“To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.” ~ Jeanne Moreau, French actress
Was it the 100 degree heat or an instinctual longing that led us unhesitatingly to the beach last Friday afternoon? The expected monsoonal flow left only a few drops of rain as it moved through our area. While mostly gone, a few remnants – one being humidity and the other heat – were left behind. To escape its wrath, we gathered all available family members, including the dogs. Not much more than an hour later, we were chilled to the point of needing jackets; cooling breezes and wisps of fog blew off the ocean onto the beach in Ventura, dropping temperatures at least 20 degrees from those at home. Relief for both man and beast… Abby headed straight for the water where she dropped onto the sand and let the cooling surf wash over her. Our day ended with a spectacular sunset of spiritual magnitude and a very sandy wet dog.
Recently, I read of an outing with the family dogs (Golden retrievers) that met with a tragic and sad ending. Please believe my intent of telling this is not to blame, but to warn pet owners of the dangers of summer heat. A similar situation could happen unexpectedly to any dog owner, as it did to us. One very warm evening last summer, we took Abby for a short walk down the street. Along the way, we met up with neighbors (including a dog) who were out in their yard. While visiting and complaining about the hot weather, our pups chased around on the lawn. Suddenly the game was over when Abby collapsed. Panting excessively, she wouldn’t move. We managed to get her home and called the vet immediately. As medical luck goes, it was a Friday night and the office was closed. After a call to a 24-hour animal emergency clinic, the conclusion was Abby had heatstroke. Over the phone veterinarian advice and immediate treatment (cool bath, drinking water and a cool house) saved her. Check www.petmd.com for hot weather tips for your pets.
The week winds down with a brief reprieve from the heat as coastal cloudiness moves ashore. Temperatures rebound as high pressure resumes. A weak monsoonal flow will dictate temperatures. Needless to say, it still is summer.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.