Monday, April 19, 2010

Leave the puppies at home, would ya?

Izzy got her summer cut last Friday. As usual, she looks beautimous with her shorter hair, and it also helped us to see that she's not as fat as we were thinking she had gotten over the year! (She really was just fluffy. Hahahaha!)
We love our puppies more than we love each other some days. And seeing them get hot and bothered over the last few weeks as the temps have creeped higher and higher had us setting their grooming appointments a little earlier than we usually do. Jake got shaved the Friday before the Twin came to visit (I was kinda sad she didn't get to see him at his fluffiest, but he was just so damned hot all the time...), and Izzy got shaved last week.

When we go out, we're the type of couple that locks the puppies into the kitchen, where they have a nice fan overhead, a couple of soft places to lie down, as well as full access to their food and water dishes. We love our puppies, no doubt. But we don't need them to travel around with us wherever we go. (Nor do we need them outside in the backyard, where they can harrass the neighbors with a likely barrage of constant barking.)

Our friend Dave is the type of dude who likes to bring the puppies with him wherever he goes. I honestly haven't really understood it all these years we've been friends, but it's his thing, so I've never said anything to him about it.

Saturday, he shared the fact that he was puppy-sitting for some friends, and had the dog out in the car because it had gotten a little too excited sitting by itself out on the patio at the Moose, I guess. He felt bad about having to put it in his car, because the puppy was enjoying the sunshine so much. (I asked him if he was parked in the shade, and he said he was. So I let it be at that point.) After we'd been there for about a half hour, he mentioned maybe going out and moving the car into the sun, so the dog could enjoy it.

" please don't do that! In fact, you should go out and open the windows a bit, and leave the car in the shade." (I'd asked him earlier if he'd cracked the windows for the dog, and he said he hadn't.)

He looked at me with disgust and said, "It's not hot out, Faith. The dog is fine."

I assured him that even on a comfortable day, the interiors of cars can heat up to really hot levels pretty quickly, especially when they're left in the sun. AND he has a black car! I begged him to please leave the car in the shade.

"Oh, that is BULL SHIT." He replied. "It's 60 degrees out there! The dog is fine."

"Dave, you should look these stats up. I promise I'm not just pulling this info out of my ass, honest." Then I confirmed that he didn't have water in the car for the dog, and again said that he'd be surprised how hot it can get in a car with closed windows on a bright sunny day, even when it's comfy out. Hell, Leo and I had gotten back in our car after being in Dick's Sporting Goods (where I was offered a warranty on my new workout shoes for $3.99. The fuck?) for 30 minutes, and I had to finally roll up the windows and turn on the AC, it had warmed up so much inside. I also have a black car, and it had been sitting in the sun. It was at least 95 degrees in there, for sure.

My friend Dave eventually simmered down, and stopped being so obstanant towards me about the discussion. Well, probably because the discussion pretty much stopped. He didn't go out to move his car into the sun, or I might've had a bigger issue. He doesn't have a dog of his own any more, and has no plans of getting another one anytime soon, as far as I know, so I consider the issue dropped.

But it always has bothered me that he prefered to bring his dogs with him when he came up to the Moose every day, and would leave them out in the car the whole time he's there. (Which can range from 3 - 4 hours, generally.) Why not leave them at home, where they have a little more room to roam around, and lie down more comfortably? I just don't get it.

Some stats from around the web, in case it's helpful to folks who like to take their puppies with them, even for short jaunts to places like the grocery store:

This article said this: "Cracking the windows doesn't cut it - So where are the danger zones? The most obvious is your car: It can become a death trap even on a mild sunny day--and can insidiously raise the car's temperature to well above 120 degrees! Never, ever leave your pet inside the car. If Fido can't come with you when you get out of the car, leave him at home."

And said something similar: "Dogs can suffer and die when left inside parked cars, even on mildly warm days. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a shaded car is 90 degrees, while the inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 160 degrees in minutes. Animals can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes."

A random article I found through a Google search pulled up a Q&A page about how to handle the situation when you see a dog in a parked car: ""There is no law regarding the time a dog can be left in a parked vehicle," State Patrol trooper Dan McDonald said. "However, if the conditions warrant, the owner can be charged with Animal Cruelty...Animal shelter staff says that even with car windows slightly open, the buildup of heat inside a car can top 160 degrees in a few minutes with a 65 degree temperature outside." That was from a website in Seattle, but I'm not sure what the laws are elsewhere. The point is, it can get hot inside the car fast on a mild, but sunny, day. So don't be a dope!

I understand about wanting to take the dogs with you, because it's hard for even a cold-hearted bitch like me to leave my Izzy as she barks at me through the kitchen door as I get into my car to leave her and Jake at home for whatever reason. But what makes me happy is the thought of how excited they are to see me and Leo again when we get home from wherever we were. And the fact that they probably settled in for long naps while we were out of the house. Who doesn't love the idea of a nice, long nap in a comfortable space?

Leave the puppies at home. It's just plain good for them, dammit.


Nuke said...

My friends dog Gus, died of heat stroke. He was my favorite doggie-dude.

He was outside, in a closed backyard with shade available and he still succumbed in like half an hour. I wanna say it was just north of 80.

He was a pug, and overweight, but had been out MUCH longer before.

Faith said...

Aw, that's so sad Nuke! Yeah, snub-nosed dogs are even more susceptible to the heat stroke issues because their airways are so much smaller than other kinds of dogs with full muzzles. Jake is a snub-nosed breed...we haven't had too much of an issue with him, aside from his snorting up water when he drinks it. He can't help it! It's just the way he's built. Poor little dude.

I cannot imagine coming home and finding my dog dead in the backyard on an 80-degree day. That is so sad!

faithstwin said...

Dave is a douche. I'm glad you told him not to move the car to the sun so the 'dog could enjoy it'. WTF? And why the hell wouldn't he leave the windows cracked even a little? Someone *coughcough*DAVEcoughcough* needs to be left in a car, in the shade, with the windows up and no air supply at all- even in the shade it gets stuffy, yo!

Faith said...

I know! I felt so bad for the puppy. It's so weird, because he loves dogs sooo much, and yet he doesn't know something as simple as how hot it can get in a car on a sunny day? Jeezy, even when it's winter-time, my car heats up when left out in the sun!

I wish I had pushed the point harder, so he would've gone out and cracked the windows at least. But he gets so huffy so easily...I just wanted to keep the peace. I'm an asshole. :(