I Ask: Am I A Bad Dog Owner Or Did I Meet A Real-Life Internet Troll?

As some of you may have seen, I tweeted out Tuesday about a random woman berating me for leaving Ratchet dog in the car (this is the unabbreviated version also known as why I needed a blog):

I’m rounding up the kids to head to the car and take E to camp. Ratchet begs to come. I think: It’ll be a quick drop off and maybe we can go on a walk afterwards with N. (my thoughts are deep)

We all pile in, hit every stoplight and arrive late. I leave Ratchet in the car with all four windows down (high of 89 degrees that day. just giving you all the data in which to judge me).

I’m within eyesight the entire time. I’m gone less than five minutes.

Or I would’ve been if old-lady-with-a-chip-on-her-shoulder hadn’t showed up.

Internet troll with an ABC (in the communist state of Virginia liquor stores are state-run) name tag steps into the lobby of the camp: Do you know who owns the white car out there?

While holding my daughter and thinking that I must’ve left the lights on or did such a remarkable parking job that she came in to ask for pointers, I say: Me.

Internet troll (okay I’ll stop calling her that. don’t want to bias you): Your dog’s in the car.

Me: Yes. {I look out the window expecting to see something awful going on with Ratchet. Because I CAN SEE HIM from the lobby.}

Internet troll, I mean, Random woman: It’s illegal to leave him in your car.

Me {confused}: It’s not illegal, ma’am. I was just dropping my son off at camp {gesture about} and I’ve only been gone five minutes.

Random woman {getting angry}: Well, the car can get up to 115 degrees in less than five minutes.

Me: That’s why I left all the windows down, ma’am.

Random woman: Look how hard he’s panting!

Me: He’s a dog. Dogs pant. He pants all the time, ma’am.

Random woman starts to leave and says over her shoulder: Someone should lock YOU in a car.

Me {shocked. which is difficult to do.}: What makes you think you can speak to me that way?

Door slams shut on my sentence and she goes back to work.

A minute later, I walk to my car and she and her fellow worker stare out the window. At me. I sit in the car with it off for another five minutes. The car is still cooler than outside the entire time.

I finally turn on the car and drive past the ABC store.

And wave.

So I ask, should I have my dog poop in her store?

Because she STILL irritates me. And I have to go back to that parking lot at least five more times this month so there is plenty of chances for revenge.

My ideas:

  • I’ve thought about having my dog in the car EVERY SINGLE TIME I’m in that parking lot.
  • I’ve thought about bringing my dog into the ABC store.
  • I’ve thought about punching her in the face.
  • I’ve thought about writing her place of employment.

What have you thought about?

PS. In all seriousness, how long can I leave a dog in the car? What outside temperature precludes it? Google is NOT helpful. Also, I’m open to being wrong in this situation. Although I still maintain that coming into the lobby of my son’s camp and speaking to me like that in front of my daughter stopped being about the welfare of my dog long before she marched out of the building.

PPS. But mostly I’d like revenge ideas.

Answer that I wish I had included in my post because the revenge plan is brilliant. Walt writes: 89 are you kidding? That’s sweater weather for us out here in Nevada. We’re touchy about leaving living creatures in the car (kids,dogs,spouses) but it’s 115 with the windows down, the ac cranked and the car doing 80. AS for the Internet Troll…um Random Woman…ummm Nazi? Send a youngish friend in and call the coops when she doesn’t card them. Accuse her even if she does card them. No….wait…..send S in and have him ask her if she wants to be a Zombie. No…wait…..BEST REVENGE IDEA EVER ALERT!!!! Loose the cart equipped N in to the ABC store. Then Ali added: even BETTER idea. let E loose in the store and tell him to FIND the kid carts. about 30 seconds later send N in to look for the hummus!

Answer that I totally trust. Jennie writes: While I was in college I worked as a veterinary technician. I will never forget the day one of the veterinarians forgot he left his dog in the car. Temps were in the 80′s. All of a sudden he ran outside and then immediately came back in holding his lab in his arms sobbing. Pam, his dog, went through a horribly painful death and he new first hand what she must have gone through. I don’t think you’re case would have killed your dog, and I do think the lady over reacted. I think people are so passionate about the issue because it can cause so much harm in such a short amount of time and there are many people that just don’t know. As a rule for myself, I never leave my dog in car if the temps are in the 70′s or above. I can be such a space cadet at times and would hate to have been distracted and waited just too long. In Utah, it is illegal to leave your dog in your car during the summer. The cops will smash out your windows, take your dog, and write you a big ticket. Sorry you had to deal with the nasty lady. Wouldn’t it be nice if people could just talk to each other with respect rather than anger and contempt.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

80 thoughts on “I Ask: Am I A Bad Dog Owner Or Did I Meet A Real-Life Internet Troll?

  1. Here in LA you’ll get yelled at also. They did experiments and put the results on the news: cars get up to 118 degrees in LESS than 5 minutes. I’m always surprised people don’t leave their dogs at home when it’s hot out.

    Where’s the advantage to the dog?

    1. Really? 118 with windows down? What was the outside temp? Because in VA I think of hot, i.e., don’t leave the AC, as 90s+. I wonder if I need to lower that number…
      I’m pretty sure the advantage of the dog would be the ability to bite this woman.

  2. I personally don’t think you were wrong at all… You were only away for a short time and you took precautions by leaving the windows down….

    I don’t have any ideas for the revenge… I’ll have to keep thinking….. 🙂

  3. I’m all for your dog pooping in the store. Regardless of whether or not you should have left your dog in the car, she was rude and down right mean in how she approached you.

    Or better yet, follow her home one day and let the dog poop in her house. What do you think, going too far?

    1. Well, that’s was exactly my issue. If she had come up to me and said: “I’m really concerned about your dog and this heat” I probably would’ve asked her the same questions I asked here: “what temperature is okay? how long is okay?” and even thanked her for worrying.
      Pooping at her house would be creepy and classic

  4. I say next time, bring Ratchet, keep all the windows up and the AC on full blast. Make sure there is a thermometer in the car and when she freaks out that the windows are up and “it’s hot enough to fry a dog’s brain!” (old psa from the 80’s) you can matter of factly point out that it’s cooler in the car than in her store. By the way, I love that you waved 🙂

    1. I am SO tempted. Because the only thing that is perfectly acceptable on and off the Internets (besides leaving my dog at home) is car-running-with-the-AC. And we’ve totally done it before but this particular day it just wasn’t very hot — it was overcast and drizzly at the time. {sigh} opportunity to be completely right LOST

    1. Thanks. Because I’ve had plenty of people disagree with me. I’m kinda proud that I have people on my blog and in my life who don’t have the exact same beliefs as me. But they don’t feel the need to be rude either.

      And I don’t WANT to put my dog in harm’s way of course!

      And yes, knowing you are being judged SUCKS. Sometimes I want a sign: I’m a good (fill-in-the-blank). I swear!

  5. OMG. I thought Utah was the only state with state run liquor stores. But I digress.

    First of all, you left the windows down. Second, you would have taken the dog in if you were going to be gone long. You’re not stupid.

    I vote for you letting the dog poop in their store. But only if he is diguised as a big dog so she doesn’t know it is yours. 🙂

    1. Oh no. Although there is talk of privatizing them.

      And thanks for the vote of confidence. That’s kinda of how I felt too.

      PS. He IS a big dog (Tennessee Coonhoud – 60 lbs and TALL) — maybe I need to put antler ears on him? Or a mustache?

  6. 89 are you kidding? That’s sweater weather for us out here in Nevada. We’re touchy about leaving living creatures in the car (kids,dogs,spouses) but it’s 115 with the windows down, the ac cranked and the car doing 80.

    AS for the Internet Troll…um Random Woman…ummm Nazi? Send a youngish friend in and call the coops when she doesn’t card them. Accuse her even if she does card them. No….wait…..send S in and have him ask her if she wants to be a Zombie.

      1. omg! im dying. that is BRILLIANT!

        and being in virginia and have weeks of 100 degree weather? i thought high of 89 was COOL. (and the car was way cooler than the high for the day. even AFTER five minutes.)

  7. Don’t ask me…I leave my KIDS in the car. Hey, don’t judge. I live in a tiny town. In the mountains where it is usually cool and my oldest is almost 10. Usually it’s when I’m able to see them the entire time and will be back within minutes, like it sounds like you were in that situation w/ your dog. I am convinced some people go around looking for things to bitch about. Revenge comes to mind, but compassion is probably more useful. I’m sure her life sucks!

    1. I’m not in any position to judge it seems… (and 10 years old sounds pretty reasonable to me)

      You are wise with your comment of compassion over revenge. I feel like waving was a lot better than flicking her off as I drove away so perhaps I’m closer than I realize. The hardest part in finding compassion? My children being there to hear her talk that way to me. But my oldest probably didn’t hear it and my youngest probably didn’t understand it. So maybe it’s just my excuse to stay uncomfortable.

      1. Oh gosh, finding compassion when someone is straight up RUDE to us is hard. I’m NO pro, whatsoever. I just tell myself (and my kids) that people who are really unhappy usually go around trying to make others so. It’s true, but doesn’t usually shake the anger that I feel when I am berated by someone who has no clue what my intentions are. One thing I know, it’s better to be judged as a dog owner than a mother!

  8. If it is 89 outside, with all of the windows down the hottest it will ever get in that car is… About 89 degrees!!!! Basic chemistry. The danger is when you leave the windows up.

    1. That’s what I think too. But there seems to be debate even on this issue. And even AC on is not enough because some cars have malfunctioned and the heat begins to blow.
      I wonder if anyone really knows what to do. Because I’m sure some dogs were outside in their backyards that day.

  9. No, you’re not a bad dog owner. I think the ABC lady was too quick to judge and was rude, but her heart was in the right place when she came looking for the dog’s owner because she wanted to make sure your dog was going to be okay. We have a hound-mix too (about 50 to 55 pounds) and she loves to accompany us on road trips, but I always get nervous if we have to make stops with her in the car. I think my nervousness is two parted – (1) will people judge me or report us to the SPCA? and (2) will it get too hot unexpectedly for our dog?

    Just last weekend, we were driving home from a weekend trip to DC to visit family with our dog in tow. My husband convinced me that it would be okay to make a quick stop along the way for lunch with our dog in the car (but with the windows down, of course). We were inside the restaurant for about 20 to 25 minutes and our dog was fine. The high that day was in the 70’s and it was cloudy and rainy. If it had been warmer or sunny, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable leaving her in the car even with the windows down because it can get very hot in cars parked in direct sunlight very quickly.

    My general rule has become that I will take our dog with us to run errands so long as the temps aren’t above the low to mid 60s (so this usually limits our dog’s trips to run errand to during the late fall, winter or early spring). Once the temps hit the 70’s I will only take her with us if it isn’t sunny, if I can open the windows for her and I don’t plan to leave her for very long. Once it gets to be in the 80’s or higher, I only take her in the car if I won’t have to leave her in the car for any length of time alone and without the A/C running. I am probably more conservative than a lot of the people on this issue, but I figure that our dog is used to being in our 75 degree air-conditioned house so she isn’t accustomed to being exposed to hot temperatures and I don’t think her body adjusts well to warmer temperatures. I also always carry a bottle of water in my car for her and I have a travel dog bowl that I keep in the car so that I can give her water if she needs it (after a walk or otherwise).

    I think everyone has to figure out what works for them and their family (dogs included). So long as you’re concerned about their wellbeing (and you obviously are) then you’re doing a good job as a pet owner. I hope this helps.

    1. That’s very helpful. I feel often torn when we leave and we can take the dog to the park RIGHT AFTER THIS QUICK ERRAND. And he loves being with us. But I have to find the right thing for the dog and for us. Because if I was 100% sure of what the right thing to do was, I wouldn’t have written this post or still been irritated at the woman. So I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

  10. I mean the danger of it getting hotter than it is outside! I don’t have a dog, so I don’t know about the dog/ car stuff! You care and think and question! That is the important thing! She could have done much better getting her point across.

  11. I think you should lock her in her own car. Just use your car and dog to block her in. Then show her that neither she, nor the dog, will be harmed in the car for 5 minutes.

    Then light her car on fire to show her what hot REALLY feels like.

  12. Perhaps the woman freaked out because she is a true animal-lover and saw the dog from a distance and was unable to tell that all the windows were down (because if they were all the way down, it might appear similar to if they were all the way up). If I saw a dog in a car with all the windows up, I would call the police out of concern for the welfare of the dog, because it can get very hot inside the car very quickly (and running in to any place just for a minute frequently turns out to be unexpectedly longer [at least for me]). I recently waited in a grocery store parking lot to keep an eye on a dog on a hot day because the owner had cracked only ONE window about two inches, and (although I did not have a thermometer handy) I’m not sure that was enough to keep the dog safe. I was worried about him.

    That being said–since you had all the windows all the way down, then it’s the same as being outside, except it’s better because there is shade! I think you did nothing wrong. But I wonder if that woman is actually more similar to you than different, in that she felt compelled to advocate for an animal. Even though you told her all the windows were down, maybe she was too worked up to really hear that or too ego-focussed at the moment to acknowledge that this new piece of information might change her assessment of the situation. Maybe she recently lost a beloved pet and couldn’t quite control her emotions and unfairly vented them on you.

    Maybe the solution can be to sincerely thank her for her concern and that since she is such an animal-lover, maybe she wouldn’t mind taking her work break and hanging out with your doggie outside together for the few minutes that you need to run inside each week. Less exciting than poop revenge, but a possible win-win!

    1. I can totally see your point. And I would’ve seen hers if she had just not been so accusatory (especially in front of my children which just raises my hackles more).

      And although I can’t foresee a time where I could go speak to her without my children present (and I don’t trust her to not be rude again), I will think of her in this light, which will help me to not be so angry or vengeful. Because I want to be an understanding person no matter how I am treated. And underneath it all, did she care about the dog? Yes.

  13. While I was in college I worked as a veterinary technician. I will never forget the day one of the veterinarians forgot he left his dog in the car. Temps were in the 80’s. All of a sudden he ran outside and then immediately came back in holding his lab in his arms sobbing. Pam, his dog, went through a horribly painful death and he new first hand what she must have gone through.
    I don’t think you’re case would have killed your dog, and I do think the lady over reacted. I think people are so passionate about the issue because it can cause so much harm in such a short amount of time and there are many people that just don’t know.
    As a rule for myself, I never leave my dog in car if the temps are in the 70’s or above. I can be such a space cadet at times and would hate to have been distracted and waited just too long.
    In Utah, it is illegal to leave your dog in your car during the summer. The cops will smash out your windows, take your dog, and write you a big ticket.
    Sorry you had to deal with the nasty lady. Wouldn’t it be nice if people could just talk to each other with respect rather than anger and contempt.

    1. Oh my, that’s awful. And yes, I can see how one errand can become two, etc.
      And I wished that she had just TALKED to me. I felt like she was accusing me of not loving my dog. And when the dog jumped into our bed that night (like most nights) I wanted to take a picture and give it to her and say SEE!
      But I need to let it go and just do what’s right. And it seems like 70 degrees is a good cutoff. Thanks!

  14. I don’t have a dog and don’t know about all these rules, etc, but I would have been upset. It’s the same as with kids. People feel like they have the right to tell you what you need to do because it’s their responsibility to protect the poor innocent kid (dog). But it implies that you don’t know or love your kid (dog),etc. I would have been seriously ticked off, blogged about it and then let it go.

    1. So you and I are totally on the same page (although I got ticked off, blogged about, freaked out, didn’t post it, redid the intro, did post it, tried not to let anyone know that I had posted it, got some comments – positive and negative, relaxed, twittered and facebooked it, and FINALLY let it go.)

  15. I vote you punch her. BUT honestly writing her company is probably the better bet. She is obviously a bitter ole women, who needs to get a freakin life.

    I am not sure of the time frame in which to leave a dog in a car, cause I never do it,
    wait for it……………………..
    caues I have a wiener dog who is VERY temperamental about tempreture settings. He likes to ride in the car with the air ON.
    Can you say huge pain in my ass!

  16. That’s just silly. First of all, 89 isn’t even that hot! Secondly, the danger is leaving the dog in the car with the windows UP. Basically, what she’s saying is it’s too hot to let your dog outside. She’s full of shit.

  17. Wait a minute, I’m confused…. There’s camp at the ABC store??? Where do I sign up?!

    I am pretty sure our parents left us in the car longer than that as children, and in hotter weather (ABC woman probably did it to her kids too). Just sayin’. The dog will be fine, tell communist ABC lady to suck it.

    1. HA! They could even call it Camp ABC.

      I have been in the car with the dog and we’ve both been fine. In fact, my daughter and I sat in the car with Ratchet for five more minutes before it was NOT HOT. I just don’t get why she didn’t want to believe me. People are odd.

  18. Out of curiosity, did this ABC woman have crazy red hair and freckles, standing about 5’4″ and wearing bright green? She sounds an awful lot like my mother.

    Somewhat off topic – It’s a sad, sad day when the state runs your liquor sells. I bet that means you can’t buy the hard stuff on Sunday.

    I honestly don’t think that 89 is too hot with the windows down. It’s not going to get much warmer in the car then it is outside.

    I appreciate the woman’s passion for animal welfare, but someone needs to tell her that it’s far better to catch flies with honey. She could have come over and offerred to get your dog a drink of water if she thought he was hot.

    1. Had she been nice, I would’ve probably THANKED her. (plus, I’m 90% I left water for Ratchet too. If not, I put it out right when we got back in the car. we always carry water for him — taken from our armageddon stash ;))

      ps. i’ll let her know her daughter says hello when I poop on her next week.

  19. I’m generally against leaving the “kids” in the car, but I have to on occasion. For example, when we go camping we take the puppies. They absolutely love hiking with us. And sometimes they have to wait in the car for a few minutes while we pick up supplies from the store.

    Sometimes they have to come in the restroom with us too, so if you see a puppy in the bathroom, it could be me.

    1. The thing that also got me is I took Ratchet because he absolutely BEGGED to come with us. And I though that it was such a quick in-and-out that we could grab a mini-hike after the drop-off (if I had to come all the way home afterwards to pick up Ratchet, we would’ve only been able to go around our neighborhood). But I was so thrown by the interaction with this woman, I just took him and my daughter home anyway. I couldn’t handle the idea of another person yelling at me for something. (even though I’m not sure what the SOMETHING would be)

      And if I see a few dogs in the bathroom, I’ll by sure to say HELLO!

  20. I really have no opinion about the dog thing. I’ve seen plenty of dogs in cars in parking lots with decent weather and windows cracked – and they were all alive. Wonder if the state code says something… you can find that on the General Assembly website.

    As for revenge… no worries. Just heard this week that a study shows mean people have a 60% chance of dying sooner than nice people. She took care of the revenge all on her own!

    1. This comment tied in with your follow up comment cracked me up for like an hour. I think that I reread it three times.

      And I’m happy to hear that I’m off the hook for revenge. Now I just need to focus on being VERY VERY nice. Because I MUST OUTLIVE HER.

  21. I recently took a long roadtrip alone with my two dogs. At the end of July, so the temps were higher than I normally like to leave my dogs in the car. Since I was alone and have a small bladder, there was no way out of leaving the dogs alone in the car for a few minutes at a time. What I would do is about 10-15 minutes before a stop I would turn the AC on full blast and let it get frigid in the car. When I would stop, I would run to the bathroom and grab food (if I was grabbing food) and then run back to the car. Generally the car was still pretty cool when I got back, at which time I would walk the dogs and offer them water before getting gas and moving on.

    I always felt guilty leaving them in the car, but not once did anyone say anything to me (I guess since I mostly stopped at rest areas they are used to people with dogs) and the dogs both survived.

    I have had people yell at me when it is only 70 degrees out about leaving my dogs in the car, but I wouldn’t do it if it was going to hurt them. They come to work with me daily, so they are in the car a lot, and sometimes I have to stop for a few minutes to run into the store or whatever, of course I don’t do this when it is really hot (generally 85 +). I also am mean and leave them in the car in the middle of winter (I live in the DC area, so it usually isn’t too cold) for a half hour or more, but they always seem to live through the experience!

    1. Wow. At 70 degrees? I’m never going to be safe from the yellers! THIS SUCKS! I’m going to have to come up with snappy comeback lines instead. Like: OMG! THERE’S A DOG IN MY CAR! WTH!

      And I think this line is the most important: “I wouldn’t do it if it was going to hurt them” because I wouldn’t have brought Ratchet or left him in the car if it was going to cause him any pain. I love that dog.

    1. My new theories a) she doesn’t even have a dog and 2) she would totally tell me to “show that kid who’s boss” if we ever did go into her store. Seriously.

      (although some did bring up that maybe she just lost her dog or something so then i felt bad about theory “a”. A little bit.)

  22. I don’t think you were in the wrong. You had all the windows down and you were only gone for 5 minutes. I live in NC and I have seen people leave their dogs in their car while they go into a restaurant to eat. Crazy yes! My idea would get all your friends together that have dogs and have a dog party at this lady’s store. Then when she asks you all to leave say oops I wasn’t educated on all the dog laws like you.

    1. Great idea! I should host Ratchet’s birthday party at her store!

      PS. I’d like to be clear that I’ve never had a birthday party for my animals where we’ve invited guests BEFORE this wondrous revenge idea. But I may or may not have bought them presents. And cake. But that was mostly for me. The cake.

  23. I don’t think you were in the wrong. I personally wouldn’t do that because I wouldn’t trust my particular dog not to jump out a window, but my dog is still a puppy and not the brightest bulb in the marquee. I think UP UNTIL SHE GOT RUDE I would call this “being a good Samaritan.” Once she ascertained that the dog had an owner who was being mindful of the dog’s welfare is where she jumped the shark–if she’d just said “oh okay, I was worried and wanted to make sure the dog would be okay” then hey, that would’ve been okay. Getting rude, though? Totally uncalled for. Doing it in her work clothes? Just plain unprofessional on top of uncalled for. If I were you I think I’d write an indignant letter to her employer.

    P.S. My dog pants AT ALL TIMES outside if it’s over 85 degrees because yeah, they do that.

    1. That is it EXACTLY. Had she been doing the good Samaritan? I would’ve THANKED HER. But once I didn’t run off scream to my car to save my dog from NOTHING or didn’t cry about how I’m such a bad pet owner, she kinda freaked out. And I was SO done. Well, and also freaked out myself since she was kinda aggressive in her rudeness.

  24. Real-life troll, definitely. I’m a nut about hot cars and dogs, but that sounds like nothing at all to me.

    I like killing ’em with kindness, myself. Be ULTRA sweet to her, but look for something to get her on! Maybe an ADA violation; most stores don’t leave enough space for wheelchairs, so you could point that out. Sweetly, of course, because that will be so surprising to her, she won’t know what to do.

    1. I love killing with kindness. Man, it’s fun watching people squirm under all that nice crap. (And I feel like a better person too blahblahblah)

      Maybe I should bring my dog in a wheelchair just to make the ADA violation point a clear one.

  25. People get a little insane about dogs. You could probably have left your daughter in the car for five minutes and she wouldn’t have said anything. I’ll tell you, I have to leave the kids in the car with the air conditioner on or the windows down for a minute here or there, and I’m afraid the police are going to come and cart me off to jail after all of those stories about kids in cars that are horrifying.

    My idea. Take the dog into her office with a leash and tell her you need someone to watch him for a few minutes while you drop your son off. Then hope he poops on her shoes.

    1. Okay so I totally agree that had it been my kid, people would’ve thought it (maybe) but not said A WORD.

      I have totally thought about leaving the dog with her next time. I just don’t know if I can handle interacting with her again.

  26. You know what? I trust reasonable, logical, people to make informed choices. You don’t have to tell what the temperature was or what you did to make him comfortable, all you have to say is “I made sure he was comfortable” That’s it.
    As for the woman, the way I handle things like that is to get very loud very quickly, they never expect it. But that moment is past.
    Don’t you hate it when someone gets the drop on you and you want to rewind time so you can go back and do all things you have now though of?

    1. Thanks for: “all you have to say is “I made sure he was comfortable””. And I KNOW how you feel about your doggy.

      I probably could not have gotten away with yelling in the camp lobby. But had I not had my daughter in my arms, I would’ve TOTALLY taken this outside. And gotten LOUD. Or maybe pulled you up on the speaker phone 😉

  27. ok, unfortunately I get really upset when people pick on my friends. Actually, I get angry. So, I have no idea what suggestions your readership made b/c I was so ready to tell you my great idea. first, we slit her tires, then we lock dog POOP in her car. If we can’t do that, I am willing to dress up as a dog, sit in you car, hang out the window and pant like there is no tomorrow towards the ABC store. (Side note: I am pretty sure I have done this before sans costume.) Think about it…

  28. We’ve gotten scolded by a random woman in a parking lot before for leaving Biscuit in the car when it was hot. It was super awkward and uncomfortable. We are way more cautious now, yes it’s much better for Biscuit and I think he’s glad, but we don’t want to get scolded by a stranger again either because that really sucked. As far as how the lady spoke to you in front of your children, sounds like you kept your cool and took the high road, a wonderful opportunity for showing the kids how to handle a jerk.

    P.S. I read and highly enjoy all your blog posts and this is the first time I’ve commented, I think there’s a word for that but I can’t remember what it is.

    1. Long time reader First time commenter? Or lurker? I’m not sure what the lingo is either but I’m glad that you commented!

      Thanks for complimenting my parenting example. I am proud that at least acted calm. Even if I was shaking and angry on the inside. Because it really DOES suck.

      And I’ve learned what I’m okay with when it comes to taking Ratchet with us. Which is great because next time it won’t feel so personal

  29. I’m late to this party and you already got a ton of great comments. I’ll just sympathize on how much I hate those nosy goody-two-shoes who do not know anything about you or the circumstances and assume that you’re a total idiot.

    So, yeah. I like the revenge ideas. Just don’t get arrested. THAT will give her another leg up.

    1. Getting arrested is really low on my bucket list these days.

      And yes, once I established that I was NOT an idiot, I’m pretty sure that if she was really a do-gooder, she would’ve BACKED OFF. She had an agenda that I was not happy to be on.

      And you are never late to the party. Just fashionable.

  30. I am also a long time reader/first time commenter (possibly a lurker, but that makes me sound so creepy.) I’m with Ann. The temp in a car with all the windows open cannot get much higher than the highest temp of the day. The random bitter internet troll woman should have minded her own business or at least been pleasant when she was minding yours.

  31. Girl! This would have bothered me to know end! Even though I think people are crazy and “know” I’m right sometimes, it will STILL bother me because inside I am a people pleaser and can’t stand the idea of someone NOT liking me (How dare they not like ME?! I can NOT like THEM, but they HAVE to like ME.) Anyhoo, if it were a crime I’d be locked up multiple times. I do try to stick with really cool days in fall and winter, but one person’s really cool day could be too hot for another. You had the windows down, Ratchet stayed in the car, he was fine, you are a mom packin’ a kid,…she needs to have grace. End of story. Now you can do it again, or chose differently for next time. “And the more you know, the more you grow!” Sorry couldn’t resist.

    1. I TOTALLY was bothered because I wanted this random person to think I’m a good dog owner. walking through THAT was the WORST!

      PS. the second worst? i need to have grace too… ugh.

      1. Yes! Totally meant YOU were the one that needed to have grace. She needs to have grace for YOU…or did you mean you needed to give HER grace. WHAT?! :o)

        1. Oh, I know that you meant she needs to have grace around me, which I totally appreciated. I just realized that I also need to have grace towards her and her troll-ness. {sigh}

  32. I would have done the same. The windows were down and you were 5 minutes. Some people just like to complain and exert authority they wish they really had…and I’d punch her in the face. That seems to be the option that would provide the most immediate gratification.

  33. Even if it was 90 degrees and your windows were rolled up and you’d put a humidifier in the car turned on full blast….it is not anyone’s right to talk to you like that. Even if you don’t have kids. Even if you are just on the street.

    Asking what to do about the woman is a whole different question and, in my opinion, should NOT be tied together with: did I do right by my dog?

    Because if you were an animal abuser (you’re not but let’s just say) how would her abusing you verbally make you change your ways? You’d take it out on the dog or the next kid or spouse you saw. At best she changed nothing, at worst, she could have been the trigger for someone else being abused.

    I think that’s the only thing about this conversation that’s important. Just because she used the dog for an excuse to treat you that way does not make it okay for her to be that way. Because it WOULDN’T HAVE HELPED no matter WHAT the situation was she found herself berating you for.

    When people act like that toward other humans they have no right to act shocked that people treat other people and animals poorly. If you can’t keep your own s*** together how dare you take that out on someone else in the name of animal rights or whatever.

    1. I love this line: If you can’t keep your own s*** together how dare you take that out on someone else in the name of animal rights or whatever.

      Because we are living examples first and foremost. Which is why I didn’t punch her in the face.

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