By: Delores Kuhlwein
Wear noise cancelling headphones, they say. Turn up the TV. Keep your dogs inside so they don’t go missing. Medicate your dogs. Buy them Thunder Shirts. Feed your horses hay to keep them busy. Put essential oils on them, etc., etc., etc.
Yet, here we sit as Americans in our own neighborhoods surrounded by neighbors who choose to turn our own streets into something akin to a war zone. We sit and pray and hope that our horses aren’t injured, checking on them repeatedly, while we jump each time a sound like a cannon rocks our houses every few minutes. It goes on for hours, and hours, and hours. It happens every single New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July. Now that I think about it, it happens almost every holiday. I happen to be blessed enough to live in a neighborhood with acreage, so our neighborhood has become fair game to just about anything during a holiday.
Please don’t tell me what to try, as I’ve tried it all.
But, it’s all in the name of fun, right? Join the party, have a few drinks, light up the sky in the name of a new year being rung in. It doesn’t matter how we affect others – only that we’re having fun and being free. I get celebrating our freedom. I don’t understand the idea of being so disrespectful to others we live by every single day. Most of all, I don’t understand why those not causing a ruckus must be on the defensive, while others can do as they please.
This New Year’s Eve, we had to confront several people shooting fireworks from the street over our home and barn. They tried to tell us why they had the right to do so. I had to tell them why our horses were frantic. Last year, Mark spoke to neighbors a few houses north of us about the fireworks they were shooting over our home and our neighbors’ home. They, in a drunken state, said it would be over soon. Nice answer. Welcome to the neighborhood I’ve lived in for over 20 years. But, tell me that I have to take it in the name of the rights of others, as my animals and I have none, it seems, and the police are too busy with all the other nonsense people dream up in the name of a good time. We know some of the fireworks are not legal. No one cares.
Read the Facebook posts of your friends who own animals. If they are frustrated, their friends are telling them to do this and that to combat the noise. Yet no one addresses the issue of the noise, or the appearance of the money-making sales of fireworks. We used to climb on our patio roof and watch the fireworks at the water park, handled by professionals, and it was a joy. Now, we approach these holidays cringing and wondering just how early the unrelenting noise will start from every direction. It began at 6 PM this New Year’s Eve, and it went on well past midnight.
Yes, they sell fireworks. Should you respect others and take them to the desert or an empty field, or should you shoot them over your neighbors’ home year after year? Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
I’m mad and it’s not a state I experience often. I wish other animal lovers would get mad too. We get angry about people and animals being treated unfairly, except for nights like New Year’s Eve, simply because we’ve lost sight of the fact that with our precious freedom might come some responsibility to others.
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