It’s that time of year again, when riding with dogs in cars becomes the number one reason to live in fear. Fear of passersby, fear of shopkeepers. Fear of broken windows. Fear.
Every summer I see those posters on Facebook threatening to break my car window if there’s a dog inside the car and no owner in sight. I always respond with my best goomba imitation, “You breaka my window, I breaka you face.”
Our angel dog, Jupie-short for Jupiter-was rescued by me from the street. I’d been out for a walk on a Memorial Day weekend in the small-ish town of Desert Hot Springs, California.
In the gutter, a block or so away from our house, I saw a puppy. She was trying to follow two boys who had pit bulls on leashes, and they were tossing small rocks at her. She was tipping over against the curb.
I walked over, picked her up, and asked them what was up. They told me they didn’t want her to follow them because of their dogs. So, I cuddled her close, walked to a few houses nearby, and asked if they’d lost a puppy, or knew anything about her.
No one did, so she became ours. She was a shepherd mix. My son wanted a puppy, and my mom wanted to rescue a shepherd from the pound. I could never be trusted to go to a pound without coming home with every dog there, minus the ones who tried to bite my fingers off. So I kept putting it off, and then I found Jupie.
She was a perfect dog in almost every way but one. She was smart, learned anything I tried to teach her, she was gentle, loving, and sweet. But she was anxious. I couldn’t leave her at home alone, or she’d jump through the living room window trying to find us.
If I left her in the back yard, tied up, she’d jump INTO the house dragging whatever I had her tied to. Once, I’d tied her rope to the long metal pole people use to lift weights. She was like the World’s Strongest Dog. (It didn’t have the round weights on it, though. She cheated.) She jumped through a window with that thing attached.
I was in a terrible fix.
I kept having to replace windows. This got expensive. Like having people throw bricks through your windows, only Jupie didn’t care about my political beliefs.
She even jumped through a couple of car windows, that were not left completely closed, while she was inside the car. They were down a quarter of the way to discourage jumping. You see how well that worked out.
She was picked up once running down a dark desert highway after we’d left the house and she’d jumped through the living room window. Fortunately, it was a single pane window. We found her by asking the local radio station to make an announcement. She was so happy to see us, and vice versa, when two ladies brought her home.
When we moved up north, I had a sliding window above my bed. That girl could open that window and leave. Since we lived in a very small town there, we found her eventually, but I began tying her to a tree with a very long rope. That, she couldn’t budge.
I bought a big cage at PetSmart to leave her in, thinking she’d at least be safe in the house until we returned home. We came home one evening, and there she was, wandering the house, having somehow turned herself into smoke and drifted through the gaps in the cage. Because the gate was-get this- STILL LATCHED!
We began to refer to her as Smoke, and watched her closely for other wizardry.
I began to take her with me on errands so that she wouldn’t be anxious and take it out on our windows. This led to some unpleasant encounters with people. But then, what doesn’t?
My first encounter with the People Against Other People Having a Peaceful Life with Their Pets, or PAOPHAPLWTP, was when I had to run some errands in Palm Springs. I’d parked under a tree, rolled the windows of the car down halfway, and went into the store, planning on being gone no more than five or ten minutes.
The cashier, the cashier mind you, told me there’d been a complaint filed against me with her, the cashier, about me leaving my dog in the car in the heat. So I paid for my purchases and left. Which is what I was going to do anyway, until I was brought up short by the cashier who was improving the world one annoying bit at a time.
Run-ins with Warriors Without a Good Cause happened a few times, after I started seeing the Facebook posters, and seeing shows about horrible people who leave their dogs in their cars. She eventually grew out of her anxiety and became comfortable at home alone.
What I gathered from these experiences is that people would rather dogs die alone in pounds, or get run over by cars, rather than be left in a car for five minutes. Because I could have turned my angel dog over to the pound. I certainly couldn’t afford to keep replacing windows.
I went so far as to hire a dog trainer once to help me. I asked the vet for tranquilizers for her, or me for that matter, for when we had to be gone. I accidentally took one of her pills one day when I had a headache, and I was one unhappy camper for a few hours.
Talk about tripping out! Take a dog tranquilizer some time and look for the tracers.
We like to travel with our dogs. In fact, we like our dogs a lot. We want to do things with them. But when we do, we have a problem, Houston. We can’t bring them inside restaurants, and we can’t tie them up outside-I still don’t believe this, but the MOTH (man of the house), says we can’t- and we aren’t supposed to bring them inside and buy them a piece of pie and iced tea.
We were told to leave Furnace Creek in California when Jupie began barking after we’d walked away from the van. A woman told the ranger we’d left our dog in the car, so we couldn’t go inside to get something to eat.
I used to leave the van running when I went shopping so she’d have AC, but a cop can give you a ticket for leaving your car running. And if a Warrior Without a Good Cause, a WWAGC, saw her, it might not matter if they couldn’t tell if the car was running.
The last time we went somewhere we took our dog, Sugar. The AC in the truck wasn’t adequate when it was idling, so we took her inside a restaurant on her leash, and told the personnel-the cashier-that she was an assistant dog. Not her, the cashier, but Sugar. And not a dog that assists other dogs, although she could be, but a dog that helps people.
(This was a total fabrication, because that girl has never helped anyone unless they have chicken or cheese or ice cream.)
There were no questions or problems at the restaurant. No windows got broken by the PAOPHAPLWTP or by a dog. Both parties, dogs and warriors, seemed perfectly happy with this arrangement.
I’m not saying you should do this with your dog. I mean (she laughed lightly), what would happen if EVERYONE brought their dogs into stores and restaurants? Haha!
No, no, you should definitely not do it, because it might make your life a little easier.