Yesterday I enjoyed a morning at the beach – but my afternoon was ruined.
The temperature yesterday was 31 degrees here in Australia (it’s our summer now), so the hub and I decided to have some time out at the beach to try to cool down a little. We went to Woodgate Beach, which is the last open surf beach in the state of Queensland going north, before the Great Barrier Reef starts – there is no surf after that. It’s a bit off the beaten track, but well worth it, as you can see – this is what awaited us.
There was only one other person on the beach, right at the other end, so we basically had it to ourselves. The water was crisp, clear and clean – and oh, so cool! There were lots of cuttlefish bones scattered all over the beach that had been washed up, so we collected some for our friend who has a cockatiel. Birds just love the stuff, and it’s good for them.
On the way home we stopped off at a shopping centre to pick up few groceries. As we were parking the car, we could hear a dog crying very loudly and as we scanned the parked cars, we saw it at a window of one of the cars. The window was only open a tiny bit so the poor little mite wasn’t getting much air in there, and it was so terribly hot. The dog was extremely distressed, and other people had gathered round the car wondering what to do. Someone said they had reported it to the supermarket who said they would call the owners on loudspeaker to tell them to get to their car quickly.
In a situation like this, every second counts and I couldn’t bear to wait around listening to that poor little dog, so I headed up to the supermarket to report it again; just as I set off, I saw the owner making his way to the car. You can imagine how angry I was, so I went over to tear him to strips for putting his dog in danger like that – but another woman had beaten me to it. She was livid – yelling at him, and really giving him a piece of her mind. That’s what I wanted to do, she stole my thunder – but I could see it was having no effect on this man . . . I think he’d shut off his ears to the colourful language that was coming out of her mouth!
So I waited my turn . . . .
When the woman left, I approached the dog owner calmly, and keeping my voice soft and low, I started talking to him about the dangers of leaving his dog in the car on such a hot day. I wanted to rip his head off but that wouldn’t have got me anywhere, or helped the dog, so I was quite surprised at my tactical approach!
Anyway, it seemed to work, because he calmed down and listened to me, heck, we even had a two-way conversation about it. They say that a touch can calm a person down, so I put my hand gently on his forearm – just for a second – and it worked, because he started to talk to me more. I patted his dog, all the while explaining the danger he had put his dog in, and the tragic consequences.
I explained that it can get unbearably hot inside a car on a sunny day, but even when it’s not that warm, say, 72F/22C outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 117F/47C in less than an hour. Isn’t it better to leave the dog at home where he can keep cool and has access to his water bowl?
It takes a dog six agonizing minutes to die in a hot car.
I hope and pray that I got through to him.
Our pets are precious – please don’t let them down, they rely on us.
In spite of seeing incidents like this being reported in the news on a regular basis, why do people still take the risk – even leaving children in the car on a hot day?
We are just not learning, and sometimes with tragic consequences.
- Dogs Die in Hot Cars (protection4animals.wordpress.com)