beer, visit, and listen to his Zune (he’s got some pretty good tunes on there, you know!)!


Anyway … Safety first.  Happy Independence Day.  No taxation without representation.  One if by land, two if by sea.  Give me liberty, or give me death.  But you can keep your fireworks to yourself!!


Entertainment my butt!!!  Downright terrifying!!  That’s what it is, I tell you what!





Help your dog cope with thunder and fireworks:

A dog who is afraid of loud noises can create anxiety for the whole family. Here are some tips for soothing your storm or fireworks troubled dog.

Short term Quick Fixes:

  • Play! Depending on your dog's level of anxiety (pacing vs. curled up trembling) simply distracting him may be the best course of action. Play, sing songs, exercise the dog as much as you can to try and wear it out. Help your dog associate thunder with a fabulous playtime!

  • Crate your dog or move their bedding into a enclosed space like a closet. A dog who feels "safe" will be less anxious, and a "den" is the instinctual place for a dog to feel safe. It may help to cover your dog's crate with a blanket or sheet to create a den feeling.

  • Create as much white noise as you can. Fans, TV's, radios, etc. Try to drown out the majority of the sound.

  • Find a T-shirt that fits the dogs chest tightly and put it on them. No one knows why this helps, but many owners swear this makes a difference.

  • Over the counter sedatives (Like rescue remedy) or veterinary prescriptions like Ace or Valium are a good short term treatment- although not available in an emergency. If your dog is severely anxious, try to keep a stash on hand.

  • Short term and long term, one of the most important things for an owner to do is not to coddle the dog. Cooing and petting are both "rewarding" actions for a dog- they are used as rewards in training- so what are you training your dog to do when you respond to his anxiety with petting and cooing?

[i]  The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China, where they were invented. The fireworks were used to accompany many festivities. It is a part of the culture of China and had its origin there, eventually it spread to other cultures and societies.


[ii]  A fear of fireworks is a fairly common phobia for dogs. They often find the loud, unpredictable noise and bright displays of light truly frightening. Even a seemingly confident dog can tremble and drool at the unfamiliar sounds.

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