July 25, 2014 - 7:20 AM
PROSKIW: There’s been a lot of discussion about dogs being left in vehicles lately, and as a dog owner for the last 14 years I understand the frustration being felt right now.
Bringing your dog with you in a car now means getting almost nothing else done. I don’t even want to leave my vehicle running with A/C on any more for fear I will return to a broken window because my dog panted once.
A vehicle, even with windows cracked, will get lethally hot in minutes, and I can’t imagine a worse death than being slowly roasted alive. No one’s condoning that. But what’s a dog owner supposed to do? Leave my dog locked up at home forever? Before moving to Kelowna I took my dogs with me almost everywhere and the result was happy, well-socialized pets.
My first dog was Angel, a 120 pound red-brindle bullmastiff who would wait patiently for me outside my classes at UVic. Have you tried taking a dog into a store in Kelowna? The list of retail outlets that let dogs inside is unfortunately very short. And it's kind of hurting dogs.
For an animal to integrate into our complicated society requires a lot of socialization. That means exposing them to as much of what we do as possible. Keeping a dog away from society for months on end will only mean more negative encounters and a further divide between us and the only animal that loves us unconditionally.
It wouldn't take much for the majority of businesses to allow well-behaved dogs inside during the summer, but in this dog-hostile society I don't see that happening any time soon.
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