Sunday, July 4, 2010


Firecrackers are horrible, noisy, scary things that I believe were invented on purpose to terrorize dogs and cats and horses.  And if I ever meet up with the man who invented them, I'm going to bite him on the leg!  So there!

I already found the name of this person that I want to bite, and it is Li Tian, and he lived in China about a thousand years ago.  At least, some people say that it was Mr. Li that invented fireworks.  But there's also a story about a Chinese cook who discovered fireworks by accident 2000 years ago because he mixed charcoal, sulphur, and saltpeter together.  But this may have been the invention of gunpowder, and fireworks didn't come until later.  So it's all sort of confusing, which makes it hard to know who to bite.

Anyway, firecrackers are supposed to scare away evil spirits and ghosts because they are afraid of the loud noise, just like dogs are.  So the Chinese use firecrackers whenever there is an important event, like for instance the New Year or a marriage or a birth or a death.

Some people think it was Marco Polo who brought black powder from China to Europe in the 13th century, but other people think it was some guys called the Crusaders.  Anyway, the Europeans were glad to have this explosive stuff to use in their weapons so that they could kill more people in a noisier way.  Then the Italians started making fireworks out of the black powder, and after that, the Germans did, too.

The English also liked fireworks, and when Elizabeth I was queen, fireworks were very popular.  Some of the people who came to America to live here brought along fireworks.  The first Independence Day celebration was in 1777, which was before we even knew if we would win the war.  But we did win it, and when President Washington was inaugurated, there was a fireworks display.

Ever since then, there have pretty much been fireworks every year on the Fourth of July and sometimes on New Year's Eve and after baseball games and at Disneyland and all sorts of times like that.  But the fact that humans seem to like fireworks does not make them any nicer for dogs and cats.  I have heard of dogs who got so scared on the Fourth of July that they escaped from their yard or jumped out through the window of their house.

My advice is that you should not try to escape from your house, no matter how frightened you feel about the fireworks.  And the reasons for this are:
1.  You could hurt yourself while you are escaping.
2.  You could get run over by a car.
3.  You could become a poor, homeless animal, which is no fun, trust me.
4.  You might never be found by your humans, which would make you and them very sad.
5.  You are actually safer staying home because the firecrackers can't come inside your house, even if it seems like they are going to.

Oh, and here is one more piece of advice:  if your mom or dad invites you to a fireworks display, just say "No way, José!"  Then you can stay home and chew on the furniture, which is a really good way to relieve stress.


  1. Just a short note; I DON'T like fireworks either. Oh...Di/Dodi are sitting here next to me, they now have their own chair to sit on while I'm on the computer. Anyway, Di ignores the sounds of fireworks....and actually ignores sounds of any kind. Dodi on the other hand, does NOT like them, but he isn't quite as scared of them as my previous dogs were. Even as a child I didn't like fireworks; I usually stuck with the "snakes" and maybe 1-2 "sparklers." oops...I said this would be a short note. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY...and I'm thinking about all of you!
    Love, AP

  2. Dear Aunt Patty,
    My mom doesn't like loud noises, even though she thinks fireworks are pretty. I don't like how noisy they are, and I don't bother to look up in the sky to see them, unless I think there's a squirrel in a tree up there. So far, the fireworks haven't been too loud, and I have been able to sleep through them, but I think the worst is still to come, unless it starts raining a bunch.
    Happy Fourth of July to you, too!
    Love, Piper