Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Like Dogs in a Parked Car in the Sun

This is a photo of two LAPD cops talking to a woman. The white SUV with the open hatch is hers, and in it, two Golden Retrievers in crates. The police officers are there because another woman, outside the frame, called them. She called them because she had been waiting beside the vehicle for, she said, 45 minutes. The SUV was closed up except for the hatch window. It was about 90 degrees today, and the car was parked in the sun.

I came upon the scene just after parking my car about five minutes before this moment. I saw the concerned woman, somewhat frantic and overheated herself, on her cellphone, talking with animal control. She asked me for water for the dogs and told me what she'd witnessed. I placed the back of my hand before of one of the dogs noses to say hello. He looked like he could use a drink. I went into Jamba Juice to get some water. When I came back with it, the owner had returned to the SUV and was calmly telling the concerned woman, "the dogs are fine." By now the concerned woman was angry and ranting slightly. I said to the owner, "you can't leave your dogs in the sun in Southern California. It's too hot."

"They're fine..." she said. She was polite, calm, cool, even. The concerned woman saw the police car coming through the parking lot, "well the police are here!" The dog owner moved efficiently to put away the things she'd bought, all the while asserting that the dogs were, "fine, they're just fine." I repeated my assertion. Then the police pulled up. I faded off to avoid becoming the focal point, giving the water to the plants.

I've been on the politics lately, in case you haven't noticed. And this woman reminded me so much of John McCain. I believed she believed she was treating her dogs well. I believe she believed they were fine. But they were too hot. They were thirsty, yet patient. It was over 100 degrees in that car to be sure. They appeared to be stressed, but not surprised. She did not see a problem.

There was one.

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