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Pop Goes the Yorkie

July 4, 2013


After becoming a member of my new family back in 2001, we were a 2 dog family.  There was Smokey the big dog, and Punky the small dog.  The small dog went by various names, the Punks, Punkin, Punky, you get the idea.  As I blended into the family I noticed something that Punky was always afraid of, popping, snapping, or sudden loud noises.  If chewing a piece of gum and you snapped it Punky would begin shivering and seeking some form of refuge, away from the person chewing the gum, usually in his Mommies lap.  He hated it when you snapped gum, or blew bubbles followed by the pop sound.  These noises usually also produced non stop barking.  One day I asked Cindy why he was like this and she explained it to me.

Punky became a member of Cindy’s family around the first of July about 2 years before I did.  He was just a small little black ball of fur.  On July 4th the family decided they would eat dinner outside that evening, moving the picnic table out under the large pine tree.  Robby, Cindy’s son, had obtained some little poppers for his amusement.  After dinner Robby began setting off his little poppers.  Now to you and me those poppers are small and harmless, to a 13 year old they were a stepping stone to firecrackers, but to a little puppy Yorkie, not so small and not so harmless.  Now add to the mix those mean individuals in the area that set off firecrackers, M-80s, and so on, a little puppy Yorkie would naturally think the world is coming to an end, or that we were under assault by tomcats from outer space.  Cindy said she got up from the picnic table and began making the long walk back up to the house and here came Punky right behind her.  He was hopping as fast as he could, trying to keep pace with his Mommy, which he couldn’t do because he was so small.  Cindy stopped and allowed him to catch up and picked him up.  She said he was shaking and quivering, scared to death of the popping sound.  That first Fourth of July, for Punky, established a lifelong emotional scar and fear of the dreaded popping sound.  The rest of the evening Punky shook uncontrollably every time he heard a firecracker or firework deployed in the neighborhood.  Cindy tried her best to comfort and calm the Punks, but he had keen ears, and there was no way to mute out or muffle the sounds.

After Cindy finished explaining to me why Punky reacted the way he did, I fully understood.  So for the rest of Punk’s life anytime someone would snap their finger, chew gum, drop something on the floor, you get the idea, he would begin barking, shaking, quivering and naturally seeking out his Mommies lap for comfort.  The Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve were the two worst days of the year for Punky.  He would always begin barking at the first firecracker sound, and he wouldn’t stop.  He hated those days.  Sometimes you could almost hear the shaking in his bark.  Even if holding him and attempting to comfort him he would shake uncontrollably and bark at that wicked sound.  Other things produced the same reaction with Punky.  Take for example the wicked fly swatter, he hated the fly swatter.  If there was a fly in the house and someone would just reach for the fly swatter Punky would begin barking at the person with the fly swatter.  After the swing of the swatter and the snap sound it would make Punky would attempt to overcome his fear by demonstrating his disapproval by lunging toward the swatter and barking.  He also knew if you were chewing gum, and sometimes without even snapping the gum he would bark at you informing you that he would take that gum from you and dispose of it in some fashion.  And please, never embrace your spouse and give them a love swat on the butt, Punky would bark and bark, informing you that this was unacceptable behavior in HIS house.  Of course, it was usually me, in this circumstance, receiving the disapproval.  Adjusting your underwear and snapping the elastic, definite no no.  Punky was very keen, and in these situations he knew what was coming and attempted to be pro-active.  But catch him off guard, shaking and quivering followed by seeking out shelter and a safe haven.  And at the dinner table, he did not like the sound of the utensils against the plates.  He would be patient in case you wanted to offer him something to eat, but he usually would not take it off the fork himself, as it was a wicked instrument used to create that awful noise he hated.  We miss you Punky, and I’m sorry for snapping my underwear, but not for giving your Mommy love swats on the behind.


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  1. Judy Ziberna permalink

    Loved your story!! My Maggie hates thunder, heavy rain and especially fireworks! I hope the rain keeps all the bombs at bay in our neighborhood tonight!! Happy 4th! Glad you did well with your pill!

    Judy Ziberna

    • Glad you enjoyed the story. Bailey really hates the thunder, more than the others. Guess it is because she lived outside for a period of time. You have a good 4th as well.


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