Monthly Archives: July 2008

Hot Dogs

Following my last post that covered Other Dog Toys, I want to turn my attention to a serious side to owning a dog. But first a little background.

Here in Spain as in the rest of the northern hemisphere we are in the hottest period of the summer and temperatures during the hottest part of the day, between 2pm and 5pm can soar up to the high 30s centigrade and beyond. But that’s the temperature outside, in the sun. People park their cars in the sun and you can bet it gets a lot hotter inside them than it is outside.

Recently, the news headlines screamed at the tragic incident of a little boy of about 2 years old that was left in a car, parked in the sun, by his father who went off to the bank and thought he’d only be a short time. Well, two hours later he returned to the car and found his son dead from the heat.

This is tragic and so sad because it could so easily have been avoided had the father of that boy had enough brain cells floating around in his empty head to understand the implications of his actions. This incident could and should be discussed and investigated at length so that it doesn’t happen again.

But this is not a site about children, but dogs.

Which leads me on to something that is less well reported but every bit as tragic. These are the incidents when dog owners leave their dogs in their cars parked in the sun. Off the go to do their shopping or visit friends or whatever without the slightest regard for the suffering they inflict on their loyal pets. They lock them in with the windows closed and no water to drink and expect them to be there wagging their happy little tails when they return.

The sad and tragic reality is that these ignorant and stupid owners return to their cars to find their so called best friends dead from heat exhaustion – partially cooked in the back seat of their metal tombs.

This is a wake up call to anyone who thinks it is ok to lock a dog in a car in the heat and go away for more than even a few minutes.

If there is no choice and you must leave your dog in your car, at least leave the windows open enough so that some fresh air can pass through. Leave a sturdy bowl with water in a place the dog will not easily knock it over. If you have any shading devices like the reflective silver sheets you can buy cheaply in auto stores, put them up in the front and rear windscreens and even then, make sure you either make your absence short or return to the car often to make sure your dog is OK and not too hot. Also be aware if your dog suffers from any kind of dog allergy that he has had the medication for the day and any other health issue that may be pertinent.

But preferably, if you know that you will not be able to take your dog with you when you leave your car, leave him at home for heaven’s sake and don’t risk his life so foolishly.

Terry Didcott
For Dogs