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A Word From Rusty
Pets and Children at Risk This Summer
What a busy month! May is Mother’s Day, of course, and it’s important to honor the great mothers, grandmothers, and mothers-to-be in our families. May is also the month of graduations, and I know that many of you have seniors in high school itching to be done, or college kids ready for the next big thing. For these reasons, May gets me thinking about family. It also has me thinking about an important member of our family: Rusty! Rusty is our family dog. He’s a fluffy white collie who’s almost 10 years old, and in his younger days, he was a competition dog. We originally got Rusty so he could be a show dog, but his ears never really did what they were supposed to. That’s all right because he still competed in agility shows and was a real ace at them! Now Rusty is just the household pet. He enjoys spending time with his pack, loves to go on walks, and knows that he’s loved and taken care of. I’m thinking about Rusty because as the weather gets warmer, there’s a real hazard to dogs and children that we don’t always think about the rest of the year. I’m talking about the danger of leaving pets and kids in the car during the summer heat. Although it’s been nice in our area for a while — let’s be honest, it’s nice most of the year —May is the month when temperatures really start to rise.
like the child who died in Brandon earlier this year after being left in a car for over five hours. That was in March, by the way, and the risk only gets higher as the days get warmer. You may not know this, but Florida is the No. 2 state when it comes to children dying in hot cars. It’s vital that we remember our kids and pets — like Rusty —when we’re out and about this summer. to develop is to turn around and look in the back seat after parking your car. Try to make it a reflex and practice in your driveway. Get in, shut the door, start the car, turn the car off, and turn around. Then, unbuckle and get out. Do that 20 times until it’s muscle memory. There are a few ways to prevent these deaths. One great habit
and another was seriously injured. I see headlines like that and think of Rusty, just like I think of my own kids whenever I read tragic headlines like the ones from this March. This summer, let’s prevent tragedies like those. It only takes a second.
Technology may be able to help as well. Tampa residents Fadi Shamma and Jim Friedman have invented “Sense a Life,” a system that costs about $100 and warns you if you’ve left a child in the back seat. Although it won’t help with dogs, it will warn you when you leave the car and text you as well. Then, it dials emergency services. I think that’s an investment worth making.
Have a great start to your summer,
– Robert Geller
Back in 2015, a couple fromOhio left their dogs in a hot car here in town. One dog died
Those sweltering temperatures mean that we’re going to read some tragic headlines,
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