And Big does so hate balloons of the large hot air variety. He is also not fond of large birds and low flying planes. But bright large, round and silent-until-they're-not things are much much worse. Especially that unexpected noise, the horrible "PHHHAAAHHHPT!"
Big dog otherwise qualifies as a very mellow dog. But in any photo where he appears to be calmly surveying the Weed Ranch pasture he is actually scanning the eastern horizon in the direction of the Balloon Fiesta Park for any sign of horrible floaty colored things that roar (or "Balloons" in Dog speak.) Evidence is met with fresh emotional distress - a new discovery of hot air ballooning every sighting. And multiple balloons cause amplified spasms of anxiety - tail-tucking and whining and pacing. It is like some dogs get on thunder. Except thunder doesn't bother him at all. Thunder is nature. He can tell when thunder is coming. Horrible floaty colored things sneak up on you and go: "PHHHAAAHHHPT!" And that is so so much worse. Apparently.
I mock him for this, his only weakness. I make the burner roaring noise with my arms up and glide across the floor. He looks at me with a very sad face and sighs and I immediately feel guilty.