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Published: Saturday, 8/4/2007

Man's Best Friend Needs Some A/C, Too

SATURDAY

10 PM

Grrrrrrr. My hackles are up. Way up.

I don t care if he s the mayor. I wouldn t care if he s the president of the United States. I wouldn't even care if he's George Clooney.

It s real simple, people: Do NOT leave your defenseless dog trapped in your car on even a mildly warm day. No, not even for just a minute let alone for the duration of a 45-minute appointment for your semi-torn achilles tendon.

In this story, reported by Channel 13/ABC, Hizzoner the Mayor was ticketed for parking in a designated handicapped-parking spot.

Bad form, that.

Worse?

He left his dog in that parked car. This was around 7 p.m. Friday night. According to The Blade s hourly temperature report, it was a steamy 88 degrees.

Outside.

Inside the car? Even with the rear windows cranked down?

Don t ask.

Or rather, just ask the Animal Protection Institute. This national nonprofit advocacy organization has a Web site, mydogiscool.com, and data there say that, when it s 88 degrees outside, the inside of a car with two windows cracked open easily rockets to 105 degrees.

Bear in mind, meanwhile, that a dog s normal temp runs between 101 and 102 degrees, according to this about.com page on the effects of heatstroke on dogs, which says:

Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting, expelling heat out, causing an evaporatory reaction. If he can not expel the heat fast enough, his body temperature rises. A rise of 3 degrees to a temperature of 105 F is all it takes to send your dog into a dangerous situation. At this temperature, the dog can no longer cope with reducing his body heat and the oxygen demand goes up to where the dog can not keep up, and his temperature continues to rise.

Here s the thing, Carty: I honestly believe you love your dog. I ve been in your house, seen you point with near-sheepish pride to the ginormous dog cushion you ve allowed to eat up floor space in your living room, just to make ol' arthritic Scout comfortable.

So, please. For the love of dog -- get a clue, willya?

Parking in a handicapped spot because it s in the shade and therefore presumably cooler for your constant canine companion just ain t good enough. C mon, even you acknowledged as much, saying to 13abc: I have a semi-torn achilles tendon. My dog is overheated. That s why we parked in the shade.

If your dog was ALREADY overheated, skip parking the car entirely, eh? Shade won t protect Scout from heastroke, Carty. Only you can do that.

So go ahead, Mr. Mayor: Atone.

Aside from vowing to never ever ever ever EVER leave Scout in your car again whenever it s even vaguely warm outside, you should also ask someone in your office to go to this page on the mydogiscool.com Web site. There, you can download your very own copies of the API s "Don't Leave Me in Here It's Hot!" flyer. G'wan -- make multiple copies. Keep em in your car. Slide one underneath the windshield wiper whenever you see a dog panting away in a parked car.

That is, of course, in addition to taking action to save the jeopardized dog.

Jeepers, Carty. Aren't you're way too smart to act this dumb?

Grrrrrrr ..


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