As a child, Memorial Day meant school was out on Friday, and Monday was the beginning of summer and started with a parade, and our friends’ dads would dress up in their slightly mothball-scented military garb with buttons strained on proud chests. They would march through the streets to the cemetery where a lone bugle would play the Taps and then the gun salute would crack, three guns at a time, and slice through the morning air with casings raining down on tomb stones. Our Dad would say a prayer, and we kids would kick off our shoes for three months.
As a friend noted on Facebook, her dad was the one to carry the flag, and the significance of that act and the pride of these men was somewhat lost on us kids as we fidgeted through this ceremony just wanting summer to begin in earnest, but now, the sacrifice for the freedom we have does not escape us. These men and the soldiers who protect us today are true American heroes, and we honor them. May God’s protection be over them.
Typically, in these parts, Memorial Day weekend can be a bust. The northern midwestern weather is often unpredictable this time of year, so when folks plan a Memorial Day picnic, most of us make sure that the party can be moved into the garage or house if it’s rainy or too cold. This Memorial Day weekend was one of the most beautiful that we can remember. The weather was solidly in the seventies and even high eighties, with a bright sun heralding over all.
We enjoyed a Doodle Romp (goldendoodle) with lots of these happy dogs and their owners meeting for a day in the sun at an off leash park. Driving with a dog is a challenge if you have to stop for a pee break or something, especially in this weather, so I was sure to stop at a covered gas station and make quick use of the facilities so it would not get too warm in the car for Eugene.
Unfortunately, not all people are as mindful. Yesterday, as we ran to pick up a couple of things at the hardware store, we saw a beautiful golden retriever in a locked car, with windows cracked and sunroof open. By this time in the afternoon the thermometer read 87 degrees, and we could only imagine how hot it was inside that car. The dog was wagging its tail and panting, but began to look more distressed. So, after inquiring inside the store, and with no one of any help, we dialed 911. Within 3 minutes the police were there with lights flashing. After another five minutes two men emerged from the store, and immediately saw to the dog as the officer watched over them. We could no longer see the pooch, as it had laid down and did not get up when his owners returned and we can only hope and pray that he survived.
I don’t think people mean to put their dogs in harm’s way, they think “It’s only 87 degrees, or we’ll only be a moment in the store.” It takes just minutes, even with the windows open to heat the car from 87 degrees to around 140 degrees! We were there five minutes before we called 911, and if they had not responded, we would not have hesitated to break the window to free that poor dog.
We all love our pets, they want to go for a ride, but whenever it’s 70 degrees or higher, even minutes left in the car can make it unbearable and even kill your dog. Keep our pets happy and healthy, yah, they’ll be bummed when you leave without them, but they’ll be happy and healthy when you come home. Check out the photo below. Have a great summer, I look forward to spending time with you here.
And God bless America, our soldiers, and the police officers who protect even the furry residents of our city.