Large heavy coated dog

Dog Left in Hot Car

A heat wave hit Delaware last weekend, and Sunday evening my husband and I walked our thickly coated dog after 6 p.m. hoping that the heat had subsided. It was a hot-breeze night and the sun beat on us causing us to sweat.

As we continued our short walk passed an old grey Oldsmobile Cutlass parked in the sun, a tan dog with pointed ears, possibly a Pomeranian, jumped up and barked at us.

The fact that someone left this dog in a hot car appalled me.

The car windows were open about two inches, and there was no water in sight. As we debated our next move, a couple that lived in a house across the street from the car expressed concern and offered to help.

I dialed the local police, but I heard a recording and hung up. Then I dialed 911 and received a busy signal three times, when they attempted to connect me with my local emergency number.

I wondered how someone would deal with a busy signal if they were experiencing a heart attack. In addition, I thought that maybe I shouldn’t have called 911 over an animal-in-distress issue. What do you think?

Finally a 911 representative answered and suggested I call the SPCA located 45 minutes away. It was Sunday evening, and I suspected that by the time the SPCA responded it would be too late and the dog might die.

I asked the 911 representative to please call the local police and ask them to come to our location. I wasn’t sure that the representative would call the police, and I asked my husband to try to find the car’s owner.

My husband walked to the most likely location and found the dog’s owner enjoying a family outing. I suspect the man didn’t realize how hot it was in the car and he immediately gave the dog water. We didn’t stay, but I hoped that the owner let the dog out of the car and opened the windows.

Sources say that even when it is warm, a car can get dangerously hot. If you are considering taking a pet on a ride on a hot day and leaving him in the car, please err on the side of caution and leave your dog home.

Recently in the news, children and pets have died from adults leaving them in hot cars. Here are a few tips to prevent this tragedy with children:

1. Don’t leave your child alone in a car even for a minute

2. Give yourself visual reminders like put your cellphone or briefcase in the backseat with the child

3. Leave a child’s toy on the seat next to you

4. Make a point of checking the front and back of the car before locking it

5. If you see a child in a car alone dial 911

Following are a few tips to prevent animal heat stroke.

If you must take your dog on a hot day:

1. Use the drive up window when ordering food etc.

2. Take your pet into a pet friendly store

3. If you are a bystander and see a pet in a hot car, get involved

Be safe, and I hope that you enjoy your summer.

Fenwick Island, Delaware

Woman Makes Scene in Restaurant Over Spilled Wine

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy)...

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy) with white wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday night, we dined at Nantuckets in Fenwick Island, Del. As we enjoyed our meal we saw a waiter, who appeared about 20-years old, trip and spill a glass of white wine on a lady at the next table. The waiter looked terrified as the lady ranted about the wine. My husband said to the woman that at least it wasn’t red wine hoping that she would stop berating the waiter.

The woman complained and the manager visited her table. Customers in our dining room made eye contact and smirked at the irate woman. I suspected that her overreaction was a scam to get a free dinner or maybe free meals for her table.

As I watched this minor incident, I remembered how my husband reacted on two occasions when someone poured a large glass of red wine on him — and no it wasn’t me. On both occasions we laughed and he ensured that the person who spilled the wine did not feel guilty over an accident.

On the positive side, the woman’s behavior provided entertainment to the patrons in our dining room.

Rincon, Puerto Rico

Most Frightening Trip Ever — Hatillo, Puerto Rico

The most frightening trip I have ever experienced was driving through Hatillo, Puerto Rico on December 28, 2008.

Our family flew to San Juan and rented an SUV  for the 2  1/2 hour drive to Rincon. The trip took us 4  1/2 hours, and one of those hours was the most frightening in my life.

We began our trip cruising west along the north shore, as we caught glimpses of the lapis Atlantic Ocean through the windows of our green Ford Explorer, our excitement increased.

When we approached the seaside town Hatillo, we hit traffic congestion and a confusion of color, and cacophony pierced our eyes and ears. Sirens screamed, horns blared, and men garbed in garish, fluorescent clothing and bizarre, grotesque masks guzzled liquor and beer while riding in the back of colorfully painted trucks and parade floats.

As we entered Hatillo we were in gridlock and the town was bedlam, with groups of men staggering in the streets swilling alcohol. We closed our windows, locked our doors, and peered at the insanity. Unfortunately, we became their target.

We feared for our safety

Men swarmed our SUV, shook it, and shot it with Silly String. I hoped that they wouldn’t overturn it. Metal boomed, as they pounded their fists on the hood, roof and windows, and I wondered if the glass would shatter. Police, who were outnumbered probably 100 to 1, ignored the pandemonium, and we knew if the crowd became violent, we were in trouble. I was mostly worried about the children in the back seat, who ranged from 9 to 15 years old.

Our jeep creeped at about 2 mph for about an hour, and we cringed and gaped as some of the men became falling-down drunk.

Eventually, we spotted a cross street about four blocks ahead. Without coaxing, my husband drove over the curb, and on the sidewalk, and we passed the gridlocked cars. When we turned on the open street and accelerated, we high-fived and laughed from relief.

Mascaras de Hatillo or Hatillo Mask Festival

We learned that the locals were celebrating the Hatillo Mask Festival or Mascaras de Hatillo. It appeared to me, that for some, it was an excuse to get drunk and terrorize anyone caught in the gridlock, though the festival is legitimate.

Mascaras de Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Mascaras de Hatillo, Puerto Rico (Photo credit: enlacepr)

It commemorates when King Herod ordered soldiers to kill little children after Jesus was born to prevent Jesus from becoming king. The gaudily clad men represented these soldiers.

I suspect if we visited the lovely seaside town Hatillo on another day, we would have found it charming not alarming. Not happening…

Bonding With My Son

Billiard Balls Racked for Eight Ball

Billiard Balls Racked for Eight Ball (photo by dorothyadele)

If you enter my home on a dreary day, you may hear the crack of a billiard break or see the brightly colored red, yellow, orange, purple, blue, green and black billiard balls scatter on the purple pool table. You may also hear a Ping-Pong-table-tennis ball smack the table, the wall or me. You may also hear loud ha has, woo hoos, oh nos and very long uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhs– like fans chant at football games preventing the players from hearing their signals.

I have always been “one of the guys.” Consequently, I have a unique and special relationship with my son. We play chess, Ping Pong and billiards during inclement weather. We play to win and we laugh often.

Chess is one of my favorite games and I was unbeaten for years. When I was in fourth grade, I played on the high school chess team. When I play chess with my son we split the wins. Of course it is not about winning but about fun and bonding. Okay, we like  winning  too!

To play billiards, a player uses a cue stick and hits a white cue ball into at least one of 15 balls directing them into one of the six pockets on a pool table. Eight of the balls are solid and seven are striped.

When we play Eight Ball billiards, one player shoots the solid balls–not the eight ball– and one player has the striped balls. The players take turns and the object of the game is to shoot all of their seven balls into the pockets and then pocket the eight ball last. If the eight ball rolls into a pocket before the player pockets all of his balls, that player loses the game. The player also loses if he hits the cue ball into a pocket while shooting the eight ball.

When it is my turn to shoot, if I am winning–which isn’t often– my son plays the pool table like bongo drums, yells the uhhhhhh chant, and jumps up and down trying to make me miss my shot. Of course I laugh, miss the shot and he wins. I also attempt to distract him to make him miss too.  When I occasionally win, I tease him that I will tell his friends that his pool-

Ping Pong Table Tennis Table

Ping Pong Table Tennis Table (photo by dorothyadele)

shark mother beat him in billiards. I also threaten that I will have his school announce that he lost to his mother over the public address system.

When we play Ping Pong, my son slices the ball with his paddle and the ball bounces on my side of the net and then bounces back into the net out of my reach. My only hope to return the ball  is to belly flop on the table and hope that it doesn’t collapse from my weight. I barely flick it over the net and he slams it back sometimes hitting me!

Our games are humorous, lively and loud, and you can hear us throughout our home. Playing these competitive  games has strengthened our relationship, and I cherish every moment.