This is from my Sunday, July 2 column, in case you miss it:
PETS & FIREWORKS
More pets get lost on the Fourth of July than at any other time of the year when the sounds of fireworks and the acrid smell of burnt rockets and firecrackers frighten them into running away.
** Make sure your cats and dogs are wearing collars with your phone number and address on them and the magical words, "Reward if found and returned." If you don’t have a collar or tag, you can make a temporary one for a cat or dog out of masking tape. Write the necessary ID information on top of the tape with a ball-point pen.
** Indoor pets will always need identification. They are the most likely pets to get confused and lost if they escape. They’re not used to being outside.
** Keep your nervous pets in a quiet, familiar place where they’ll feel safe and secure. One of your bedrooms is perfect. Be sure and pull the drapes and turn on the animals’ favorite TV show to help cover up outside sounds.
** If you’re really concerned about how your dog, cat, or pet bird is going to react to all the noise and strange smells of the Fourth, STAY HOME so you can keep an eye on things!
Watching a few fireworks isn’t worth it if you end up losing your pet.
** If you do lose your dog or cat, call your local animal shelter. This should be followed up with an actual visit to the shelter as soon as possible. Don’t just call. Descriptions given over the phone can easily be misinterpreted. Visit the shelter daily if you don’t find your pet immediately. Pets can turn up days or weeks after they have been lost.
I hope you and your pets have a safe and sane and fun holiday!