At this time of year, if I’m thankful for anything, it would have to be air conditioning. When I go out to take care of business, some days I just can’t wait to come back inside where it’s cool. If I do go out to play, I keep it brief and then get a big drink when I come back in. Think about it, I have to wear a coat all summer long. I keep looking and looking for the zipper so I can take it off, but haven’t found it yet. And I don’t sweat, or if you would rather, call it perspire, like you humans do. I can sweat a tiny bit through the pads on my feet, but the main way I get rid of heat is by panting, and that doesn’t cool me down very quickly.
The other day, my buddy SmooshFace (well, that’s what I call him anyway!) came in very overheated after a hike in the Watchung Reservation. He is a Pug which isn’t a very fancy word, but he has another very fancy word to describe him. It’s called brachycephalic and this describes a bunch of other dogs too, like Shih-Tzus, Pekingese, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Boxers and any other dogs with smooshed in faces who have trouble panting well in the first place. These guys (and gals!) really need to relax in the cool air when it’s hot out! No long walks, dog parks or games of fetch in the middle of the day.
Another friend named Bella (yes, I even have girl friends…just not cats! I don’t like cats!) came to see Dr. Witham because she went for a walk with her owner and burned the heck out of her feet! You people are protected from the hot black-top, but we dogs don’t wear shoes. Do you have any idea how hot that asphalt can get? Sometimes it’s hot enough to fry an egg. Let me tell you, if you can fry an egg, then it can burn the heck out of dogs’ paws. Here’s a little test you can try: put the back of your hand down on the surface for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for me!!
And don’t even get me started about leaving pets in the car. Not even for a few minutes. Even with the window cracked, it gets so hot in there. Within just fifteen minutes, it’s hot enough to cause brain damage or heat stroke which can lead to death. It’s just not worth it. Please, please don’t trap us in a hot car. It’s really, really awful and we have no way of getting out.
I really do love the summer though! Well, except for the fireworks on Fourth of July……..