Animals care about people, so people should care about them

I heard, once again, about a dog that was left in a car when it was 90 outside. Some people still believe it’s OK to leave a dog in a car on a hot day if the windows are left open or they are parked in the shade. The truth is, it is still very dangerous for a dog.

It is said that, on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 100 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in a short period of time.

When walking your dog, remember, if the air temperature is 87 degrees, the asphalt temperature can reach 140 degrees, hot enough to cause burns, permanent damage and scarring after just one minute of contact. Hot sidewalks, pavement and parking lots can not only burn paws, they also reflect heat onto dogs’ bodies, increasing their risk of heatstroke.

Always test the pavement with your hand before taking your dog for a walk. If its too hot to touch, its too hot for your dog.

When I was mayor, every summer I would receive calls about dogs in a hot car or a dog tied outside with no shade, no doghouse and no water. I must admit, those calls made me so upset and caused me to wonder, what is wrong with some people?

Thankfully, most residents love their pets and take good care of them. According to a national study, over 72.9 million families in the United States have one or more pets.

Owning a pet comes with responsibilities, but the rewards are many. It seems it is sometimes easier to make an animal happy than it is to make other people happy. When my cat has her favorite food, her toys and a lap to cuddle in, she is in cat heaven. She doesn’t expect much, just some love and attention.

For those who have a dog, you know how nice it is when you get home from work or school and you are greeted with a wagging tail and a few excited licks to the face. Dogs give their owners unconditional love, and it’s easy to see why some consider a dog “man’s best friend.”

People have a variety of pets including birds, guinea pigs, chickens, snakes, rabbits, horses or turtles, to name a few. It is wonderful to have a pet, but we need to remember they are all God’s creatures and they should be treated with love and care. If you don’t care about their well-being, then you shouldn’t be a pet owner.

When our children were growing up, we had numerous pets: dogs, hermit crabs, horses and a talking myna bird with a colorful vocabulary.

After both of our children left home, our house felt empty. My hubby was working lots of hours at Little Rapids, and I decided I would like a cat. My hubby wasn’t too keen on the idea — he preferred dogs. But I reminded him we had dogs while our children grew up. I also reminded him that he currently had horses, so it was my time to select a pet.

I decided I wanted a Persian cat. I loved their little smushed-up faces, and I knew they were sweet but with an attitude. To my delight, as a Christmas present, my daughter gifted me with an adorable 12-week-old Persian kitten. She was a tortoiseshell (multi-colored) purebred, simply the most adorable kitten I had ever seen. Her name was on her papers, but I chose to call her a name I selected. I called her Hannah Jane.

Perhaps I needed to have something to mother, because I simply adored this little girl. She was such a delight, and it didn’t take long before she melted my hubby’s heart too. In fact, we purchased her sister a month later.

Hannah lived a long and much-loved life. When her time came to cross Rainbow Bridge, she lay behind my Raggedy toy box. To our amazement, her sister went and lay beside her and stayed right with her until she passed. It was heartbreaking and beautiful to witness that kind of love. Animals have such feelings and such love to give.

Our pets deserve to be loved and well cared for. Most pets have much shorter life expectancies than humans. Let’s make their lives happy while they are here. Thank you for caring.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France

Question: Who was the president of the Shawano Area Chamber of Commerce in 1991?

Clothesline Conversation Answer: Jerry Senzig

Lorna Marquardt is a former Shawano mayor.