Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Dog Parkist: Too Hot to What?

Q: I have a pooch that happily naps in front of the AC vents during these dog days. Are she and I wiener dogs because we drag our feet when Dog Park temps reach 100 and above? Are serious Dog Parkers oblivious to heat, or are they just made of stronger stuff than me and my fair-weather pal? I'm just wondering.

Too Hot to Hoot

A: Hoot, my dear, the Dog Parkist fails to understand your apologetic tone. Is this a Texas thing—this expectation that one should be able to handle record-breaking heat while roping dogies and sashaying the two-step 'round the sawdust-strewn dance floor? Ridiculous. The fact is that Texas has not seen prolonged heat and intense drought like this in decades. Many of the temperature records that have fallen recently were set in the late 1920s. Now if you had survived that summer, my friend, in the age before climate control, fiberglass insulation, and double-paned windows, then you'd have a reason to boast that the rest of us are weenies for not drilling for oil or mending fences in the midday sun. But I doubt that you are a fogey of that magnitude. And if you were, I'd submit that you were remembering a scene from Giant rather than any actual lived experience.

What you are suggesting, my dear, is completely reasonable. Both you and your animal are cooler and therefore healthier and safer than if you were to venture outdoors any time between say—let's be generous here—10 am and 8 pm. If someone has been nervy enough to suggest that Dog Park is a whirlwind of doggie action between those hours, then your source is sadly mistaken. Like vampires, roaches, and New York City trannies, Dog Parkers only come out when the shadows are long, even if the temps still hover perilously near 100 degrees. You should do the same and do it proudly as a Texan, as a wiener dog, as a Parker. Thanks for writing.

Dear Readers: The Dog Parkist hopes that all her readers are able to stay cool during these gruelingly hot days. She would submit, however, that the hot weather is no excuse for your lethargy in sending her queries. Please remember that the Dog Parkist has pledged to dispense her advice during any weather event, including hell and high water. And please note: if you are writing to other advice columnists, the DPist will find out and there will be some sharp words spoken! Ta!

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