Today I came across a troubling sight outside of my favorite coffee shop. When I drove up, I parked next to a car where a dog was sitting in the back seat with her head out of the fully open window – All of the windows were all the way down – it was 78-degrees.
After buying my coffee, I passed by again and she was laying down on the seat, which was in the full sun, and she was panting, not uncontrollably or drooling, or foaming at the mouth. The temperature had gone up to 80-degrees. I called over to her, but she didn’t get up.
I drove home, around the corner, to take care of my own dogs, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the dog in the car. I don’t know if they understood, but, I stopped to tell my dogs that if the other dog belonged to an employee who was working a shift I was going to offer to bring her home so she’d be safe and cool. So get ready to meet a new friend, and I headed back down there. (Just a short walk away.)
I must admit I was aggravated when I saw the car still there in the hot sun when I returned. She came over to me and I petted her to see how hot she was, and then I went inside to find the owner.
An older couple was sitting at a table and when I asked if she was theirs the woman pointed to the man and told me she was his dog.
“May I please give her some water?” I asked. The man agreed that it was a good idea, and thanked me.
One of the staff got me a 16 oz cup of water and I brought it outside. “Hi sweetheart, do you want some water?” I tilted the cup and let her drink it slowly, and she finished just about every drop. Since she’d been in the car for about 30 minutes, I asked If I could take her out of the car and sit with her in the shade, but they assured me they were leaving soon.
After cooling down with the drink the dog was happy to see her “dad” come back to the car. And he told me they were going for a walk at the beach.
This dog was obviously loved, but I would just never bring my girls anywhere if I knew I’d be leaving them in the car even for a minute. These are crazy times, and the owner was lucky that I was the dog lover who took a shine to his pup. Someone else may have called the police or grabbed her and taken her away out of concern.
If you LOVE your dog or your kids, please do not take them out in the car on a hot day, especially if you are going to stop somewhere “for just a minute.”
See the chart for how fast the inside of a car can heat up to a dangerous level for your loved ones. If you don’t believe it, then sit in your car with the doors and windows closed, or treat yourself to a slightly opened window and see for yourself how comfortable you are after 5-10-15 minutes or a half hour. You won’t leave your dog (or kids) in a locked car alone again.