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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I bought my '06 Civic Hybrid, the dealer installed an aftermarket retracting moonroof to seal the deal. On my previous Accord cpe, I found that opening that roof with the side windows down at least 4" (10 cm) kept the car reasonably tolerable for leaving Puff inside for short periods.

In Topeka, we have city ordinances against leaving dogs (or babies) in parked cars.

But Puff loves to ride with me and I'd like to find some reasonable way of protecting her in the unlikely event I had a heart attack and whisked off to the hospital while making what was intended to be a quick trip for a gallon of milk.

In addition to lowering the side windows and opening the roof (to act like a chimney) I'm thinking of putting a white message board on the dash printing on it something like

LEFT AT 12:17
BACK BY 12:32
MY CELL PH: 221-####​

as well as hanging a large circular thermometer (out of sunlight) that would be easily visible to an outsider.

With the Accord, I could lock it while the motor and A/C was running but haven't been able to figure out a way to do that with the Civic.

Anyone have any other suggestions for reasonable ways of handling this? On my recent trip, I parked at a restaurant stop on the NY Throughway to use the bathroom. There was no shade anywhere. I opened the roof, lowered the side windows, locked the car and a woman who saw Puff inside came over and gave me a hard time. I pointed out the open roof, the side windows, the briefness of my intended mission; she said, "I am VERY angry," and walked off.

Since then it's nagged at me.

I appreciate the concern of others for pets and would like to harness that in a constructive way.

When it's hot and my absence from Puff in the car might be long, I leave her at home, of course.

But are there other ways of handling this?

Suggestions?

 

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My first reaction is "What a brilliant idea!"

We know you would NEVER put any animal at risk, but parking lot people (as we've all read countless times) are prone to knee-jerk reactions.

I hope Andy sees this. He takes Jack everywhere with him. Not sure if he takes Tina along, too, but Jack is always along for trips such as you describe.
 

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To be honest, I think the only safe way, would be to leave him home. Even if you are running into the store to get a gallon of milk, You never know who you might run into, and get gabbing with. Only takes a short time before an animals temp rises, and can kill them in the heat. Even with windows open.

-Shannon
 

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When I was traveling to southern California a couple of months ago with Derby and had to stop, I put my sunshade up in the front window, I had a rear window see-through sunshade, my passenger seat windows had sunshades (for infants) and film and were only able to rolled just a tad, but the front windows were left down. I plan to buy EXPANDABLE WINDOW GUARDS for future trips, but since I had to leave on such short notice, I didn't have time to shop for them. I would not trust leaving the car with the A/C running, something could fail and it only takes mins for a dog to overheat.
 

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I agree with momofalab. I love taking my dogs everywhere I go, but, in some situations it might be best to leave them at home. Temperature aside, what if someone stole your car or broke into it and you lost your pup? It would be heartbreaking. I'm in Dallas and a friend of mine recently had her dog stolen off of her porch 2 minutes after she went inside to get a drink. Times are tough for some people these days and some cruel people will steal valuable dogs and re-sell them or look for rewards. I do like the message board idea though......clever.
 

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I would leave her home when it's over 80°, Bob. Not worth taking the chance that she might get too hot and have heatstroke, or that someone might smash your windows to let her out.
 

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It's not a bad idea but I would be afraid of someone smashing the window and driving off with Puff and the car. I still take mine everywhere I can, but if I need to be in the grocery store or Walmart for any length of time, they have to stay at home for their own good. But I give them a small frozen king and they don't seem to mind too much..lol
 

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Bob! Reststops on the highway? Just take Puff in with you. I have done it many times. I have gotten looks, but never a word said.
 

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I wouldn't be inclined to leave him in the car at all, especially since as a well behaved Lab, he could pass for a service animal easily. Once Harley is TDI trained, I plan to take full advantage of that little benefit. :)

But if you decide to leave him in there. I would keep a note in my pocket or wallet letting people know he's there and the type of car and license plate number, just in case...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Only takes a short time before an animals temp rises, and can kill them in the heat. Even with windows open.
Yes, when there's not an open moonroof. This opening in the top of the car serves as a chimney so that any air inside that's hotter than outside automatically gets pumped out.

EXPANDABLE WINDOW GUARDS
Thanks for the suggestion. I have the plastic side vents over each window so the windows can be lowered a few inches even if it's raining. But the expandable window guards look worth exploring. But Puff would never jump out on her own unless I encouraged her and ordered her to do that. And even then she'd never go with another person.

It's not a bad idea but I would be afraid of someone smashing the window and driving off with Puff and the car.
That's impossible unless someone has a duplicate key (which costs about $50-100 to get and ownership is checked with Honda before the dealer makes it).

The latest Honda keys are like no other key I've ever seen -- a wider central flat blade with narrower blades on both sides sandwiching the central blade and both outer blades have both edges serrated to fit the inside tumblers -- if it uses tumblers.

Bob! Reststops on the highway? Just take Puff in with you. I have done it many times. I have gotten looks, but never a word said.
All the reststops we saw between VT and Kansas said "no animals allowed inside except service animals." But most reststops fortunately had shade to park in.

I stopped at OfficeMax and got what looks like a 9" x 13" dry erase board and one dry erase marker for about $10.

Adjusted side windows down, opened the roof, and left a message on the board placed on the dash giving my cell ph. #, time left: 3:56, time back: 4:11. Temp, according to my car's reading of outside temps was 84º F (29ºC). I missed my arriving back slightly but the temp inside the car was okay.

Ran into Sam's Club to buy a jar of 4 bean salad and a bag of dried apricots (for my morning SCO breakfast porridge). There were l-o-n-g lines at checkout and I didn't get back until 4:15.

I think I'll modify my original plan and leave a pan of water with Puff and also glue a piece of Velcro on the board and a matching piece on a small interval timer that runs from 00:00:00:00 (H:M:S:tenths of Ss) to when it's shut off. I have several I used to use for timing starts in sailboat racing that I can use. That and a visible thermometer should make a workable beta version.



 

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Bob, I understand you wanting to take the dog with you. Even with the moonroof open, it isn't going to make that much of a difference inside your car. Even on an 80 degree day, the inside of the car can go up to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. This can dehydrate your pet, lead to stroke, brain injury or death. Don't think you can just crack the windows and leave the moonroof open, because they can still suffer from heat stroke and have long-lasting effects from being left in the car. Just not safe.
 

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I'd go with the duplicate key so Puff could have the a/c on while you are doing your business then no worrys/ Puff would be cool & locked in your car and you would have piece of mind. I too would worry about someone taking the dog though
 

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TDI certificate or not, pretending your pet dog is a service animal is illegal and pretty immoral to boot.


Leaving the note and the sunroof open is a good idea, IMO
 

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I'd go with the duplicate key so Puff could have the a/c on while you are doing your business then no worrys/ Puff would be cool & locked in your car and you would have piece of mind. I too would worry about someone taking the dog though
My husband does that also....leave the a/c on and locks the car and takes a duplicate key. I worry about the motor shutting off and then they are completely closed up in the car.

I guess I'm just a worrier when it comes to my dogs and kids. :rolleyes:
 

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I don't take my dog with me when I run errands, as much as he loves to go "cruising," on warm/hot days. Just not worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
.... Even with the moonroof open, it isn't going to make that much of a difference inside your car. Even on an 80 degree day, the inside of the car can go up to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes....
Please tell me, us, the basis for your belief in that statement? And, "...matter of minutes..." -- 10, 30, 45, 60, 120, ??, ?

I've tested the procedure I follow.

Should I follow your beliefs, surely very sincere and well-intentioned, or the results of my experimentation?

I'm sure you're correct for cars without opened moonroofs.

That's been my experience, too.

And that's why the dealer had an aftermarket opening moonroof installed ($1200) -- to meet my condition before buying it.

I wouldn't DREAM of doing this in a car without an open moonroof and, at that, I'd never want to leave Puff in strong sunlight and high temps for longer than a few minutes.

And, I hope no one with an opening moonroof copycats me just because I said it works for us UNLESS, UNTIL, they've first adequately experimented with various temps WITHOUT their dog in the car and found it safe.

This is my 3rd Honda with an opening moonroof and I've never had the inside the car temp be more than 2 degrees warmer than the outside temp for short periods following the procedure I've described; AND, whenever I can park in complete shade, the inside-the-car temp has always been equal to the outside temp.

I'd go with the duplicate key so Puff could have the a/c on while you are doing your business then no worrys/ Puff would be cool & locked in your car and you would have piece of mind. I too would worry about someone taking the dog though
My husband does that also....leave the a/c on and locks the car and takes a duplicate key. I worry about the motor shutting off and then they are completely closed up in the car.
I did that occasionally with my previous 2000 Accord; but I doubt it can be done with 2006+ model Hondas. I've tried; no go. I do have a duplicate key but have been unable to lock the car while another key is in the ignition and the motor is running. I'll ask the Honda dealership if there's some special way to do that. Or, if anyone with a 2006+ Honda knows how, please tell me.

With my previous Lab, Bess, having her go off with someone was a constant worry -- she loved everyone and treated them like they were her bestest friends.

Puff is nearly a complete opposite. She doesn't want to be separated from me and whenever I've tried leaving her with very familiar friends at our weekly LabFest while I've gone back to the car to get something, she's broken away from them and rejoined me.

When I've left her in the security of the fenced ballfield we use during Standard Time (cool seasons) and driven away from the ballfield to get something, she'll just sit by the portion of the fence closest to where she last saw me, keeping a vigil, continually staring at the point where she'll see me return. And many other examples -- like breaking away from a friend she was familiar with, who had her on a leash, to swim after me as I was going out to a mooring in a dinghy to retrieve our sailboat. ARGH!!

In some ways, sometimes, I wish she was more like Bess in regards to her love for all people. Puff does like people but NOWHERE NEAR Bess's reaction. But, many times, especially when I might otherwise worry about people taking her, I'm very thankful for Puff's unLab (or unBess-like) reactions.

Tonight she went with me to our usual Sunday dance, 6-9 PM, 30 miles away in Lawrence. Always adequate parking in the shade. Left her with a bowl of water. Checked on her 3X during the dance and let her out to pee; she was happy to see me and looked fine. 81 F when we got there, 79 F when we left according to our Honda's outside temp sensor. Arranged moonroof and side windows as usual. Put my message board on the dashboard. Puff did fine.

 

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Bob I really don't want to get in an argument about it....I have a moonroof too on my Honda, and, it still gets hot in my vehicle. Maybe my moonroof is malfunctioning. I just know that if I saw a dog locked in a car, Moonroof open or not, a whiteboard or not...I am still calling animal control, and the police. I also know in some states, that it is illegal to leave an animal alone in your vehicle. Best of luck to you. No hard feelings!
 
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