Pet Safety for the End of the World

Dog owners are worried about how best to protect their pets against the upcoming Great American Eclipse – an astronomical event described by President Trump’s handpicked climate and science advisor as, “When the huge, flying Sky Serpent swallows the Fiery Sun Goddess.”

Understanding an eclipse is the first step toward reducing anxiety and passing a fourth-grade science exam. A “solar eclipse” occurs when the “moon” moves between the “sun” and the “Earth”, collecting $200 for passing “Go” unless “Neil DeGrasse Tyson” owns “Ventnor Avenue”.

While solar eclipses occur with predictable regularity, the 2017 event is unique. This eclipse will be observable in its totality across 14 states, due to some highly questionable political redistricting.

As the fake media tell us, staring directly at the eclipse without proper precautions can cause eye damage. This is rarely an issue for dogs, who are less interested in looking up then down, where all the really good stuff happens. Still, worried owners are asking sensible questions.

Me and my dog, are we gonna die?

No, provided that you’ve both made reasonable offerings to appease the huge, flying Sky Serpent.

Should my dog wear sunglasses? He did last Halloween. I dressed him like Elvis. Adorable! But will he be safe?

Sunglasses are not sufficient protection, whether your dog is impersonating Skinny Drafted Elvis or Fat Aloha Elvis.

To directly view the eclipse requires special-purpose solar filters, or “eclipse glasses”. Such glasses cost between $5 and $20, or a nickel per ton moments after the event. According to fake science, safe viewing filters are those that meet International Standard ISO 12312-2 for Direct Observation of the Sun, as well as IRS Form 6862 that covers Non-Blinding Charitable Donations.

Does my dog have to view the eclipse? Can’t she just cower in the basement behind the furnace, wrapped in wet towels and sheets of aluminum foil?

But…but the eclipse lasts 17 years!

Kidding! OMG lol, you should have seen your dog’s face! We were totally exaggerating. The eclipse is over in a couple of minutes. But you really should see it. The next one isn’t for, like, another hundred billion years!

<strong>When attempting to fit your dog with a homemade eclipse viewer, don’t.</strong>
When attempting to fit your dog with a homemade eclipse viewer, don’t.

Your dog might enjoy pinhole projection, which sounds like a condition that requires eardrops but instead is an alternate method for viewing the eclipse.

Simply take two index cards, punch a small hole in one and smear peanut butter on the other. During the eclipse, let the sun filter through the card with the hole and “project” that on the second card. The image of the moon passing before the sun can be safely viewed there.

The peanut butter will make your dog appear interested.

Instructions for building a more elaborate cardboard pinhole projector large enough to fit over your head can be found online by searching Eclipse, Pinhole, Nerd, Dateless, Sad. If you intend to share this projector with your dog, modify the dimensions to fit both your heads. But before you test it, make sure that someone is recording for YouTube because, honestly, we could all use the laugh.

I’ve heard that the behavior of animals changes dramatically during an eclipse. But then, I hear a lot of things.

Fake scientific opinion differs on the extent to which animals are affected by an eclipse. The premature darkness and temperature drop can fool birds into thinking that it’s time to watch the nightly news. Meanwhile, larger animals knock off work early and hit the clubs.

Dogs, however, are less influenced by the grand, celestial phenomenon than by their owners acting cra-cra.

BUDLEIGH: “Brisby! LookLookLookLookLook! Wait! Look!”

BRISBY: “Why are you wrapped in wet towels and foil?”

BUDLEIGH: “I’m going to the sun!”

BRISBY: “You mean the dog park?”

BUDLEIGH: “Noooo! The Yelly Giant is taking me to the Sun. Oh, and the moon. Then the dog park, I guess. You wanna’ come?”

BRISBY: “Where?”

BUDLEIGH: “To the eclipse!”

BRISBY: “The who, what?”

BUDLEIGH: “The eclipse! It happens every hundred billion years. And there’s cardboard boxes and index cards and Ventnor Avenue and Elvis and—ˮ

BRISBY: “Sounds creepy.”

BUDLEIGH: “There’s peanut butter.”

BRISBY: “I’m in! But what is an eclipse?”

BUDLEIGH: “How much clearer can I be?”

BRISBY: “Let’s ask Alexa!”

BUDLEIGH: “I still don’t trust her.”

BRISBY: “Alexa! What’s an eclipse?”

ALEXA: “An eclipse is a grand, celestial phenomenon during which the huge, flying Sky Serpent swallows the Fiery Sun Goddess.

BUDLEIGH: “Well, she knows her stuff.”

###

Sleeping between Giants explores life – if you can call it that – with a terrier.

Your feedback is welcome, probably. dj

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6 thoughts on “Pet Safety for the End of the World

  1. Sometimes Budleigh just has to weigh in on the latest issue the American public is obsessing about, even if this post goes into the archives never to return. I saw an eclipse when it happened the last time, which tells you something about my age. Since I’ve already seen one, I’m passing on wasting my money on glasses to view this one. Besides I’m blind because what did they know about safe eyewear a billion years ago?

    1. Rather than fight the eclipse crowds, Molly, I’m gonna experience the event couple hours early. Like right now! I’m shutting my eyes for two minutes. OK, dark. Aaaand done! The rest is just hype. Thank you for your participation. dj

  2. OMG. Thank you for that. “When attempting to fit your dog with an eclipse viewer – don’t.” and “Dogs, however, are less influenced by the grand, celestial phenomenon than by their owners acting cra-cra.” Seeing the hysteria on some of the dog sites regarding the eclipse had me worried that people were serious about it. Thanks for being the voice of reason. And cra-cra people are generally the root of every dog’s problem.

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