Dec 30, 2009


Dutch New Year celebrations started officially yesterday morning, with the legal sale of fireworks in Holland. Legally, they must not be let off before 10 a.m. on the 31st Dec.; but unrealistically, billions of bangers, rockets and other heart jumping noisy explosives, are now in the hands of millions of over-excited Dutch youth.

So, since I am not allowed to leap out, screeching bloodcurdlingly (and brandishing my broomstick) onto the backs of our local youth - and physically remove their fireworks from them when they let them off right under my windows (!) - that just leaves the following:

Check list:
Wheelie bins under cover.
Letter box sealed shut.
Last minute shopping done.
All windows closed.
Monitor the dog's pulse and respiration.

A friend's German Shepherd mix is staying with me, while her 'mam' holidays in Dubai - and she is cowering on top of my feet. She has been there for almost the last 24 hours and my feet are numb. Toasty, but numb.

This poor dog is my greatest concern; what with all the smoke and noise coming from the street she is a nervous wreck, so I have created an elaborate, 'escape' route, out of my scullery door (mine is the only residence on the ground floor - a sort of granny flat) and into a small enclosed back passage. Then out through another door into the main hall, past the lift and out through the electronic back doors onto a large cul-de-sac of grass and trees - and from there it is just a couple of minutes mad dash across the grass, around a corner, across a road and into a large wooded park, where an 'off lead' area for our four footed friends, offers sanctuary. Phew!

After a bit of a run, I will put her back on the lead and since the local New Year's bonfire is being built further up in the park, we will then proceed the opposite way, past monuments and duck filled ponds, towards an area of high prickly bushes - to relax and sniff at rabbit holes. (The dog, not me (!) I gave up rabbit hole sniffing years ago...). It seems to soothe the dog's nerves and the local rabbits are apparently used to us now, since they don't bolt anymore.
I just hope that these cute, seemingly unafraid bunnies - and the local tame ducks - have the sense to bolt and hide from the growing swarms of kids armed with thousands of 'bombs': i.e, bangers that get louder and more dangerous every year... *shudder*..
Because some of them really are like small bombs. Obtained illegally from Belgium and smuggled into the Neths. I saw two of them blow a couple of impressive holes in the tarmac outside a party in Amsterdam, a couple of years ago.

Happy New Year everyone - and be safe! And that goes for your pets and the local wild life too.



Grandad said...

Do as I do and feed the dog with tranquilisers [Herself never misses them].

Happy Days to you too!!

Kate said...

Hi Geri,
You take care out there, even with your broomstick held high!!!
Hippie and I will be staying in tomorrow when the fireworks will be at their worst - we are going to snuggle on the settee with Max, close the curtains and turn up the TV!! She will not even step out of the door if theres even the smell of fireworks bless her - Max doesn't care - he just likes to be pampered!!!
Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

Grannymar said...

Since I have no dog minding to do I will be staying indoors with a bright real fire to warm my heart aided by a little liquid cheer.

Geri, I hope 2010 is kind to you with good health for you and yours and a barrel full of blogging ideas.

Slainte Mhath!

Geri Atric said...

Grandad ~ excellent idea, thanks. I might take a few myself!
Kate ~ Don't you just love cats! While the rest of us huddle in fear, they just rise above..!
Grannymar ~ Sounds lovely and cosy! I will be raising my glass to you at midnight (Dutch time!)
~ ~ ~

jay said...

Oh gosh, I do feel for you! I've had two dogs who were terrified of fireworks and could not be comforted. One was helped by the DAP diffuser (a solution which mimics the calming pheromones given out by a nursing bitch, in a plug-in bottle), and the other was not. She wasn't helped by anything, not tranqs, not the DAP, not Rescue Remedy, not hiding under the desk (although she did that anyway), not being ignored, not loud music or chatter to cover the noise, not even the desensitising CD I bought for her. She was a quivering wreck and wouldn't settle for DAYS after they stopped. Any loud noise and she'd shake again for hours, poor thing.

Luckily Sid seems fine with fireworks. Fingers crossed that it lasts! I hope your poor dog gets through this OK.

Geri Atric said...

Jay ~ It is indeed a problem!
Were those two dogs Pirate and Princess? I enjoyed reading about them on your blog.

Just over four hours till midnight when all hell will break loose here in The Hague, as millions of euros worth of fireworks go up in smoke... Hopefully after that, usually around 2 a.m., the park bonfire will have died down and the local 12 - 16 year olds, will have run out of bangers and rockets and gone off to bed!

I'm glad Sid (big hug) doesn't seem bothered by it all!

steph said...


And here's to lots more ungraceful ageing in 2010!

Don't worry if you can't reply at the moment. I'll take it that the German Shepherd is now cowering on top on your chest.

Geri Atric said...

Hi Steph ~ Happy New Year!

Haha - cowering on my chest? Well not far off. She was so scared of the fireworks I let her sleep on the end of the bed on New Year's Eve (and at her insistence, also the 1st. of jan') which was a huge mistake. She ended up hogging practically the whole bed, with me squashed against the wall with no covering - and letting off the most awful doggie farts! Aargh!
I returned her to her 'mam' yesterday afternoon and both were of course thrilled to be reunited -but she sat steadfastly beside me for the duration of the visit and got up to leave with me, without even a backward glance at my friend - who by then was looking slightly peeved (oops!). Seems I spoiled her rather too much. Have got a feeling that dog will be going to a boarding kennel next time!