Dogs and Fireworks: The 5 Stages of Grief

The Fourth of July can be an emotional blender for dogs. Here they have a laugh at human expense.

Michael Leaverton  |  Jul 2nd 2013


We’re just a few days away from the Great Misery, according to your dog. Despair. Suffering. Blackness. Fireworks.

When the BOOM begins, your dog will undergo a wrenching emotional journey there in the back of the closet, while you drink your beer and eat whatever is left on your friend’s plate — dill pickles? Hope you’re happy.

1. Denial

What a nice — BOOM! — day. I feel — BOOM! — great. There’s nothing the matter at — BOOM! — all, though I am having a little trouble trying to get to — BOOM! — sleep.

2. Anger

Who authorized this? Why wasn’t I consulted? You think you can drop a stunt like this on me without any warning? Think again, hot-shot. This ends NOW or you might as well throw the poop bags in the trash because I’m crapping on your pillow for the next nine years.

Don’t try me. It’s your social life.

3. Bargaining

Okay, I get it, I understand you are now insane and have to make loud booms. So how about you do just one more and call it a day? BOOM! Please? BOOM! Just one more? BOOM! Come on. BOOM! Just one more. BOOM! Please? BOOM! Just one more. BOOM! Just. BOOM! One. BOOM! More. BOOM! Please? BOOM!

SCREW IT I’M EATING THE WINTER COATS.

4. Depression

I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I am trapped in a black pit of despair, wedged next to the suitcases in the hall closet that nobody ever goes in. It is so dark.

Would it kill you to put light in here?

Whoa, that was a big one, but I feel nothing.

Well, not true, I felt that one in my pancreas. What’s going on with fireworks? Maybe it’s time to cool it on the fireworks technology, ya think?

I’m depressed. I’m not really depressed. Dogs don’t get depressed. Let’s move on.

5. Acceptance

This is life. The boom boom boom. The bam bam bam. I can’t go on. I’ll go on. It’s going to be okay. Life continues. There is still a soft couch, there is still a bowl of food, there is still running around barking at cars, there is — BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM.

[Pause]

BOOMITY BOOMITY BOOMITY BOOM … pop.

[Cheering, then quiet. The dog detaches her snout from a hole in a suitcase and spits out a loafer.]

What’s this? We’re finished now? The fun is over? We’re brushing our teeth? We’re turning out the lights? Just like that? We’re patting my head? We’re all just going to go to bed like good little boys and girls and dream of nice things? Is that what you think?

Oh no, my friend.

WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED.

Yes, this was all fun and games, but on Thursday, July 4, we’ll have a real post on how to help your dog survive the Fourth of July. Be sure to catch it.

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