Cars, Dogs and Heat: How Far Is Too Far?

Illustration for article titled Cars, Dogs and Heat: How Far Is Too Far?

So today a video involving someone who had left their dog in a car went viral around Vancouver.


The video has since been taken down, but the story still exists in that link. I’m sure we all have people in our lives who constantly remind you to never leave your pet (or child) in a car with the windows barely cracked. And on the whole, I generally agree with such sentiment. If you’re going shopping or plan on leaving the car for more than a minute or two, make sure the windows are at least wide open. However, I recently happened to experience a situation with my own dog that seemed to take this concept a little too far.


(As posted from my local car club forum)

“I don’t agree with what that guy did, and people who leave their pets in their car while doing shopping or some other shit annoys the crap out of me.

However, there is a flip side to this that I experienced a few weeks back.

Was driving on the Coquihalla after a trip with my dog. He started whimpering a bit, which is usually a good indication that he has to go to the washroom. As I had to do the same, I found a trucker’s rest stop right off the side of the highway that also gets used by your standard traveller. I put my dog on a leash and let him do his business. Afterwards, I put him back in the car, opened all four windows as far down as they could go - as well as the sunroof, set a bowl of ice water on the backseat for him (had a cooler to keep all my food nice and cool during the drive, hence why I had ice in the middle of nowhere) and wrote a quick note that I placed on the dash of my car stating the time - seconds included - that I left the car. I even took a picture of it with my phone, ensuring to hard stamp the time into the picture. Sounds extreme, I know, but I wanted physical and visual proof of what I had done. Normally I would have left him tied off somewhere outside, but it was literally right off a highway where the speed limit is 120km/hr, the parking lot was very active with vehicles coming and going nonstop, and it was a busy time of day on the road. Plus there were literally no places to tie a leash to. I didn’t want to risk him getting loose and wandering into traffic, especially since my girlfriend’s daughter just lost her own dog a couple months prior.

Now, it’s a big enough rest stop that there’s usually no lines to wait in and this was no different. Not thirty seconds into the washroom, while in the middle of taking a piss, my 2-way alarm fob starts vibrating and screaming and generally freaking the fuck out, scaring the guy at the urinal next to me (side note: thank god there’s dividers in most urinals... pretty sure that guy sprayed the wall from jumping :lol). Stopping midstream, I run back outside. Both sirens on my car are blaring, some lady is standing next to the door she opened, and my dog (which, I should mention is a Red Nose Pitbull) is standing on my back seats, growling and barking ten kinds of hell at her. Normally he’s extremely friendly and insanely tolerant, but he’s also very, very protective of myself, my girlfriend, and her two daughters, so he doesn’t take too kindly at what he perceives to be intrusions of “his” property.

So of course the lady starts freaking out at me about how I shouldn’t have left my dog in the car under any circumstance. I politely listen to her for ten or so seconds before I point out that, 1) there’s a note on my car with a time on it, and I showed her that exactly one minute, thirty seconds had elapsed between my leaving and coming back, 2) the ice cubes in the bowl hadn’t even started melting yet, 3) the windows were all completely open, and 4) there were literally no places to tie a leash to outside. I even told her my dashcams would back my entire story up, should she decide to try to call the cops or SPCA or something. I asked her what I should have done differently given everything I had pointed out. She stared blankly at me for a minute, told me to fuck myself and stalked back to her car.

The kicker to this story? In the bed of her pickup truck was a dog [i]not even leashed down[/i].


Of course, in her defence, maybe she heard about my car fires and she was worried it might spontaneously combust while I was in the washroom? lol”


So my question to you, fellow Opponaughts, is whether it’s possible to take a thing like this too far or if this lady was still completely justified in her views?

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