Freedom Comes With a Price
Today is truly a great day for Americans. On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies of the United States declared their independence from British rule by signing the Declaration of Independence; pretty bold move, I’d say.
From my point of view, it wasn’t until a year later that things began to go wrong. On July 4, 1777 some fool in Bristol, Rhode Island had the bright idea to fire off 13 large guns in the morning and then again at dusk to properly punctuate the first anniversary of that important occasion. And now, 210 years later, the proliferation of cannons and fireworks have amplified the sounds of that simple celebration into a twenty-four hour American auditory disaster that grows with each succeeding year.
Faded Glory has a full-house every Fourth of July. The best part for me is the hot dogs, hamburgers, and tasty snacks that abound at the Inn throughout the entire holiday. Our guests and their children seem to eat non-stop, and, believe me, distracted children eating hotdogs represent a food bonanza for me.
For us dogs, of course, this ongoing food orgy is absolutely fine; it’s the noise that we truly fear! I can’t tell you how many times I have hidden in a shower or jumped into an empty bathtub trying to escape the continuing blasts of firecrackers and the whistle of rockets just prior to their exploding. One year, I even went into the laundry room and burrowed into a week’s dirty laundry (on the floor) to escape the madness. Your dedicated forefathers could never have predicted the cacophony of sounds that would be unleashed over the next two centuries.
Up until this year, our guests would traditionally arrive at the Inn with ragtag collections of simple roadside fireworks; sparklers, — you know — stuff that would light up, flash a bit, and go pop — simple stuff! Problem was, before long, everybody was running around with something semi- dangerous in their hands; folks right down to 5 year old kids — and even younger . . . an accident waiting to happen.
Here in Georgia, fireworks are not legal; but only15 miles down the road in Tennessee and just 18 miles away in North Carolina our guests can now load up with world-class, extremely powerful fireworks that can easily kill, maim our human counterparts, or scare Hell out of dogs, cats, and pets that happen to be near. Because Georgia is bordered by at least three fireworks-friendly states, our officials turn a deaf ear (excuse the pun) to complaints involving fireworks and do little to hinder their use.
So, this year, Isabel logically decided to take the one step that would help prevent accidents, limit the Inn’s liability, and ultimately drive Cinders and me nuts! Isabel sent out a notice to all of her would-be Fourth of July guests banning all personally-owned fireworks and announcing an organized Faded Glory pyrotechnics display at the Inn on the evening of the 4th of July — after dark.
You have undoubtedly already read about my fear and dislike of noisy vacuum cleaners (Homer’s Pet Peeve), so you can just imagine my angst and fear when confronted with news of the upcoming fireworks debacle. Because Cinders isn’t old enough to have suffered through a Fourth of July ‘celebration,’ he doesn’t have a clue to what is in store for him. I will, of course, be there to help him through the ordeal and minimize the trauma. Isabel and Micah have decided to discharge all of our fireworks on the front lawns of the Inn, while housing all guest-owned, and Inn pets, in the new kennel at the rear of the property. This will probably help.
Because you are not a dog, it might be impossible for you to understand the effect of these explosions on us. I, for one, cannot even begin to describe the effect that they have already had on me.
If you have a dog, cat, or other domesticated pet, please be careful to distance him/or her from your celebration in a secure enclosure if you will be discharging fireworks as part of your entertainment scheme. You won’t want to spend July 5 driving up and down local roads and streets searching for your frightened, runaway pet. I realize that our nation’s founders weren’t thinking about their innocent pets when they were framing their post-independence celebrations. But, for many of us innocent dogs and cats, “freedom does come at a price!”
Happy Fourth of July, y’all. Please be safe.