Monday, March 19, 2012

March Madness in WI

This has been the weirdest Wisconsin weather in March I can ever remember. I've lived here my entire life and I never thought that I'd have the windows open, be comfortable wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and be too warm hiking in the middle of March unless I were to move somewhere south.

I think the weather this month has taken a lot of people by surprise, and many haven't adjusted quite yet to thinking in terms of summer.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and as I was loading groceries into my car I heard a dog barking. As I always do, I looked around to see where the barking was coming from. I was horrified when I located the vehicle the next aisle over and saw that the windows were barely cracked. It was 75 degrees out, not a cloud in the sky, and the SUV was a dark blue color. It was the kind of situation that could kill a dog if left enclosed too long.

I went to the customer service desk of the store and reported the situation. They paged the owner of the vehicle, and I went back out to see if anyone came to get the dog out of it's automotive oven. 5 minutes later the dog was still in the car, and the owner wasn't in sight. So I called the police. The dispatcher promised to send an officer over.

It took 15 minutes for the officer to arrive. He took down the plate number, and the VIN number and asked me a few questions, and then told me I could leave. By the time I left the parking lot it had been a half an hour and the owners still hadn't shown up. The police officer was still by the SUV when I left, and I'm not sure what happened after that.

I have no doubt the owners loved their little dog. It appeared to be well groomed, and they thought enough to want to give it a car ride. But they weren't thinking about the fact that in 75 degree weather an enclosed car can quickly reach 100 degrees. And I'm sure they didn't consider that once they completed their shopping they may have returned to find a dead dog.

It might be March, but with the temperatures behaving as though it's June we need to think summer and how that impacts our pets.

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