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Hey Y’all: Baby, It’s hot out there!

Would you be kind enough to do me favor? Take off your shoes and stand on the pavement for three minutes.

Marlene Ratledge Buchanen

Now, play fair and do this in the hot part of the day. Hey, it is summer in Georgia and we have had NO rain. It won’t be hard to find the hot part of the day.

How did you enjoy that? Are your toes tingly pink? Did you feel the sizzle of summer?

Now look at your dog? He hasn’t the option to get off the pavement if he is tethered to you with a leash. You, in your shoes, enjoy walking and looking around you. He, in his paws, enjoys being with you because he loves you. You love him? Get him off that hot pavement. PERIOD. He is closer to the ground so he is getting all the reflective heat. You think you are hot, THINK about your pet, not just about yourself.

Wouldn’t you tell someone he is a member of the family? Then treat him like one. If he has to come with you then put little booties on him. Better yet, love him and leave him at home. He could care less about that festival you are so keen to attend. You can search for dog booties on the Internet.

Oh yeah, didn’t you just get an ice cream or a Coke to cool off? What about him? He is ground level which is 10-30 degrees or more hotter than your hot little head. Carry water with you for that adoring animal that you say you love dearly.

I was at a festival last weekend. I saw dogs in strollers and one with adorable booties, and dogs on the verge of heat exhaustion. My book table was under a huge tree, we had good shade. There was not one dog that didn’t lay down in that shade as soon as he reached it. It was too hot to be in the sun and on that pavement. Some owners, very few, had water for their four legged loved one. I promised myself I would bring water and a bowl the next time I was at an event like this. But not every booth will do that. YOU, dear pet owner, should do that for your animal. He is your responsibility.

And why would you even consider leaving your pet in a car? Think about it.

Heat Stroke in pets is very real and can happen very quickly. You are required by law to provide shelter and care for your pets. They need cool water for hydration. Do not fill a metal bowl with water and sit it in the sun. It takes only 5 minutes to heat up. It is against the law to tether or chain a dog. Newton County (GA) Ordinance states: “It shall be unlawful for any owner to chain, tie, fasten or otherwise tether the animal to dog houses, trees, fences, vehicles or other stationary objects as a means of confinement except that the animal may be temporarily confined by a tether while directly attended by its owner. If you see this happening, please contact Animal Control ASAP.”

This is true in all Georgia Counties, now. Heed the law if you can’t heed your heart.

Signs of over heating of animals & Heat Stroke:

Heavy Panting,Excessive thirst,Glazed eyes, Vomiting and bloody diarrhea, Bright or dark red tongues/gums, Elveated body temperature (104 & up), Staggering/unsteadiness, Shock caused grey mouth membranes, Increased pulse & heatbeat, Seizures, Excessive drooling, Unconscienceness/ coma, Thick saliva, Weakness, collapse, Organ failure, Rapid heartrate, Death

Car Temperatures
Outside Temp (F)      Inside car temp within 10 minutes      Inside car within 30 minutes
70°                               89°                                                    104°
75°                               94°                                                    109°
80°                               99°                                                    114°
85°                             104°                                                    119°
90°                             109°                                                    124°
95°                             114°                                                    129°

And here is one more rant. I know you were not planning on me being ugly, but sometimes I just have to tell you the truth. And the truth can be ugly. Animals are frightened of fireworks. Keep them inside. They do not understand. They run when scared and they get disoriented by the sounds and lights of the fireworks. Keep them secure in your house-not your car.

Have a safer summer for you and your pets. And don’t make me have to be ugly again!

A southern humorist, Marlene is the 2020 Georgia Independent Author of the Year for Life is Hard, Soften It with Laughter and 2021 GIAYA for A Place with a Past. Marlene is available for speaking engagements. You may reach her through her website