Monday, June 9, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

I've been struggling with this post. Where to start, how to end, what detail to give. Here's my best shot.

We're at the tail end of a three day heat wave in DC - temperatures have reached and exceeded 100 degrees for the past two days and will most likely do so again today. The humidity has been staggering. We're talking dangerous levels, here - as in an official Heat advisory: the District and surrounding areas have set up cooling stations, people are advised to say in air-conditioning as much as possible and to check in on elderly neighbors, livestock and domestic animals are to be given plenty of shade and water.

Which brings me to my point. My dogs live pretty cush lives. They (along with are cat) are considered members of our family. The are fed two meals a day, and table scraps. They are bathed regularly. They come with us on trips. They see the vet once a year for shots and as needed for injury and illness. They have a large backyard to play in, but live mainly indoors.

I know not everyone feels like pets are members of the family. We are by no mean the type of folks who think of our pets are children; pets are pets, but they are still family members and should be loved and cared for and treated with respect. In fact, we think all people that own pets should love and care for them and treat them with respect. Period.

That's why when I saw a dog locked in a car with a window cracked in the supermarket parking lot in 100 degree heat, I nearly broke down. When I went into the store, patrons were reporting the situation to the manager - I felt comfortable that it would be dealt with.

But, when I left the store 15 minutes later with my purchases, the DOG WAS STILL IN THE CAR and looked to be clinging to his life. I called the police, who took down a description of the car and assured me three times they were sending someone to "check it out." I called my husband, sobbing. A crowd had gathered around the car and my husband convinced me I should come home.

I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would take their dog to the grocery store period (unless it was an assistance dog), let alone in 100 degree heat, and leave it in the car. This is misdemeanor in my jurisdiction punishable by 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine, but one's love for one's animal should be deterrent enough.

All I could think was that that poor dog was probably so excited to be spending time with it's owner, who I've not doubt it loves with all the ridiculous, unexplainable, undeserved affection only a dog can muster. And that dogs owner didn't love it enough to just leave it home during a heat advisory.

I came home and hugged my mutts, who were very glad to see me. They sit inside, miserable on days like today because they are only allowed out long enough for a pee, a poop, and a perimeter check. But I don't care. They are safe and healthy and that is my responsibility.

I don't know what happened to the dog or the owner, but I do hope the dog is okay and on his way to a healthier, happier life with a new family that is deserving of his love.


Stephanie said...

I hate to see that. It's just as bad as seeing a child in the car.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I wouldn't go as far as to say it's as bad as a child, it's er...not.

But it is terribly upsetting to see that.

Stephanie said...

Seeing the life of a helpless animal trapped in an overheated car is the same as seeing the life of a helpless child in that same situation.

Jenni, you did the right thing by calling the police. I would have done the same thing.

Stimey said...

Oh, that's so hard to see. What a horrible thing. Calling the police was definitely the right decision. It's just so hard to think of what it's like for the dog in there. Sad. I hope he's okay.