Speedy was actually moved to his current dry lot as a result of last year's 4th of July debacle, and he's been much, much happier overall. We decided to keep him where he is and dose him with Dormosedan just before dark in the hopes of keeping him calm once the explosions began.
After dosing Tobias with a bit of Ace, my husband stayed home to keep an eye on both him and Yellow Dog who is still recovering from a sprained ankle. I headed out to the ranch just before 8:00 p.m. To my utter amazement, the party across the river was over. I heard the last of the guests leaving and the property owners doing some clean up. It looked like all our planning and worry might have been for naught.
I quickly put Speedy's halter on and started soothing him. He was tense, but nothing like he had been the year before. Knowing that the Dormosedan can take a while to work, I held it in my hands contemplating whether to give it to him or not. He just wasn't that upset. I decided to wait a bit longer to see how loud things were going to get. The year before, I wasn't there when things started. This time, I was right there with him.
It was really heartwarming to see how much Speedy trusted me. He was worried, but as long as I stood by him with a hand on his neck or back, he seemed willing to trust that I would keep him safe. As the booms and blasts continued to build, his tension actually began to subside. He nibbled on his hay, confident that I would take care of him. When a blast was particularly loud or close, his head would shoot up and he would stare intently, but he never spun away from me or even spooked.
As I headed back east toward our neighborhood, the number of fireworks began to dwindle. My own neighborhood was quiet. Both dogs greeted me happily, but Tobias insisted on sleeping right next to my side of the bed. He was still sleepy the next day, but at least his anxiety had been controlled. I drove back out to the ranch on Sunday morning to find a sleepy gray horse. I gave Speedy a thorough grooming, checking for any injuries. I hopped up on him bareback with a halter and rode him around the neighborhood. He started out feeling pretty lethargic, but as we made the turn for home, he perked up considerably marching forward with purpose.
All in all, my animals did well considering it was the perfect storm of a night - Independence day falling on a Saturday night with the energy of a full moon fueling the social unrest in which we find ourselves living.
I find that I enjoy July 5th a whole lot better than the 4th.