I, like many Americans, have spent the day grilling and chilling, enjoying all the things that make life in these United States so special. We used to go down to the river after sunset and watch the annual fireworks display. However, all that changed six years ago when we got our Scottish Terrier, Bernie (Brenbill’s Money to Burn). You see, Bernie doesn’t like fireworks. Well, actually, it’s thunderstorms he objects to, but he has trouble telling the two apart.
In many ways, Bernie is all Scottie. He is highly suspicious of strangers, especially men. He grumbles about everything. He grumbles when I make him go out when the weather’s bad, he grumbles when I make him move out of my chair, and he grumbles whenever I put him up on the grooming table. He can put on a territorial display worthy of any Doberman. Yet, he will back down as soon as his bluff is called.
However, when it comes to thunderstorms and fireworks, he immediately turns in his Scottie Union card. Even my wife’s Toy Poodle will bark menacingly at the neighborhood children shooting off bottle rockets in front of our house. Not Bernie. He just asks where his blankie and favorite chew toy are before crawling under the bed. Now my Cairn, DeeDee, and IG, Pepe, who are younger, are very confused by his response. They both love the excitement. DeeDee races about the house, checking out every window, certain that there must be some critter she needs to kill to bring the house back to normalcy. Pepe just knows that noise and people mean a party, a party means food, and the first one to the table gets the best handouts.
Every few minutes DeeDee and Pepe will run to the bedroom and encourage Bernie to join the party. He never does. He’s 6, and he knows that this will last a few hours. Once it is all over, Bernie will join the rest of the household, making no apologies for his absence, acting as if he never left his spot next to my chair. He’ll take up his post at the window and report anything amiss on the street, grumbling the whole time. We won’t try to comfort him about the fireworks. You see, he would rather we pretend it never happened. He doesn’t want the other Scotties to find out. And that’s today’s Back Story.