Days before and even afterwards you can hear fireworks popping occasionally. It seems that they ignite every time I try to walk my dogs. When my bitch hears this, she immediately pulls her tail and just wants to go home. I can forget about walking, for now. I’ll try again an hour later. But it’s worst on New Year’s Eve. That day, too, I try to go outside, which my four-legged friends are looking forward to, but some fool always shoots somewhere that day, whether at eight in the morning or at three in the afternoon.
However, it only really gets bad in the evening. As soon as it gets dark, the bang starts and doesn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. Every time it gets loud, a flash of light illuminates the night sky, my bitch is startled. Her heart is racing with fear and she is panting as if she had gone through a whole day. Anxiously she pushes against me and can hardly be reassured. So, I’m spending this New Year’s night holding a panicked dog in my arms as I curse the people who do it. I admit it, I put the worst insults on my mind, which doesn’t really help either. And I wonder why you actually do it. Wouldn’t it be enough if it had to be done and you have to excessively pollute the air with fine dust, believing that this would be limited to the time between twelve midnight and one in the morning? Yes, what about the children who already have to sleep at the time and cannot see the beautiful play of light? I remember my daughter hiding from the bang when she was little. At that time, I was holding her in my arm in a noise-protected room. I can still feel her trembling many years later. Now it’s my bitch.
As I try to forget the curses and focus on calming my bitch as best I can, I think of all the animals that are out there unprotected, all the wildlife. Winter in particular is a difficult time for them, as they find little food and have to handle their energy and food reserves carefully. This means that every attempt to escape, every effort to avoid a potential danger is a waste of energy that goes so far that it can cost them their lives. For them, the bang feels like the world is going to end. The bright flashes, the deafening noise and the unknown noises perceive them as a life-threatening situation. Nowhere can they get away from it. Birds flee in shock to unfamiliar heights, swaths of smoke and bright flares of light cause disorientation, take their sight and blind them so that they can no longer avoid obstacles in time. Animals in zoos and animal parks are also unprotected. To make matters worse, they have to endure in their prisons without being able to escape. And all the animals in intensive animal husbandry? They are crammed together in the stables and have to endure this. You can’t go out. What they have in common is that they cannot explain the spectacle, do not know that it will stop at some point.
And my bitch? It can cause psychological damage in the form of anxiety disorders. Even weeks later, she is startled by many sounds that she would otherwise have ignored. The consequences go far beyond this one night. „You can train her on it,“ I am told. But what about the wild animals, those in the zoos, in the so-called livestock farming? You can’t train them. Even if it’s only one night, the consequences are serious. But that doesn’t seem to interest those who simply enjoy the expensive, polluting and hostile behavior. „Anyone who loves animals or at least has nothing against them does not frighten them unnecessarily,“ I note. I am regularly informed that I cannot ban everything. Neither would it be necessary to ban anything if people had a little respect for our fellow creatures. Then they would voluntarily do without it. But we are far from seeing the most obvious. That’s why New Year’s Eve remains the most terrible of the year for me.