Usually I liked to go to Walmart on Sunday morning since it is the least crowded until the "church crowd" arrives -- sometimes after their lunch -- around 1:00. Today was the dreaded day; I loathe going to Walmart, but occasionally it is necessary because of certain items I need and only sold there.
At any rate, no matter how few customers, by the time I get to check-out, there's always a line. I also dawdle around, looking at stuff I don't need simply because it's available. And too, the store is so huge just walking to different sections located front, middle or back can take a while to maneuver.
I write this to explain why a visit to Walmart will invariably take far longer than you expect, even if you are determined to buy only a few items.
And it was that way today, but I finally hit the door and as soon as I stepped out into the hot day, I heard a small dog barking. While I put my stuff in the hatchback, the dog kept barking; I could tell it was not far from where I was parked. Therefore, as soon as I got everything unloaded, I drove over to the section where the dog was barking. As I feared, the dog was alone in a vehicle -- a battered 70s red pickup. The windows were cracked, but the dog (a tiny Yorkie) was barking avidly to the point it looked near heat exhaustion. Though it was not panting yet, I could see it wouldn't be long before the intense heat sickened the dog.
I pulled over to ask a couple of young boys from another vehicle if they were in the red pickup, both said no. Then I asked if they thought the dog would be okay, and both said yes, due to cross ventilation. I wasn't sure about that.
On the way home, I became more and more upset (live less than 10 minutes away). The minute I stepped in the house, I picked up the phone (had forgotten to take my cell with me) and called Walmart. I asked the lady if they could make an announcement over the intercom for the owners to take care of the dog. She said they were not allowed to do that. Next, I called the city police, described the vehicle, gave them the information and the dispatcher said she'd have a car out there soon.
After I unpacked all my stuff, I noticed I'd left one bag at the Walmart checkout. Crap!
I had to return, but it was just as well, since I could see what was happening with the dog: I got behind the animal control vehicle in the parking lot. A city police car was parked by the red pickup, and an officer was holding the Yorkie. A young woman was gesturing, looked angry (and that's why I didn't try to intervene myself, never can tell what a dog owner's reaction will be). I assume the dog will be taken to the animal shelter, and the owner will have to pay a fee to get it back. Or if the owner doesn't, then it will be put in the care of one of our two rescue groups, available for adoption. Or if the owner is lucky, they might just get a warning.
PEOPLE, HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO BE WARNED NOT TO LEAVE A DOG IN A HOT CAR? NOT EVEN WITH THE WINDOWS CRACKED?!
It upset me terribly to have that experience, but not as badly as it would if I hadn't tried to save the dog. At least I know I got help, and the dog didn't die in that hot car. This is the South, and it is impossible to leave a dog in a car -- fall, winter, spring or summer.
I know the temptation; I've sometimes left the wooded park with my dogs, knowing I needed to pick up a few items somewhere. But no matter how I was tempted, I DID NOT DO IT. There's just no way to know exactly how long I'd be in a store. If there's two people, one of them should take the dog and stand outside the store. If one person, resist the temptation to make a quick stop for anything if you must leave a dog alone in the car -- or don't take the dog along if you have other errands.
In other news, I finally have the novel I've been working on for a few weeks available at Amazon. Click this link to go there, if you're interested: The Haunting of Helen
I have two more novels, another collection of short stories/poetry, essays yet to edit/proof and get online too. That will be all my past work; then I plan to post my memoir as a series -- early childhood (already written); teenage years; young adult (20s); 30s; 40s; 50s through the present. It should keep me busy for a long time. I've noticed continuing series do well on Amazon, as well as selling the entire "box set" of the finished series. My memoir, "Backward Mirror" is really going to be my life...should be interesting to write with a dramatic flair!
Everything here is fine -- dogs thriving, though I only take them to wooded park during the heat of summer. Muffin is a handful, ha!, understatement. But she keeps the other two dogs moving -- loves playing tug-of-war with them, or running around the back yard playing chase. Even Oscar, the 10-year-old doxie, gets in on the action sometimes. Rambo loves to play with her, but even he has his limits. He has a certain bark that lets Muffin know he's had enough, and she respects that, backs off.
With that, I'm out of here for today.