Monday, July 17, 2006

At the track and in the heat

We had a super exciting Saturday. We cleaned. It was riveting. Mark went out that night for dinner and drinks with his friends Tim and Jenny. On Sunday we decided to have a picnic at Philadelphia Park Horse Track in Bensalem. We got hoagies from Slacks and sat at an umbrella’d picnic table while watching the horsies. Noah had a fantastic time watching them in the paddock and running the races. We blew some money on a few $2 bets without any big payouts, but we had a really nice day. I was amazed at how family friendly the track is. They have a huge picnic grove and a really nice playground. Plus it was Family Fun day so they also had free moon bounces and pony rides. There were tons of families arriving with full coolers of beer, soda and food. You can even bring your hibachi and grill there while the kids play ball in the grass. It was a really nice afternoon and it certainly won’t be our last visit.

It’s supposed to reach 100 degrees here today. For Philly that’s rare and sickeningly hot, especially when you factor in the thick ass humidity. So it’s a scorcher – the kind where you feel the UV rays burning you and the heat takes your breath away. Keep that in mind as I relay the following story.

This afternoon I took Noah to Ikea both to buy an extension pack for his wooden train set (Thanks Mom!) and to let him run around in a wide open space that was air conditioned. He had a great time and scored himself an art easel too. When we came out of the Ikea I decided we’d walk across the parking lot to Chikfila for lunch since Noah was remarking on the inflatable cow on it’s roof – and because as I’ve mentioned before it’s the most nutritious, cleanest, best tasting fast food place EVA. As we crossed the steaming hot lot, I heard yipping coming from one of the cars. I peeked inside and saw a very small pet carrier on the back seat of a grey Kia Lancer that had it’s windows ever so slightly cracked. I was so appalled I felt sick. HOW could someone leave their pet in the car in this heat? I considered going immediately into Ikea to have the person paged, but I hesitated and told myself that if the car was still there when we came out of Chikfila then I’d act. So after having a leisurely meal I headed back to our car while praying the Kia was gone. But I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t. I went into Ikea and reported the situation – giving them the license plate number and car details to announce over the loud speaker. While I was talking to one staff member another one went outside to get a look at the car. I considered staying to find out what happened but knew they’d probably just tell the person they’d have to move their car. When Noah and I went back out I noticed the car was gone. Then I saw the staff member that had gone out to take a look. I rolled down the window and told him the car had moved and then he said “That’s her over there” as he pointed to the Lancer in a loading spot. A late thirties woman and her eight year old daughter were loading stuff into the car as a very furry Golden Retriever puppy sniffed and circled around their legs. I was struck by how large the puppy was in comparison to the very small size of the carrier they had had him squeezed into and it made me even more mad. I pulled up next to her and had the following exchange:

“Excuse me Miss, but that’s illegal.”
“Leaving that puppy in your car for an hour in this kind of heat.”
“I wasn’t in there an hour.”
“YES you were. My son and I saw your car and then went and had lunch while you were in there. It was at least an hour. It’s animal cruelty and you’re lucky he’s not dead.”
“….Thanks” she grumbled before she just decided to ignore me. And then I drove away.

I feel kind of ridiculous yelling at a stranger like I’m there Mom, but I was so incredibly bothered by it I couldn’t help myself. What would you have done?


lonna said...

I don't know what I would have done. I think that I might have called the police because I am a big avoider of conflict. I would love to say that I would have given her a piece of my mind, but I know that I wouldn't. I can't believe that she didn't even seemed embarassed after you told her what she did. Poor puppy.

Missuz J said...

This post won't show up on my browser for some reason. I'm desperately curious. Email it to me?

Katy said...

I had to copy and paste it into Word and change the font so I could read it. What would I have done? Dognapped. I TOTALLY would have dognapped that poor puppy with a ransom note on their window saying they could have their doggy back when they pulled their head out of their ass. But that's just me.

Allison said...

I had to cut and paste too...what an AWFUL situation! I think I would have done the same thing and I also think I would have said something similar to what you did. I can understand running into the store really quick (like the convenience store) when it's COOL out, but not in this awful heat!!!!!! Even with the windows down, it gets amazingly hot in the car, VERY quickly!

Carol said...

I'm so proud of you - I would have done something as well!!

patrice said...

I probably would have called the police or done what you did - except the part where you told her off. I talk a big game but doing it is another thing. good for you!!!

my dad always tells me to go to phila park for family fun day, and I never wind up doing it.

Jen said...

I would have called the police or animal services, or somebody and had her prosecuted for cruelty if I could. Otherwise I would do what you did. Congrats to you for telling her off. What a horrible thing. How could someone do that to a helpless animal? It makes me sick. I wish someone would lock that woman in a hot car. Honestly, I think that some people shouldn't be allowed to have pets (or children). They are simply too stupid.

M.Thom said...

I am a big wuss-ass, so I wouldn't have confronted her. However, I would have called the police when I came out of Chick Fil A. On the non-emergency number. And I would have waited until they got there and maybe also written down the license plate number in case she left before they got there and then when they got there I would have told it to them and they would have laughed at me and told me I watch too much TV. Well, maybe not, but good for you for speaking up! Poor puppy...I hope she takes your words to heart.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

I would have told her off also. I would also have (since I always have windshield paint - fancy shoepolish that washes off easier)written on her back window. "The driver of this car - locks her dog in this car to DIE!"

Okay maybe I would have just put "Puppy Abuser" but I would have written something that the driver would have to drive the car someplace to have it washed off.

Hopefully she will think twice before she does it again!

Fraulein N said...

I think I would've taken down her plate number and reported her. Nowadays, it's too dangerous to get into a confrontation with people like that.

I like the shoe polish idea, though.

Julie said...

I would have been tempted to smash a window to liberate the poor puppy.

Good for you! It's brave to confront strangers the way you did.

NME said...

It was my first inclination to call the cops. But I had left the house without my cell phone. And I considered asking the Chikfila people to call the cops - but I decided that our city cops probably would not come out in a hurry for a dog in a car.
And that windshield paint is clever and ballsy. I'd be worried I'd get caught doing it. And that is more of a confrontation than I can handle.

Anna said...

If I saw the owner, I'd ask them "Did you know that your dog could die in the car in this heat? The temperature shoots up in a very short period of time." If the owner wasn't around, I'd call the cops, also. If I didn't have my cell, I'd do what you did. Good for you! Poor dog!