Life lessons

Yesterday I was getting in my car in a parking lot when I noticed the car beside me had dogs in it.  It was around 11:00 am and it was hot and muggy already.  Really?  The scene of dogs in a car in the heat still amazes me.  How can people not know?  There was a big shepherd type dog in the back and a hefty rough Jack Russell up front who was not thrilled that I was looking in.  I loaded my car up with my groceries and was about to head into the store when the owner of the car arrived.

She only had one bag which meant she hadn't been too long which I was happy about.  But none the less, even a few minutes can be too long.   The woman said to me "I didn't think it was very hot out."   As I stood there I couldn't believe what she was saying.  It was hot, freaking hot and humid which is odd for this area.  The dog in the back was panting heavily and obviously overheating.  I told her everything that can happen in a car and that it doesn't have to be 100 degrees out for it to happen.  

As I told her the sad facts of what can happen to a dog left in a car she apologized to me. She apologized several times and didn't get angry at all.  I am accustom to being yelled at or thrown some choice words in warning when I intervene. When I approached her initially I had my back up big time, I was mad.  But as I explained, she listened and apologized more.  My anger turned to educating.  I told her to tell all her friends.  

The word needs to be spread, how can we get this message out?  I have a cut off temperature much lower than most.  I think even in 65 degree weather with the sun out can be dangerous.   Why do it? Just leave your dogs at home.  I truly don't get it.  The only time my dogs are in the car when I go in somewhere is if I have to run in when we were out.  Also only if it is cold out.  

Cars heat up extremely fast.  Here is an illustration.

An Arizona police dog was left in a patrol car this week and had to be euthanized shortly after.  This was a case of life getting too hectic.  The handler of the dog forgot about the dog and left in another vehicle on the next case.  He then realized he'd left the dog but it was too late.  I cannot imagine what the owner is going through, he will obviously never forgive himself.  It is a horrific death for a dog.  

Don't take your dog, leave it at home. Please spread this message on.  It is unbelievable how many people do not know.  


  1. In Ottawa Ontario Canada they have decided after all the media attention about animals being left in vehicles, that it is time to fine the owners. Everyone has to know by now that it's a bad idea to take animals in the car when it is very warm or hot. If people are stupid enough to do it then expect the public to be angry. Don't get upset if your window gets broken when the police try to rescue your dog.

  2. Sherri, you are completely correct. There are however, ways you can deal with dogs being in a car, but those situations must only come to play when it's educated, experienced people involved, and thermometers to confirm. Some homes are too hot to be left in as well. I was very capable of leaving my late dog in my car, if it was in the shade, had an iceblock in a stockpot, AND the sunroof was open (she was incapable of exiting that way) It was significantly cooler inside the car than outside. I use a block of ice regularly just to travel with dogs, because they really like the ice to lick on. All that said, no pet or child should ever be left in a locked up car without making proper preparations. Even if it's cloudy out at 65, it can still get very hot in a car, you're right. People don't think. My dog has to be in the car with me, because he's being trained to be a service dog for me, and that's part of it. Sometimes, I cannot take him in while he's in training. Only under the appropriate situations (cooling, shade, temp mediated) will I leave him out there, and it won't be for long. I'm like you, I've been yelled at for stepping in to the middle of these situations, but I don't recall anyone ever actually listening to me as this person did you. You got through!! I have a couple of times whipped out my thermometer and proven to people how hot the inside of their car was - and they were shocked. I have an instant read with a clip on it that I keep clipped to the vent. Anyone who travels with their dogs should have one, so they know precisely what is going on.

  3. I've just gotten a beautiful 12 week old standard poodle, I'm so very happy to read your blog and the following posts. I wish the USA would follow suit to Canada's rule.


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