A plea for mercy on the Fourth of July

As everyone knows, I like dogs much better than people. See here for Elvis, Zoey and our “dog in the box.”  I also know that the Fourth of July wouldn’t be the same without fireworks.  Indeed, when Keller went off to college we found a whole stash of fireworks under his bed–I would have much preferred dirty magazines.  Anyway, here is my plea for mercy for my dog friends: Remember that every time you fire off one of those damn things, some poor dog goes batshit.

Photo credit: Courtesy Tampa Bay Humane Society.  See also 5 tips to help your pets during the Fourth of July fireworks

Photo credit: Tampa Bay Humane Society. See also here for tips on how to help your dog when your neighbors act like assholes.

So, shoot ’em off if you must, but as the sun sets and evening comes on the Fourth, drink your beer, eat your burger, but stop torturing my friends. Recall what Will Rogers said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” If you absolutely must satisfy some base need for cruelty, give your sniveling little kid or small grand child a hot sparkler. That’s when the fun on the Fourth really begins.



13 responses

  1. I will personally track down–hypothetically speaking…–any f**r who ties a fire cracker or sparkler to the tail of a cat or dog because he thinks that’d be a funny thing to do.

    That…person…will discover–also hypothetically–what an M-80 colonoscopy feels like.

    Eric Hines

  2. Judge:
    There is no guarantee than a person who is kind to animals (especially dogs) will get to Heaven but I opine, with certainty, that such a thing is impossible for one who is cruel to them. Have a happy 4th of July….and God bless America.

  3. We all are with you on this one. Kids are for people who weren’t good enough for a dog, right?
    Not sure where cats figure in there, except on top if they have anything to do with it.
    Happy Fourth and be glad you don’t live in Utah where you have to buy your fifth for the fourth on the third. Can’t believe I lasted there 8 years, but as was often said, I ran the opposition.
    heidi & Steph: Human Division
    Canine Division: Sea Biscuit & Scupper Pro
    Feline Division: Chigger, Squid, Alvin Coolidge, Katmandu & Possum

  4. Judge Kopf,

    I’ve been a lurker reading your blog for a very long time. I admire your candor and your blog has made me laugh, cry, and everything in between. But this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to comment. Thank you for speaking for these terrified creatures who can’t speak for themselves. I had a 55 pound mutt who was the sweetest, most neutral dog you’d ever meet — a certified therapy dog. Nothing fazed him — except fireworks, which had the same effect on him that watching the Exorcist has on me. Have a Happy Fourth, preferably without any fireworks.


  5. Too funny, the Utah story. Gave me a warm chuckle since my first mother in law, a dear and wonderful woman was a “Salt Lake City” Morman with rights to the Temple. Interesting and lovely people, but, to be frank, sometimes very strange. All the best.


  6. Robert,

    You write, beautifully, that “I opine, with certainty, that such a thing [the hereafter] is impossible for one who is cruel to them [dogs].” The agnositic in me hopes you are right. I truly want our immense universe to extract retribution of some kind from those who prey on the weak. All the best.


  7. And when you can’t stop the noise, such as when it’s Zeus and Apollo bowling; sit with, and hold your dog. They will still be frightened and afraid, but your comfort will make a big difference.

  8. Your Honor, just found your blog. Thanks for spreading this important message. Growing up my family lost a German Shepherd overnight because of fireworks on the 4th. Lesson learned. I just spent this year at home with my Rhodesian Ridgeback. Thankfully, I only had to reassure her twice that it was not the end of the world. Keep publishing common sense. Go Big Red

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