Does Anyone Know a Good Dog Therapist?

I really love fireworks, Chipmunks.

And I was convinced Uncle Jesse, my 2-year-old Australian Labradoodle, would too. After all, he’s not afraid of startling noises; his [human] father has perpetual allergy sneezes and coughs that could wake the dead.

So, brimming with an overconfidence usually reserved for Spring Breakers and Donald Trump’s hairstylist, I headed out on 4th of July with Uncle Jesse and Mr. Sneeze in tow.

Here’s what happened:

Have you ever scarred your own pets or children for life?

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83 responses to “Does Anyone Know a Good Dog Therapist?

  1. Hey Jules! Just to clarify, it’s a parent’s duty to scar their children for life, scarring dogs for life is similar but not as mandatory.

    Emotionally scarred children go to therapists and eventually marry badly. They complete the cycle by having children of their own and raising them even worse in a blind rage of trying not to scar them themselves. Whereas, emotionally scarred dogs just piddle on the lightest colored rug you have whenever you’re walking around in stocking feet.

    The stories of emotionally traumatizing my kids are so numerous and varied, that this comment box would burst at the seams just from the top ten. While parents would chuckle and say “Is that all?!”, the childlessreaders would pick up torches and pitchforks and come to the village looking for me.

    Thanks for the chuckles.

    • Thank YOU for the chuckles, D! This comment really had me giggling when I read it this morning in the elevator (at work…wow, TMI?). Uncle Jesse’s had only one nervous piddle, when he was still a puppy and a ‘guest’ dog came barreling in the house that he wasn’t expecting. He’s such a wimp, but he’s so sassy, too. How does he pull that off? Guess he learned it from his mom.

  2. He is Australian so maybe he would like fireworks on Australia’s Independence Day?

    I haven’t scarred my child yet, but I’m working on it. Hugo, the man of 1,000 faces, now lives in the living room so that ought to do it.

    • ha ha! The flag picture always makes me laugh for that reason (because he’s Australian).

      Oh, Hugo will get the job done. If not on his own, then certainly through his ‘Shades’ reenactments. (I need to read those again.)

  3. I am childless and dog less, but my husband gave his daughter a phobia of birds by giving her a big bag of the feed stuff in Trafalgar square before they employed the hawks (I am not making this up) that split, Inundating her with lots of rabid, frenzied pigeons.

    He still laughs about it. She doesn’t.

  4. Your dog should be a terrorist attack alert dog. I’m sure she was only trying to protect you. Or embarrass the living daylights out of you.

    My brother’s dog eats through doors and drywall when it storms. Helloooo doggie Xanax.

    • Oh and the other night I put pennies in a tin can and shook it at my dog. It’s supposed to make them stop doing something they’re not supposed to. After one shake she ran away from me with her head ducked and has been the perfect dog since then. I think she’s just scared to death of me now.

    • It was embarrassing, Carly! But shame on me for taking him to the closest possible spot, admist throngs of people.

      Ohhh, I’ve heard of dogs doing that. Is he a golden retriever?

  5. Our dog, Bailey, is 140 pounds. He’s got a bark that could make trees lose their leaves. But he’s terrified of fireworks (and sprinklers). On the 4th, if I sit with him on the floor, acting like everything’s cool as he tries to crawl under me, and talk calmly to him, maybe – maaaaaaaybe – he’ll only get a little diarrhea.

  6. When my little man was about a year and half, I had him on his changing table to dry him off from his bath. An effing spider was crawling over his shoulder and down his chest! It was the size of a nickel and I freaked. It was all I could do NOT to throw my child across the room. My husband came running to see what was wrong and I shoved our kid in his arms when I saw that the spider was still on him. My husband laughed at me while I cried from guilt and stormed out of the room. My poor kid freaked out at me freaking out. Now HE screams when he sees a spider, even the really tiny ones. No matter how calm I act to try and undo the scarring, my poor little three year old is scared of spiders. I feel bad because I have a really weird imagination paired with my dislike of spiders. My brain starts imagining them crawling after me if I only lame them. The thought of smooshing them makes me picture their little legs reaching around whatever weapon I have and grabbing me. It’s a sickness really.

  7. Many times! :)
    So this is Uncle Jessie! I wondered! Hahaha! Great post and cartoon. Love the graphics!

  8. Oh please. I scar my kids on a daily basis. In fact, just last night my youngest got this paper tube thing stuck on his leg (think a little wider than a paper towel roll), so he comes in telling me it’s stuck and I yell, “Hon, get the saw! We need to cut off a leg!!” To which he of course responded by bursting into horrified tears. Meh. That kid is gonna have to get a thicker skin growing up in THIS house. Plus, he needs to figure out sarcasm. Quickly. I probably scarred him further by trying to get the stupid thing OFF his leg. There was much howling in pain. Until we actually DID get something to just cut it off. The tube, not the leg. I don’t want to scar him quite that much. Not yet, anyway. :)

    Oh, and my dog freaks out anytime there are fireworks. Lucky me, I live in a neighborhood where the local yahoos like to set those suckers off about once a week. Much leaping and barking to get inside ensues, and then there is the shaking from fear and hiding under the couch. Good times. Uncle Jesse will recover, I promise. Just might not wanna make this a yearly tradition. ;)

    • ha ha Misty, you crack me up! You’re right he’s going to have to learn sarcasm FAST.

      I really, REALLY thought Tio Jesse would be fine. People hunt in this area, and do set off fireworks even though they’re illegal, and he never flinches. He doesn’t get scared over thunder, either. But when I heard how LOUD that first blast was, I knew we were in trouble.

  9. Funny entry! This also happens every New Year’s day when people light the loudest firecrackers and brightest fireworks. :)) I keep my dogs in the basement so they won’t be traumatized by the sounds. lol

  10. JellyBean absolutely loves Fireworks,,,so much so that she tries to catch them,,so she has to stay in the house and observe from inside so she doesn’t hurt herself,,,,silly doggie!
    Your such a funny chick,,great post!

  11. Your pooch is soooooo cute. I have two and both stick by me like glue when there are thunderstorms. With fireworks, they like to make their own sounds to go along with all the pops. But thunderstorms, they’re all over me as if the house is going to fall down on top of all of us.

    Hope Tio Jesse is recovering and all those bad dreams gone. :).

    • Thank you so much, Brigitte! If you stick around you will see the freak show that is my dog obsession ;)

      What kind of dogs? That is AWESOME that they make sounds along with fireworks. Wow, they need to have a pep talk with Uncle Jesse.

  12. For the seven years of his life, fireworks made my dog pee uncontrollably. Thankfully, he seems to finally have that under control.

    However, he is still terrified of thunderstorms, garbage can lids, and paper. I’d explain this, but I’ve never understood it myself. He’s deathly afraid of paper cuts?

    • Ha! “Deathly afraid of paper cuts.” Have you ever gotten one from a really thick piece of paper, or thin cardboard? Maybe that’s behind his fear. I shudder to think how he handles garbage can lids atop a trash can full of paper…

  13. You were just awarded a 6:30am high-five from my housemate and I for naming your dog ‘Uncle Jesse’. Congratulations.

  14. The “Look at me. I’m a f***ing stuffed animal.” killed me! It killed me so good!

    I love you, Uncle Jesse — and I know a good PTSD therapist. Let’s talk about this over vodka bones?

    • Aw, Angie, we were commenting on each other’s blogs at the same time! That warms my chipmunk heart. Hypothetically, if I bought us one of those friendship necklaces, which half would you want?

      Did someone say vodka?

  15. Poor Uncle Jesse! I’m pretty sure I scarred my oldest daughter and made her terrified of Michael Jackson. When she was three, I left the TV room long enough to take something out of the oven. When I came back in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video was on. I tried to explain to her that it was Michael Jackson dressed up and pretending to be a dirty kitty cat (I didn’t want to mention monsters of any kind). Later that night, at bedtime she told me to check her closet for “Uncle Jackon.” This went on for almost a year!

    • ha ha Sprinkles, in the wrong hands or with certain omissions, this story could have gotten the cops involved: “Check my closet for Uncle Jackson!” That is too funny. How does she feel about him now??

  16. O no, your poor dog, I just can’t imagine why super loud ka-pows sent him running for his life. My husband once spent 3 days installing a “self storing/retractable screen door in our attached garage (this involved going back to the hardward store twice for parts). Not even one full day of enjoying fresh breezes thru our brand new screened door did our giant husky/lab run full throddle thru it. I don’t even remember what freaked him out. Needless to say, I chased him clear up our lane with screen door still hanging off him…..want to meet up on Dr Phil?

  17. Richard Wiseman

    Every parent of pet owner screws up some how and some way along the line leaving the loved one with an issue or fear. My dad was a Terminator, no human emotions, so I’ve been careful and been loving and warm and fuzzy and yet I’ve given them the wrong medicine at times and when drunk told them stories about jungles, spiders, snakes and all sorts of grim & grizzly adventures which have no doubt given them nightmares and fears about the world beyond home.
    I tell you what, why not start a confession blog called Goguiltyconscience and you’ll see a lot of stuff that would make you feel way better about dogs and fireworks, plus you could run a feature called Worst Decision Of The Week and offer advice, mostly ‘Have a few drinks you’ll get over it and anyway there’s a guy here who flushed the wrong fish from his tank down the toilet, killed the aggressive fish afterwards and having only two fish, one good one bad and both now dead, is sitting in his own fish tank repeating quotes from Finding Nemo.

    • Rich! I should delete this comment so you don’t give this idea away for free! It’s amazing. You have a whole pitch ready to go. I’m serious. People would love it.

  18. Richard Wiseman

    please note errata – ‘parent of pet owner’ should read ‘parent or pet owner’ .. it’s not as if those two keys are on the same row!

  19. unfortunately…yes. took my youngest when he was a toddler to the fireworks. he was not happy to say the least. when he was 4 or 5 we repeated our mistake. as the fireworks started we looked around and he was nowhere to be found in the crowd of hundreds. I took a guess and found him huddled in the backseat of the car. so we watched the fireworks from the car…

    • Aw, poor guy! Although I think you can justify having tried again at 4-5. I think that’s the age when I really started to love fireworks – my mom definitely worked her mojo on me, making them out to be the greatest thing since sliced oranges in Blue Moon on tap. (I’ve always been gullible.)

  20. Yeah, poor Duke! Just last night our little 30 lb mini-Aussie heard ONE firework (didn’t someone tell that person, it’s the FOURTH, not the SIXTH of July???) in the middle of the night. He was shaking for two hours. Seriously, A firework?? What a little scaredy-dog!

    • Aw, MJ! I thought Uncle Jesse was in the clear, but the other night he heard fireworks in the distance and he was huddled against me and shaking for a while. Le sigh.

  21. Lmao. Too funny. I think the only time I have (effectively) scared my animals is when I came home to find the boxer chewing on one of my Coach shoes, so playing the role of mad woman/serial killer/lunatic, i chased her around the house threatening to beat her with it. She hasn’t made that mistake again. :)

    • Thanks, Jenny! :) And oh yes, Coach shoes are sacred ground. Uncle Jesse was never into shoes, but I think it’s because I caught him chewing the footboard of our new bed when he was a puppy, and I did one of those big ‘oh no you didn’t!’-type gasps, and he was so upset, he’s never chewed anything he shouldn’t since then! (It’s really kind of amazing.)

  22. Love those pictures.

    In answer to your question and children, every damn day.

  23. I’ve enjoyed so much this photo story! LOL

  24. Amazeballs! :-D x (I feel inspired to make my own photo story) x

  25. I’ve had a long day and busy weekend but I wanted to pop on here and let you know that I’m totally rockin’ a side ponytail right now and figured you, at least, would appreciate it. :)

    • Sandy! I’ve missed you! :) I’m so glad you and your side pony dropped in. Words cannot EXPRESS how much I appreciate it. I think my layers have grown in enough for a proper side pony…oooh…

  26. I knew I was in for a treat after seeing the first photo! then when I got to the “Umm” then”Ooh, they’re about to start!” I died laughing.

    And to answer your question: yes. multiple times in an assortment of ways. Both pets and kids.

    • Thanks, Darla! I’m finding it so hard to believe you have scarred your kids for life. I bet it’s nothing some Cool Ranch Doritos and a little time in the pee pool can’t fix ;)

  27. I’ve scarred both human and canine children. It’s my job.

    I am saddened that Uncle Jesse’s nightmare dog looks very much like my Shelby. She only looks scary.

    • Aw, Katy, I love Shelby!!! I want her. Let us blame the Google Gods for the results they provide when one searches for ‘dog attack’ pictures (actually, there was much worse – some were just gruesome wounds *shudder*)!

  28. Big party, high school, poor poodle–hiding under bed. :Sigh.

    I hate fireworks. I get all freaked out, like your dear dog.
    xoxo

    • I thought he was in the clear, El, and then last night there were fireworks in the distance and he started shaking and huddling against me. He NEVER acts like that with outdoor noises. I am a terrible mother.

  29. A teaspoonful of vodka in Uncle Jesse’s food should be a signficant balm.

    • Okay, buying him organic kibble is one thing, but sharing my vodka? No wonder they call you mad, Linda ;)

      P.S. – I still get excited when I think of Tito’s retweeting that post (all thanks to you)!

  30. haha! oh so funny (but not really). there is a lot of gun shots around here (hunting-wise), and my dogs aren’t a fan of that. Your photos and narrative were so cute.

    btw, i thought of you yesterday while reading the paper about a New Jersey transplant who moved to South Dakota. He’s a mystery writer (http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012307080015).

    ““Piss me off, and I’ll put you in a book.” It’s not an idle threat.””

    • Why thank ya, Country Wife! There is some hunting out here in west Jersey, which I’m still not used to, but the gun shots don’t seem to bother Uncle J! Another reason why I didn’t think I would scar him for life with fireworks…

      Very cool article! Although I must say a BIT SLANTED AGAINST NEW JERSEY, LOL We ain’t all concrete and theft; get the heck outta here! (Said in my best Sopranos voice. ;))

      But seriously. We have like 8,000 miles of beaches. We’re “The Garden State”! I oughta give him a piece of my mind…oh, there it is. There’s the Jersey.

  31. My friend’s dog hates fireworks, too. She has to medicate him. And even then he doesn’t do too well. Uncle Jesse, you’re not alone.

  32. I’m always amazed at dogs and cats who DON’T pee themselves during the fireworks.

  33. Hilarious in a totally non-hilarious way. Dogs being traumatized is never fun… our old adopted dog was once left in the underbelly of the Seattle airport for hours and hours after her travel sedation had worn off. After that terrible day, she was afraid of all loud noises. And bees. And small children. Not sure if they were all related. ;)

    • Oh my GAWD. What did they DO to her? (You have no idea where my imagination is going with this. Now we both need Xanax.)

      • They just left her there in the crate with all the booming and beeping of whatever industrial machinery they use in the underbelly of the airport. Obviously, she had no food or water during that time, but she also wasn’t let out of the crate to do her doggy business, if you know what I mean. So sad! She was supposed to go to Phoenix with her owner (our good friend) but was lost for a day or so in Seattle en route. EVERYONE was traumatized. She had lasting separation anxiety from then on, right up until the end. :( :( :( (Three sad-face emoticons don’t even begin to cover the tragedy of it all.)

  34. Poor Uncle Jesse! I can definitely feel your pain. The family dog Jake the Worm (yes, that’s his real name) is a Jack Russell-chihuahua freak of nature. He’s getting more and more neurotic with age and is terrified of wind. The neighbors refer to him as Cujo because he frequently scares the bajeezus out of them when he frantically runs out on the balconey, a barking-snarling terror the moment he hears/smells someone in his “hood.” But we love him… damnit! I think he’s scarred us more than we’ve scarred him.

    • Jake the Worm! Poor guy. I BURST out laughing when I read, “…and is terrified of wind.” I guess he’s not the wind beneath your wings. And he probably doesn’t like to go wherever the wind takes him.

      Sorry. Stopping now.

  35. My 15 year old papillon Mercy isn’t thrilled with fireworks but like most things does her best to ignore them. On the other hand, I have had a 180 lb mastiff/rottie cross try to crawl into my lap because he was scared of fireworks before ;) and I was still standing, so that was a little weird! The biggest toughest dogs turn into little babies over those things, I think Uncle Jessie’s reaction was pretty normal :)

    • LOL I see the exact same thing with big dogs! (Byronic Man had a similar comment here, too!)

      Poor Mercy – you’re right, it really is the normal reaction. Total blonde moment on my part (I say ‘moment’ like it’s not a constant thing for me).

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