For me, this in an arf-ul time of year

July 02, 2006|by Liz Thompson

Everyone I know has a time of year they hate.

For some, it's the Christmas holiday season. For others, it's election season.

For my dog, it's Independence Day and the weekends before and after it.

Where I live, different neighbors tend to celebrate the Fourth of July on different days. What that means for my dog is the sound of fireworks throughout the weekend, on Monday and then the actual July 4 holiday on Tuesday. Anyone who missed the weekend before the holiday is likely to celebrate the weekend following it.

We've had Molly - a mix of some kind of spaniel and some kind of setter - about seven years. We adopted her from an animal shelter and discovered early on that she hates loud noises.

Thunderstorms drive her into the closet. Gunshots have her trembling.

But nothing drives her crazier than fireworks.

I guess they affect her the worst because they are a constant loud noise and she has no idea where to go to escape.


There isn't much we can do. We talk to her quietly. We pet her. We offer to let her sit in our laps.

Other than Molly's obvious distress, the other downside to this is that those important visits to the backyard have to be made between bursts of fireworks. We have become very creative in finding ways to keep Molly in the yard long enough to ... well ... you know.

I love fireworks, but whenever I see them now, I think of Molly.

This is a holiday for which people want to be outside. The Potomac River probably will be crowded with boaters and swimmers and people fishing.

The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River in Rockville, Md., tracks conditions for the Potomac River and creeks and streams in the state. The commission is cautioning people that the rivers and streams will be fast moving because of recent rain, and has issued a caution.

Safety should be on your mind if you plan to be on the river.

We have reporters working on July 4, and the last thing they want to hear on the police scanner is a call for a river rescue.

Just like motorists, boaters should have designated drivers. Exercise care and caution so that everyone has a safe holiday.

And since we're on the holiday topic, The Herald-Mail will publish a combined edition on Tuesday.

While most people will have the day off, there will be people working at the newspaper to produce, print and deliver the newspaper to you the following day.

We'll have reporters working on the Fourth of July, and several editors laying out the pages. Employees will be here to make sure page negatives are made and turned into press plates. Pressmen will run the newspapers off, and delivery people will see that it gets to your door.

I won't be involved in that process. I'll be home trying to coax my dog out of the closet.

Liz Thompson is city editor of The Herald-Mail. She may be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7682, or by e-mail at

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