Monday 4 November 2013

Remember your furry friends this 5th November

I love this time of year and after the frightfully good fun of Halloween, I look forward to the autumnal bonanza of Bonfire Night.

Wrapping up warm in layers, a big coat, scarf wrapped round so high as to keep your ears warm, gloves to keep the chill from your fingers. Heading outdoors when the sun goes down. The smell of burning wood in the air. The fizzes and pops and showers of electric sparks in the sky in bronze, silver, green and red. Jacket potatoes roasting on the fire, hot chocolate served with marshmallows (and Baileys if you're lucky).

Getting together with friends and family for Bonfire Night has become something of a tradition for us. We love the amazing display that West Midlands Safari Park puts on every year, although we'll be missing out this weekend as although we'd love to celebrate, we feel little man is too little to spend the night outside, with loud bangs and so on.

Another reason is our concern for our pets. Whilst the firework festivities are great to enjoy, our furry friends aren't quite as enthusiastic and our dog Watson gets pretty upset.

He's six and a half years old and whilst he's never been keen on fireworks, he's never reacted like he did last year before. We went out the weekend before Bonfire Night and when we came home, not that late at all, Watson had dug a hole in the carpet down the side of the sofa bed in the spare room. We'd left lights on and the radio too but he'd become so anxious in our absence that he dug the floor in distress.

A week later, we came home and Watson had done the same again, on the other side of the room, but this time his digging was so ferocious, he'd cut the pads on his feet on the carpet grips underneath and was bleeding.

Our two cats aren't that keen on fireworks either but tend to stay indoors with no other changes in behaviour, aside from being more jumpy than usual.

As I say, I love fireworks, but it is horrible seeing my dog so disturbed every time he hears a bang. By all means, people should be able to celebrate the season, but I really believe there should be a curfew on how late fireworks can be set off. I heard them at 10pm last night and last year they went on to 11pm at least, and with a little baby in our family this year, I feel even stronger that this is just too late.

It gets dark at 4.30pm at this time of year so surely there's plenty of time to let off fireworks until your heart's content. Anything beyond 9.15pm I think is just too much and can cause problems settling little ones, of the baby or canine variety.

Do you find it hard to put your baby to bed at this time of year? Do you think there should be a curfew on fireworks?

As well as pets, I'd like to say we should all try to remember the prickly little garden visitors too this November 5th. Hedgehogs can often nestle themselves in piles of wood and leaves set up for makeshift bonfires so if you're planning on having one at home, just give your pile a gentle prod to make sure there's no foragers hiding in the warmth.


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