I have never really enjoyed fireworks particularly. Apart from a few pleasant childhood memories of standing in the local churchyard with a polystyrene cup buckling under the heat of some tomato soup in my hand, my enjoyment of fireworks has not got much further than twiddling a sparkler or two.
I have always thought that fireworks are selfish as those who are letting them off have no control over who they are exposing to them.
This weekend I have been furious. We have worked really hard with Timmy (our nine year old rescue dog) over the past few months to help him decrease his anxiety levels and have really achieved some great things with him. Bang goes all of that this weekend - literally! He spent Wednesday night shaking after a couple of fireworks were let off outside the house. I had been putting a few drops of Rescue Remedy in his water, but soon realised that this was not enough. So Thursday we went off to the vet and came back with a pheramone collar and some doggy diazepam 'just in case'.
I soon realised that we were going to need the diazepam when he was actually sick with fear on Friday night, so Saturday was spent giving him plenty of exercise during the day and then it took a double dose to get him sufficiently relaxed so he could lie in front of the fire without being too troubled by all the explosions outside.
I remember a few years ago spending bonfire night in Leicester with a friend who had grown up in Derry during the 1970s. Walking back from the pub with him as fireworks were going off around us was the only time that I ever saw him shaken.
I think it is about time that we questioned our right to impose the experience of fireworks on people and animals who have no choice as to whether they want to participate or not.