Really, it’s not that doggoned hot up there

Published 10:17 pm Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wow, is it hot.

While some will call it global warming or climate change, I prefer summer. It’s hot all over. It’s hot in the Midwest and out West.

It’s even hot in Yankeeland, much like it was the day after Memorial Day. It wasn’t Mississippi hot, mind you, but mid-80s for New Yorkers is toasty nonetheless. For the dog who was plucked from the side of a street left for dead, the mid-80s is a walk in the park.

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The mutt had already ridden more than 1,300 miles in the front seat and back — she just couldn’t decide — in a Mazda 3. She rested her head on a beer cooler or my right arm, whatever was more convenient. Her life consists of doing what she wants, when she wants, how she wants.

Inside the Mazda the dog waited under the shade of a maple tree, windows halfway down, food and water on the floorboard.

Inside the Peekskill Brewery, the 1,300-mile driver — she refused to drive — ordered a bit of liquid refreshment to take home. Five minutes, or maybe 10 passed, but long enough for the Peekskill Police Department to dispatch Officer Friendly to investigate calls of an abused dog.

“How do you think she feels in there?” he asked, pointing to the smiling Cali. “I have enough to handcuff you and take you to jail already abuse.”


“She is suffering in there,” he continued, but showed he was in no mood for argument or explanation. I could hear the one phone call now: “Um, Mom, I’m in the clink. Dog abuse. I know she sleeps on the couch. I know… yes, she gets steak on her birthday… He won’t listen.”

The suffering dog under the maple tree was smiling. Her tail wagging as she sat reclined in the passenger seat. I could almost hear her mumbling to herself, “Are you kidding me? I am from Mississippi. Do you have any idea what July is like? This is a picnic.”

I understood what she was saying; Officer Friendly did not. To him, I might as well have had her tied to the back bumper for a ride up Interstate 95 through New Jersey.

But the proof of water seemed enough. He did not cuff me and take me away. He checked the Mississippi driver’s license, re-checked the food and water, gave me a authoritarian scolding for my “abuse” and off he went.

“I tried to tell him I was fine, but he wouldn’t listen,” the double-gunshot, left-for-dead dog said as we drove away. “Damn Yankees.”