OK – so Arthur isn’t a greyhound or a galgo but I am still this black lurcher’s proud ‘Mum’. I am hoping that Arthur’s fear of fireworks and what I use to help him overcome his anxiety – may assist in calming other hounds in a similar situation?

Arthur is blind – but no pity please! He is a very well adjusted, loving and much adored companion. He is loved by all he meets and a real social ‘butterfly’ – with just one ‘fly’ in the ointment – he is petrified of fireworks! I have researched just about every single homeopathic remedy…having purchased Simply supplements Calming Formula, Dorwest’s remedy, Johnson’s Calm-eze, Rescue Remedy and many more. I was fast losing hope of finding something that would calm and suit my little boy as most of the products did nothing to calm Arthur but would upset his tummy. One day whilst reading my Dogs Today magazine, I came across an advert for a ‘Thunder Shirt.’ Was this going to help my Arthur? I rang my good friend Judy (as I have no computer) and she found the phone number for one of the companies that supplies the Thunder Shirt. Thanks Judy – you’re a star! I rang them and explained my situation. They really were my last hope as I am really reluctant to medicate via a vet as I was worried, that being blind, Arthur may lose his co-ordination. He knows his way around the house and the back garden and is as familiar with his walks as the back of his hand (sorry – paw!!) I did not want to sedate him. I received my boy’s Thunder Shirt the very next day and as we were getting loud fireworks going off every night – now was my chance to try it. I gave Arthur his tea early , put on the Thunder Shirt and waited with baited breath!! It was not long before the dreaded fireworks started. I looked at Arthur and he seemed dead to the world…I was then worried I had put the shirt on wrong? Was it so tight I had stopped him from breathing? I was so concerned that I put my finger on him and poked him gently. He opened one eye – he was really just fast asleep! The fireworks weren’t bothering him and he was sleeping through them. Whoopee… success at last. I was so relieved for Arthur. I am still not certain how it really works but all I do know is that it works for my dear boy – so do I really care how it has the desired effect? No – I don’t – but all I do know is that he is able to cope (or sleep!!) when fireworks are being let off and I am just so happy for my darling black blind lurcher lad.

Just after writing this – I was still a bit sceptical whether the shirt would work on New Year’s Eve when we would be bombarded by extremely loud pops and bangs….so I was even more astounded by ‘The Shirt’ when Arthur even ventured out into the garden for a wee whist the sky was filled with noise and lights. OK – so he didn’t linger but the fact he went out at all is a miracle!!

Diane Campbell

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