Going to the SPCA today inspired me to write this week’s blog about leaving a dog in a hot car. I left my Great Dane in a hot car one time and when I returned, he was a chihuahua. Thank you. Good night. Try the veal! No, but seriously, this is no laughing matter.

Pets are part of the family and we love to take them with us when we leave the house. With the dog days of summer, even if the temperature is only 78 degrees, and even with your car windows cracked (and in my neighborhood, the hoodlums crack them for you), the interior temperature can reach between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes. According to PETA, on a 90 degree day, interior temperatures can reach 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. I dwell in Big D, where it has been 108 degree temperatures for the last eight days. So my fido has been left at home in front of the t.v., wearing a dog bikini, sipping pina coladas and watching old re-runs of Wishbone. Okay, he’s not really sipping cocktails.

Dogs should never drink, because one cocktail is like 7 to a dog. Dogs suffer brain damage or death from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. They can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads. PETA offers leaflets that can be placed on vehicles to remind people to never leave an unattended pet inside a car, “Don’t Let Your Dog Get Hot Under The Collar.” Or, you could make your own clever little flyers with your own sinister twist on them, “Don’t Leave Me In Here – It’s Hot!”, or “I’m Going To Bite You While You Sleep For Doing This To Me”, or “10 Easy Hot Dog Recipes For Idiots.” Leaving a dog in a hot car can also get you a whopping fine here in my city. I am one of the many people who take their pet with them when I can. I’ve taken him with me to 7-11 to get a gallon of milk. Not full-on grocery shopping. I even left the car running with the air conditioning blasting and locked the car with the clicker. I was unaware that, also in my city, you can get a huge fine for leaving your car running unattended, or for even leaving your keys in the car. Who knew?? Of course, I also thought I’d just run in and run out, which didn’t go as planned. Because the lady in line ahead of me wrote a check and I was in there for 45 minutes! Who writes checks these days??

Remember, don’t leave your dog in a hot car. You don’t want Red Rover to cross over…do you??

Daun Thompson

Leaving a dog in a hot car – Comedy Defensive Driving