Debate: Leaving dogs in the car unattended

quirkyquercusNovember 30, 2006

How long and under what conditions do you think leaving Fido or Fifi unattended in the car is OK? Is it ever OK?

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Personally, I hate doing it and we rarely do it. If we are driving and need to stop to use the bathroom we will do it but we will barely be away for like 3 min. If it is hot that day my husband and i will take turns going to the bathroom so that we can leave the car open.
However, I don't think it is cruel if the weather is cool and the car is not in the sun and you aren't going to the mall or something stupid. I think any day that a human would be comfy sitting in the car for a long time is ok for a dog. Sometimes we will bring the dogs for a ride and my husband will stop at a store. I will sit in the car and not go to the store because I hate leaving the dogs there. Sometimes we will be sitting there for like 20 min and the dogs will just curl up and sleep. They don't seem to care. Usually I just watch the people around and rest myself. Also I am afraid of someone stealing my dogs. I would be horrified to come back to an empty car! For some reason I am paranoid of that, maybe because I love them so much and they are such good dogs.
So long story short, I don't think it is cruel but it isn't my cup of tea!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 4:27PM
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My rule is five minutes, tops, outside air must be less than 85 degrees, car parked in shady spot, sunroof and car windows opened at least 2". Doors locked and keys with me.

I never take my dog shopping or on errands, so the only time this becomes an issue is when I am travelling long distances. I do not take my dogs on long distance trips during the summer, unless I travel after dark.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 4:35PM
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Don't do it, won't do it.

One exception. When old gal goes to the vet, she doesn't want to get out of the truck when we get home. We leave all four doors open and windows down park in the shade. My driveway is 300 ft. long and she never leaves my property.

I just don't get why people feel the need to take their pets places with them other than the vet. Taking your pet to go shopping and leaving it in the car while you go into the mall, to me, is nuts.

Why not leave the dog at home where it is safe?

I see all kinds of crazies. We were in the Outerbanks waiting for the ferry when we saw a couple of guys in a pickup with a dog tied in the back. Yep, you guessed it, the dog jumped out and guy ran the dog over. Not only was having the dog in the bed of the truck stupid, but he even gave the dog too much leash and therefore, the dog fell out far enough to be run over. Needless to say, we were a caravan of 3 cars of DOG LOVERS It was a miracle that those guys were able to leave the scene with their lives. My SIL was out of her truck in one second screaming in the driver's face. Also, other drivers in line for the ferry were also out of their cars freaking out on the guy.

I guess it just makes me irate when people are irresponsible with their pets' lives. Why take unnecessary risks? Life is hard enough when you try and do all the right things.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 5:02PM
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Here in AZ it is illegal. Dogs die every summer from being left in the car.

I do enjoy taking my Jack Russell with me shopping, but on those trips I only go to stores that are dog friendly. I too am afraid she would be stolen, even if the weather wasn't a concern.

You'd really be surprised how many stores don't care if you carry your small dog in or place it in the cart & a lot allow you to walk them in.

Home depot, lowes, most nurseries, bed bath & beyond, most casual restaurants with patios, a lot of retail stores, car dealership, book stores, etc., etc.

Also, Best Buy is dog friendly allowing you to walk your dog of any size in!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 6:38PM
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Children die in AZ from being left in the car. :(

I worked retail for years, many people take their dogs shopping and leave them in the car. I can't tell you how many dogs I've seen get out of the cars/trucks over the years. Or be let out by well meaning people who think they are too hot.
I've heard plenty of dogs howl and bark at being left in the car too.

I think they really should be at home!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 7:25PM
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It's never OK. Nobody can predict the future, and things happen that could detain you in your errand. What if the store you're in gets held up? What if there's a really long line at the checkout counter and a slow cashier? What if someone needs medical attention that you can provide?

Plus I may be around to use the brick-o-matic to save your pet or child, whether you want it saved or not. Done it before, would do it again, no questions asked and without hesitation. Then you are left to deal with getting your pet or child back from the authorities, the ensuing vet or medical bills, a broken vehicle window, possibly a criminal record, and the deserving disdain of people everywhere.

Is it really worth it?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 8:22PM
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Oooh. Didn't know that about Best buy! I'll have to add them to my list. I started a thread some time ago on the pets forum with pet friendly stores. Home Depot actually no longer lets pets in here unfortunately. Thanks to Hershey's they started selling candy and impulse she it at all the registers and now there are signs up at the doors saying no pets and we were stopped at the door one evening. So now I shop at lowes whenever possible. They have better prices anyway. You might check with your HD before going in there again.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 9:46PM
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The back of my car is one big bed and the dogs love to go with me on errands. Here, there are about five months a year in which I only would take them if I had to, but in cold weather I have no qualms about taking them with me. If I must take them with me and have an unexpected stop to make in hot weather, I will leave the car running and the air on, emergency brake engaged. I lock the doors because I have a spare "get in car door" key in my wallet. The last time I did this was at Kinkos and I watched the car through the glass front of the store while waiting to be waited on.

My dogs are quite calm in the car without me. I leave the sunroof open a bit and some windows cracked, a bowl of water available. I don't go into big stores where I am far out of sight, just short stops. I have had the dogs in the car outside of work for an hour or two, but can park right outside my office window.

I have not seen dogs in any big box stores here, only the dog-friendly pet stores. I always wondered why I don't see contractors' dogs in Home Depot, many do keep their dogs with them all day.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 10:00PM
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I wouldn't leave my dog in the car for one simple reason... my truck caught on fire once and went up pretty fast. Thank goodness no one was in it. You only need to experience this one time to have your thinking changed. It was an electrical problem but I'm now aware about such things as parking over pinestraw or leaves. I am also a smoker and my car is one of my refuges so I'm careful in that respect, too.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 10:14PM
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Please don't ever do it. One time, about ten years ago already, I went with a friend to a restaurant/pub type place to hear a local band. It was the supper hour and we had one of those 40 below type evenings going on. I parked next to a car with a Springer Spaniel and I had no idea how long it had been there, but it looked cold and was whining and crying. My friend and I went inside, disturbed, and sat by a window. I kept my eye on the car and went out again in forty minutes to check on it. By this time, the dog seemed genuinely distressed, and was picking up it's paws from the cold seat. Mind you, forty below is damned cold and this dog didn't even have the courtesy of a blanket on the seat. I went back in and called the cops. A cop showed up shortly and I took him out and showed him the dog and he then made the rounds of the restaurant until he found the owners. He made the one of them go out and start the car to warm it up and he stayed there until she and her partner were finished with dinner. He told me I did the right thing...I can't imagine how somebody could do something like that.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 10:49PM
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It's illegal in the state of California to leave pets unattended in vehicles during the summer months. Schwarzenegger just signed it into law a couple of months ago.

Just as I wouldn't leave a two-year old child unattended in a hot vehicle, I wouldn't leave a pet, even for just a few minutes. You just don't know what can happen -- and all it takes is for one time, for something to go wrong, for you to regret it for the rest of your life.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 12:17AM
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I'm in Texas now. it's different here weather wise. In Ohio my ex never went anywhere without at least two(usually 3 or 4) of our dogs with him. They loved to ride and didn't mind staying in the van while Daddy bought a few groceries and then stopped by DQ for ice cream, then stop again by the local store for beef jerky and a lottery ticket. I'm not talking toy poodles. We had Danes and Aussies. They would have been very upset if they had to stay home all the time just because some law said it wasn't right that they might have to spend a little time alone in the van.
Personally I feel I'm being a bad mom because my dogs never get to go anywhere, unless it has something to do with the vet.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 2:04AM
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I usually take Cody with me when I run errands on weekends. He loves to go and gets highly upset when we leave him. He howls at the window until we're out of sight. My errands consist of gettting gas which is pumped for me, a quick trip to the convenience store where I can see him at all times and the door is locked and windows down a bit. I wouldn't leave the van running because he can put the windows down and lock me out. For errands like real grocery shopping I leave him home, it's too long for him to be alone in the car.
I try to end our outings with a trip to the park for play time. It's probably the main reason he goes with me.
I'll add that in the summer months he only goes with me in the early morning. Afternoons are too hot to take him in the car and leave him for even 5 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 5:34AM
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To those who posted that you take your dogs with you shopping, etc. What is your reasoning behind taking them along? Is it that you want company on the ride or do you think it is good for your pet to come along, or explain the reasoning behind taking them. I am curious since I don't do it and never did. I think my car and my office chair (at work) are the only two places that don't have yellow hair:))).

Alot of pets suffer from separation anxiety and I think this scenario is setting them up for it when they have to stay at home alone?


    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 6:26AM
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I don't have dogs but we recently went shopping at a huge tile store -- they had a several signs on the window "sorry -- no pets allowed." My DH and I thought this was funny and asked a salesperson why anyone would think they could bring their dog into the store in the first place. She said people did do it but they had several customers (some with kids) complain because they were scared of dogs.

I also wondered what they would do if the dogs left a wet or pile surprise behind.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 10:18AM
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I often take my lab in the car (except of course in summer when it is too warm). Usually, it is because I'm doing some errands after taking him to the off-leash park. He just snoozes on the back seat while I shop. I feel sorry for dogs that don't get to enjoy this aspect of life! I don't worry about dog-nappers (the car is locked) nor do I worry about the car catching on fire or such. Life is too short, and there are risks leaving your dog home alone! And of course, my dog loves to have his head out the window (he is safely secured in the car) and he watches the scenery and breathes in all the wonderful smells along the way.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 5:56PM
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I feel sorry for dogs that don't get to enjoy this aspect of life!

The're dogs. I am probably the biggest lover of all animals on the planet and I still don't get why those who take their pets in the car when not going to the vet or park do it? The dog would be missing out on what? Sitting in the car whilst you go into the mall? What is it about this aspect of life that the dog will benefit from?

If you are going on an outing specifically to take your dogs for a ride to hang their heads safely out of the window to let their ears fly, then fine, I will accept that, but to take your pets on errands to me is just not a good idea. Not safe, and I disagree that the animal is safer in the car with you rather than at home!

And one last question: How many of you have seatbelts or other type of dog restraints to ensure your pet's safety while traveling in the car? I see lots of posts regarding pets lying on the backseat, no mention of precautions like seatbelts or harness precaution? Anyone?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 6:28PM
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My ex never had restraints on the dogs. They were just loose in the car free to look out any window they chose. I'm sure it wasn't the safest thing to do but they sure loved going for rides. I also think they enjoyed sitting in the car while parked and watching people.
My husband went into the bank a while back. I stayed in the truck and beside me was a BEAUTIFUL Australian Shepherd in the drivers seat of another pickup. That dog was just taking in all in watching people go in and out. Then all of sudden she gets really perked up and scrambles to the back seat. She saw her mommy coming. Mommy comes, reaches in the back, gives her some rubs and pats and sweet talks about what a good girl she is. Lucky dog and lucky owner to have such a nice dog to take places.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 9:47PM
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I know someone who had a dog that got killed when he flew out the window of her car during an accident. The other dog didn't escape uninjured, but lived after many thousands of dollars in surgery and probably a fair amount of discomfort despite the pain drugs. Not to mention the incredible guilt the owner felt for not having her dogs restrained in the car.

People are idiots and don't pay attention and cause accidents. Don't let your pet become a highway fatality because you didn't restrain it. Seatbelts for my extra-large dogs cost $25. My dogs are worth much more than that to me. Mine are ALWAYS belted in.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 4:27PM
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And of course an unrestrained dog becomes a projectile in an accident, risking the lives of anyone else in the car. I remember when my kids were babies, my MIL couldn't understand why I'd insist that they be belted into their baby seats AND she had to be belted too! They were belted for their safety, and she was belted in for our safety (and hers).

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 5:04PM
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My dog loves to ride in the car. She doesn't get to come along very often, but sometimes if the weather is just right, I will let her ride along.

It depends upon the weather. If its cool, but not cold, temperatures in the fifties or sixties, I will leave my dog in the car for short shopping trips. If the weather is warmer than 75 or cooler than 40, the dog stays at home. So her window of opportunity of riding in the car is limited to early spring and late fall.

It also depends upon the dog's personality. If the dog can wait calmly and quietly and can see strangers without barking and going nuts, they are good candidate for a car ride.

Saturday mornings is a typical errand run with multiple short stops at the bank, the feed store, the post office, and the deli, its a perfect time for a doggie ride along. If time allows, we may make a quick stop at the dog park on the saturday morning errand run.

I also think that because I work full time that I like to bring the dogs along with me on the weekends, so we can spend more time together.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 11:02AM
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I think you got it.
You have a dog that loves to ride.
You always consider the temperature.
Your dog can sit calmly in the car alone.
You have more time with your dog.
Lucky dog and lucky you to have a dog that loves to ride along.
Someone mentioned something like if they just have to sit in the car, they may as well stay home in their crate. Well, in my opinion I think dogs enjoy being out and hearing and seeing different things that are going on around them even if they are sitting in the car while you run short errands. My dogs used to get dog cookies at our bank and then they'd get a beef jerky at our the local store. No wonder they would go nuts trying to get to the car first when asked "who wants to go to the store?":-)
The dogs I have now do not like to ride and that's ok. but I do sometimes miss that part of dog/owner relationship.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 12:45PM
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To joepyeweed & beeanne: Ditto.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 9:55AM
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I think my older dog that I rescued was in a wreck in his prior home. He hates going for rides. He gets so anxious that I really hate taking him places. It might also be that he thinks he's going to be dumped at a shelter. I was restraining him in a kennel in the back seat but he got sick so much more readily in that so for the time being he's in the front seat. This is something I need to address for sure. Tried everything including sedatives to help but nothing has.

The puppy has no problem going for rides. He doesn't get all excited, he just goes to sleep. He doesn't like to get out of the car, I have to pull him out.

Anyway it looks like the vast majority of people here would leave their dogs in the car unattended at least under certain circumstances. My main worry is theft. Having dark tinted windows is handy because if my dogs are in the backseat you can't really see them at all.

The last time I had to leave one unattended was on the way home from obedience, I needed a bottle of sauce for dinner and it was a cloudy cool day. I managed to park right in the first space at the grocery store and ran in and out in about 2 minutes. I left the doors locked and lights on so it looked like somebody would be back any second.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 10:28AM
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If you have reason to believe your dogs don't enjoy themselves on rides, they should only go when necessary. My two really don't enjoy themselves. They are anxious and pant and slobber the whole way. One I brought to TX from Ohio. If she couldn't learn to like it after that trip, she never will. The other rescue is miserable in the car too, so they just stay home. I wish it wasn't like that, but it is.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 12:29PM
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My dogs go to work with me, I work in a feedstore and they are help in picking out dog food and toys lol.

I have a white campershell on my pickup truck, I call it the rolling dog house. There is a rug on the floor and dog beds in it so they can rest, I keep them in it when we camp. I also take them with me pretty much where ever I go unless it is too hot. We live rural an the nearest shopping is a 42 mile round trip, it is a 95 mile round trip to dept stores. There are lakes and rivers on the way every where I need to travel so we stop for play and swimming alot. In winter we just play lol. The dogs like it. Since they spend 9 hrs 2 time a week at work they are very good with all people, their job at the feed store is greeters and dog food experts.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 2:46PM
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My mother neither left her teacup chichuachua at home or in the car, she carried the little dog in her over sized pocketbook in every store, church, grocery store, post office. The pocketbook was specially made for this dog. Billfold compartment was on outside with zipper and living quarters for Teeny Tiny were inside the pocketbook. When she would start to go shopping she would tell Teeny to hop in her pocket book and she would promptly hop in and off they would go funniest thing you ever saw. They were inseperable. My mom said it helped the empty nest syndrome. Oh well.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 4:25PM
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I take mine to work too. Lunchtime we drive to a local park or the beach. Then I may make a stop to the post office or bank before coming back to the office.

After work or an outing to the dog park or hiking, I may stop at Trader Joe's or go out to eat before going home. He happily and quietly stays in the car, where there is a bed, blankies, toys and water bowl.

My restrictions are: not in summer or hot day, not in a big parking lot like the mall (afraid of theft), and not for longer than an hour at a local restaurant (though most stops are for 10-20 minutes).

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 6:01PM
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I always take my dog when I go to my mothers, she lives a hour away so anytime I go I am usually going to be gone all day, plus he likes to spend the day hunting down all her dogs toys and sitting on them for the day, I started taking him when he was 6 weeks old and he just loves it, tried to do this with our chihuahua, but she cried so much everytime we went I just stopped trying to do this, she much prefers to stay on her own turf, won't even leave the yard. when I have him with me I never stop anywhere unless DH is along, he gets very mad at anyone that steps foot near the car. I don't have restraints for him but I would really like to get some, and as he loves his collar and leash I don't think he would have a problem with it, been thinking about the car wreck thing and it has been bugging me, I was in a horrible car wreck about two years ago when I was on my way to my moms, don't know what made me leave him home that day, but I was so glad, it was hard enough trying to calm a 3 yr old down, make sure everybody was okay and assesing the damage to the car, don't know what I would of done if Giz had been hurt as well, I think I am going to invest in one before our next trip.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 7:42PM
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I used to take the old dogs on very short trips like the quick stop store. They never got to go any where besides the vet. I got so paranoid that they'd be stolen out of the locked car I pretty much quit. Friends would say, "you think someone is going to steal a Rottweiler from their car"? Yes.

Roxy went to Sonic with me. I don't like to have them in the car much because of what if. What if there's an accident and they get loose...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 3:13PM
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I drive really slow like these soccer moms in their minivans when I'm cruisin around with the furry'ns.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 6:56PM
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As it turns out my local best buy store doesn't allow dogs. (Referring to a reply on 11/30)
Guess I'll stick with circuit city where hte prices are lower anyway.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 5:17PM
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quirkyquercus..what??? The soccer moms in your area drive slow??? Ours are quite the opposite! They rush around and drive very poorly, most likely too tired to follow the traffic laws!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 1:11PM
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You're right they are pretty bad drivers. Usually driving a very big suv and talking on the phone, running stop signs etc. Lets not get me started on that right now though.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:28PM
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I am just about ready to leave for my Saturday morning errand AND my dog is coming with me. :-)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 9:58AM
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I don't really take the dogs with me much, though my husband loads them up in the pick up and drives them (slowly) all over the farm. They LOVE it. You can't get near the tailgate without an expectant face and wagging tail. He isn't really going anywhere with them, just to the barn about a mile away... They lay down in the bed as soon as they get in it and will stay on the truck bed all day if allowed, just in case!

I once left a dog in the car after a vet visit to go into the grocery store for a gallon of milk. It was an overcast 70 degree day, doors locked, windows cracked. As I was scurrying to the checkout, I heard my license plate announced over the loud speaker, sure enough some PETA facist saw my dog, (resting comfortably, I should add) and decided to complain to the management. She told me that my dog could suffocate.

The dog was in NO danger or distress, he was sitting calmly in the passengers seat waiting for me to return. There are so many other battles to pick, why would you harrass a responsible pet owner? Go volunteer at a shelter...

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 4:59PM
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How does one tell if a dog is in distress?

Personally, I've seen cars on cloudy days in 70 degree weather warm up pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:37PM
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Signs of distress: Panting
Going limp
Loss of consciousness

If a dog is sitting calmly, watching the environment with interest, is alert and responsive to cues, it is not in distress.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 1:09AM
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I am Casey. Mom told me to tell you about what we did today. We had a fun day! Dad got up and didn't go in the little room to get all wet, like he usually does as soon as he is up. He went into his special room - the one with all those tall things with shelves with rectangles stacked on them. He sat in front of that box that makes light with moving colors and his hands tap-tap-tapped along. That made us think that maybe it was going to be a good day - the kind of day when Mom and Dad stay home with us!

Mom slept and slept, even after the sun came out. That proved it! When she got up, she cuddled me in the bed and kissed me and scratched my ears and belly. I tried to keep her there in the bed with me, but I couldn't get her to stay. That's sad. Then Toby jumped up on the bed and got his cuddles and leaned on MY mom and she scratched his neck and kissed him too. I don't know why she has to get some kisses from him. I have LOTS left to give her!

Well, she talked with Dad and talked on the phone, and sat and tapped on her box with the moving lights. Then she got dressed and said to me, "Do you want to go for a ride in the car?" WOW!!! The bestest kind of day! Then she tried to get Toby and me to go outside and pee, but we just laughed at her! Silly, she is not going to sneak away on us like that!

Then we got on our harnesses and Mom cleaned out the back of her car. I don't know why she is always putting things back there on top of our beds, anyways. We jumped up; it is really high now (she has it so I can lay down and still see out the windows). That is really great because dogs get tired if they have to make the effort to sit up all the time.

So she snapped those straps to our harnesses and away we went! It was too cold to open the window, she said. I guess she was right. But we laid down and watched and she took us past all kinds of interesting stuff. I saw some people walking and some ducks in the puddles. I don't understand why we still have puddles. Isn't it supposed to be cold this time of year?

Well, then Mom turned the car into a place I never saw before. It turned out to be another place where all the cars line up in rows, but it only had a few cars. I guess if you see one place where cars line up, you have seen them all. Mom stopped the car, and then I decided to remind her that we were there. I whined a little for sympathy. Sometimes she takes us with her, and I figured it was worth a try. Not this time. She was gone only a little while, and came back with a bag that she put in the car. Then she drove across to another place where cars line up. It looked more familiar. She was gone about a half hour, that time.

Then Mom drove us around a place where people live. I like to go slow like that. I can look at all the houses and see how the other dogs live. At one house I just got so excited! There was the biggest, fluffiest, white dog out front! He was in the driveway, real close, and he wasnt even wearing a leash! You might not know this about me, but I think that big fluffy dogs are the best! Boy, I wish Mom had stopped the car so that I could go jump on that dog! But she didnÂt.

The next time she stopped the car, I knew where we were! It is a place with other dogs. They donÂt get to run around or have fun, they are all in cages or on tables. Their mommies are not with them, but our mommy never leaves us there, she stays. The lady there likes me, but she does something funny with my butt. It doesnÂt feel too good, but my butt doesnÂt bother me for a few weeks after she does that. Then she cuts my fingernails. Toby only has to get his fingernails cut, none of that funny butt stuff for him.

The best part of visiting this place is that we always get treats. Then we get to go next door! It is one of those places where they have all the chew-chews! They sit out and I can smell them all. I love to go there. All the people love doggies and they will stop and pet me. I think that everybody there is REQUIRED to love us! Mommy is funny there, though. She says that mean "unh unh unh" sound if I start to lift my leg. Geez Ma! I read the pee mail and I just gotta reply! If other doggies are allowed to pee there, why canÂt I? Today, I couldnÂt sneak even a little leg lifting in. Mom had us lay down and be quiet so she could pick out squeaky toys for those two stupid dogs that Auntie Joan has. I donÂt know how dogs can be that stupid.

When we are ready go they make us walk through a line and stop and give the lady some funny green paper that Mom carries with her. It smells like a lot of people have had it before Mom did, so I donÂt know why she likes to keep it with her. Usually if something smells THAT interesting, she does something to it to make the smell go away. Maybe the lady who took it is like a dog and she cherishes all the smells on the green paper. Anyway, after giving it to her, Mommy took us outside and let us pee on the big cement blocks in the parking lot again. Oh yeah - she did let us pee there when we first got out of the car, too.

So we jumped back up in the car and Mom drove more. It looked like we were going home, but she stopped one more time. It was good, though, Âcause Toby and I needed the nap. All that looking, sniffing, and treat-begging really tires a doggie. Mommy always leaves the window open a bit, so we can still smell everything that is happening. I had a good, long nap, so I could be wide awake for the whole ride home. I saw some Mallard ducks, a flock of those noisy Starlings, and lots of cars. It was raining by the time we got home, so we took naps in the family room for a couple of hours. Man! I was beat! Riding in the car is lots of fun but it sure tires a dog out. I am glad that Mom and Dad were home and not too busy after that. We donÂt have to guard so hard if they are there. They are the bosses, so we can relax and sleep off all that excitement from earlier in the day.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 10:21PM
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Many people do not have the same criteria for what is "hot" and may be willing to compromise 10 minutes in the car in 90 degrees, not realizing that the car heats up fats and that can severely hurt the dog.

The "I do it all the time" answer can end with one disaster.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 11:16PM
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Much of the US is not in a climate where one must worry about 70, 80, or 90 degree heat for half the year. Plus, when the sun does not shine (ie; cloud cover), there is no mechanism for the window glass to cause the heat to climb in the car.

There really are two separate issues here. Taking the dogs out to do errands in SAFE weather, vs. people too dumb to be allowed to live who put children and pets in a car and park it in the sun in warm weather. If the car can get hot in the sun, the dogs should stay home.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 1:00AM
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nancy in mich -- sweet story! You have lucky dogs.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 8:48AM
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I think the car heats up in the sun in temperatures below 90. That was my point (That people's criteria of what is safe and "what I do all the time" does not necessarily correspond to the health of the animal.)

So living in northern climates and leaving your dog in the car is not safe.

This is from the Humane Society of the US (full article in link below):

On a warm, sunny day windows collect light, trapping heat inside the vehicle, and pushing the temperature inside to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree Fahrenheit day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within ten minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. At 110 degrees, pets are in danger of heatstroke. On hot and humid days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute, and quickly become lethal.

A recent study by the Stanford University School of Medicine showed that temperatures inside cars can rise dramatically even on mild days. With outside temperatures as low as 72 degrees, researchers found that a car's interior temperature can heat up by an average of 40 degrees within an hour, with 80% of that increase in the first 30 minutes. A cracked window provides little relief from this oven effect. The Stanford researchers found that a cracked window had an insignificant effect on both the rate of heating and the final temperature after an hour.

I think dog owners should read the article below.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 10:29PM
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As of January 1, 2007, in California, is it now against the law to leave your dog unattended in a vehicle.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 10:10AM
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I would in NO WAY leave my boxer dogs in my car in the hot weather just for their own safety and I love them way to much! However, My StarLite has an ulser from being away from me all day when I'm work. So for this reason, when the weather is between 45-75 degrees I will bring her anywhere I go (unless I know I'm going to have to leave her for a long time, then I wouldn't even think of it).

It makes me sick to my stomach how people (well they call themselves people anyways) treat animals like they are crap. Animals have souls and are humans too. They have feelings and want the same things we do. Those "Animals" (the jerks who hurt animals) should get the same treatment they did to the animal. If they starved the dog, make them starve. I'm sorry I just feel very strongly about this. My babies are my whole life!!

Thanks, Elycia

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 1:05PM
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quirkyquercus - I'm sorry about the Best Buy in your area. :-( I wonder why all the ones in my area are ok with it? I thought they were a corp?


    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 2:40PM
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For the responsible pet owners... it's too bad a new law had to be put into effect in Cali. Some dogs with idiot owners need that protection.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 4:45PM
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I dont think it should EVER be done.Not only is it unsafe for the animal,it is unsafe for other people walking by.

I cant tell you how many times I've walked by someone's car that had a dog nearly jump out at me and start barking and give me a heart attack. What if the dog gets out somehow and attacks someone?

It is also very unsafe for the DOG.Exspecially on a hot day,there is just no excuse for doing it.You cant take your dog in a store? Then leave him at home!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 6:02PM
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I don't believe I have seen anyone here advocating that dogs go for rides when they will be left in an empty car in hot weather. Why do so many posters act as though there is no difference between taking dogs out on errands in 40 degree weather and 90 degree weather?

And I never leave the window open enough for the dogs to get their faces out the window at all. If I need to do that, it is too hot for them, and I leave them home. In the rare instance when I find myself needing to stop when the dogs are with me in warm weather, I leave the car and air condtitioning running, set the emergency brake, lock the car, make sure the dogs cannot get to the shifter (like they could really hold down the brake pedal and shift at the same time) and leave them in sight when I run inside. No one can steal the car or the dogs because they are in a locked car, and I am watching. I have a spare key to let myself back in.

Yes, Moonie, it is sad that irresponsible people have made it illegal for the rest of us to have our dogs along for errands in cool weather in CA.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 10:20PM
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I live way out in the country. My dog goes everywhere with me. He sits in my car, windows rolled all the way down, water in his bowl, on breezey beautiful days, waiting for me while I go to church. We must drive to take hikes, attend youth soccer games, etc. He absolutely loves his adventures out on the town.

If you get a dog only to leave him/her home all of the time, perhaps you should rethink getting a dog... Dogs are not meant to be left alone for the bulk of their live while you work, shop, etc. As family members, sometimes they must wait in the car for 10 minutes while an errand is run, but they get to fully participate in your life! I have no qualms if my 10 year old niece asks to stay in the car, windows rolled down on a nice, breezy day while I run in to the grocer for hamburger buns.

And, frankly, if someone busted my window out with a "brick-o-matic," I would be pressing charges of my own.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I live in Oregon....obviously it doesn't get hot this time of year. I love my dog and spoil the heck out of her. Anyone I know will verify that one. I went to Costco and it was 60 degrees out. she has her blanket and bed in the car. I only needed to get a few things that were on my list and left her in the car. She loves going with me places. I got a message thrown in my car obviously because every window was cracked for air that it was against the law in Oregon in a locked vehicle to leave a dog in big bold letters. I was furious. For one thing if I thought my dog was in danger or it was hot out I would not have done so. Use your own judgement to keep them safe.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 4:04PM
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I love dogs, but I'm not sure this law makes sense. What if a person lives in an RV touring the country? Their RV has air conditioning and heating in it and they have no other place to leave their pets. I know single people who live this way and their pets have great lives traveling with their owners. No one should leave their pet in any unsafe condition - be it an automobile or home.

This law now means we can't take our dogs camping with us because we can't leave them unattended at a camp site and can't leave them in the car regardless of the conditions. So, instead of having the times of their lives out hiking with us and swimming in the lakes and streams, they are penned up in a bording kennel where they may or may not get the best care.

It's tough for those of us who take our dogs everywhere, because there are fewer and fewer places that allow pets - at least in the US.

How about allowing pets in more places so owners don't have to leave them in vehicles?? How about more pet friendly stores and restaurants? But no . . . let's just restrict, restrict, restrict so those dogs stay at home or in bording kennels and get less and less REAL exercise and care.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 8:27PM
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My dog is heart broken if he has to stay home. he goes every time we leave the house. I live in Maine so most of the time hes fine in the truck. We roll down the windows enough so he has air flow and lock the doors. He goes when we go shopping or out to eat.
Never crossed my mind that is animal abuse to leave a dog in a car/truck unless weather is too hot or cold. A few times it was hot when I had to run in for groceries I just left the AC on high and doors locked. Hes a big Golden Retriever and he loves to people watch and snooze in the back seat of the truck. Hes part of the family and goes where we go most of the time

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 2:05PM
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