Foxy and the fireworks

29 December 2019 by
Foxy and the fireworks Foxy and the fireworks
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The only thing we knew about Foxy`s past was that he joined a woman, walking her dog on the river bank of another town at the beginning of February,

 who put the leash of her own dog on him, and took him to the nearest vet. After that, due to the lack of microchip, he was taken to an animal protection foundation and we adopted him from there after a few weeks.


He must have spent a lot of time on the streets before, because in spite of his age of 6, in the first few weeks he was afraid of everything, for example buses, cars, and people, especially men. At the beginning he did not even dare to pee while we were walking, he was just moving next to me slowly, holding his head down. It was a big challenge for me to bring him out of this state. I tried to spend all of my free time on his improvement, I bought some books, I talked with experts dealing with abandoned dogs, I followed their advice. By the end of the 7th week we just got over his separation anxiety, his diarrhoea became better, he did well in traveling in my car, he was calmer in the dog park as well, and while I was working  hard to build a stronger bond with him, I faced what it was  like when a dog is scared of fireworks.


We had a busy week behind us, I had much work on weekdays, but as usual, on Saturday we visited one of the dog parks of our town, where we often went to socialize, and we mingled in the crowd of 8 dogs and their owners. And suddenly we heard the bang, once, twice, then came the rest one after the another. They did not explode right next to us, but it wasn`t that far either. It was already April, and in Hungary fireworks are legal only on 31st January at midnight. But those people there just didn`t care. I didn`t listen to where exactly the noise came from, I was just watching my dog, who was shaking with its tail between his legs. ,,Foxy, come here.”- I told him. Earlier I had been able to call him easily, which I was very proud of, but at that moment he wasn’t interested.  He seemed not to hear it at all, he was only listening to the bangs, and immediately started to escape. I set off towards him, but it was already too late. He jumped over the fence of the dog park, which might have been too high for another dog, but he was driven by fear. I ran after him, called him in vain, and then he disappeared in front of me within a few seconds.


I don`t want anybody to feel the same helplessness what I felt seeing my dog running away in the distance. But being a person who doesn`t give up anything and believes in the power of acts, I ran back to my car as I knew I did not have a chance on foot. Meanwhile with half an eye I saw a man as well running after him from the dog park, but he also gave it up. Another guy riding a motorbike saw our suffering, he turned back to follow my dog. I started to drive in that direction too. One of the main roads of our town with heavy traffic and a lot of people was close to us, and Foxy was racing along that way. I stopped in every few hundred meters and shouted out of the window: ‘Have you seen a fox-like dog running somewhere here? ‘ ‘Yes, we did.’- said some youngsters. ‘He was running  in that direction.’ Meanwhile I called my family members and friends and asked for help, and whoever could, came to search for him. It was a feeling like looking for a needle in the hay stack. It was getting darker and darker. According to my latest information he was heading towards a field behind a big supermarket where there was a railway as well, so I drove there too, but after that I lost his trail.


I started to become hopeless, when suddenly my phone rang. A woman`s voice said:’ We have found your dog.’ It was an indescribable feeling, I could not even believe what I heard.  I was only few hundred meters far from the location she gave me, so I got there quickly, and I saw three people walking my dog in the middle of a giant field in the early dusk about half an hour after his disappearing, 6 kilometres away from the fireworks.


A miracle happened. Namely, while Foxy was running along the busiest street of the town with a motorcyclist behind him, a woman sitting calmly on a terrace of a café decided that an unknown dog`s life was more important than her coffee, so she left it there, jumped into her friend`s car and started to follow them with her friend`s child in the back seat. On the way there she spotted another friend of hers, who she asked to get into the car with her to help, so after some hard work they succeeded in catching him few minutes before it became totally dark, after diverting him down from the rails, avoiding a train.


It was a touching and unbelievable moment. I couldn`t resist to be grateful when I arrived there. It seems to me there are still a lot of good people on the Earth. ‘This tag with his name and a phone number on his collar was a good idea.’- she said. I told her briefly how he ran away. ‘Well, yes, that dog park is not safe.’-she replied. That was the first time I heard that, earlier everybody suggested that place. After that Foxy jumped into my car immediately, and we rushed home. Meanwhile I was thinking that although microchips are compulsory, a lot of owners unfortunately don`t arrange them for their dogs, but a tag on the collar with the name and phone number should also be a basic thing, since it can save lives. As for Foxy`s savers, they weren`t average people for sure, they were rather angels. Guardian angels.


After arriving home I called the police immediately to report the case, as lighting fireworks was a crime, but I was told that I should have announced it when I heard the bang, after that I can only send a written announcement. `Well, I could not really ring at that time.` -I said. `I was busy with chasing my own dog not to run out of the world.`


It took us months to get over that day, and at the end it wasn`t just Foxy who was afraid, it was me. I just didn`t dare to let her play in that dog park anymore. I heard it later that there had often been fireworks before frightening some others dogs too, and because mine can climb over fences easily, just in case we were looking for another dog park surrounded by a higher fence at the other end of the town.


A lot of dogs are scared of fireworks, and it can activate an extremely strong escaping reflex in them, which unfortunately ends with a lot of accidents. And dogs are not the only ones afraid, other animals are too, and a lot of owners spend their new year`s eve with anxiety because of it, so it raises an interesting question. Is this `amusement` really worth it and can be legalized at all, even for just a few hours?



The Hungarian translation is available on .



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