Thoughts from the Publisher | June 30

Happy birthday, America!

On Tuesday, July 4, we will celebrate our country with picnics, parades, family gatherings, professional fireworks shows and, in many cases, a day off from work.

Although in the past, many of us Long Beach and Signal Hill residents commemorated our country’s birthday with fireworks purchased from local stands, it is now illegal to do so.

Unfortunately, there are those who will not adhere to the no-fireworks law. Those folks subject us all to startling noises, potential fires and unnecessary engagement of our police officers in time spent tracking down the perpetrators instead of tending to more serious matters.

At our home, Steve and I worry about repercussions from fireworks noises that may not affect others in the same fashion; we worry about our dogs. With our four-legged friends’ sensitive hearing, the loud booms, pops and whistles scare the hell out of them. Because we want to keep our dogs as calm as possible, we do not leave our house on the 4th of July. There are no picnics or family gatherings for us. Instead, we hole up in the bedroom with our doggies. We keep the doors and windows shut and watch television shows and movies that we can turn loud enough to block the outdoor noise as best we can.

I encourage pet owners to keep their pets inside during the next few days. Loud noises can cause otherwise good-natured dogs to do their best to run away.

Shame on the bad guys who refuse to walk away from illegal fireworks. Your actions hurt more than just your neighbors– they also frighten man’s best friend.

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