Hot Coffee, Cold Heart?

An alert — and concerned — “06880” reader asked me to post this photo:

Cold dog

She writes: “I saw this poor dog this morning. This upsets me beyond belief. Someone decided their cup of coffee is so important that it’s okay to leave their dog outside in 9 degree weather.”

31 responses to “Hot Coffee, Cold Heart?

  1. Jaclyn Jeffrey

    With all due respect, please tell me after taking this photo you went in the store and asked the manager to make an announcement and then spoke to the owner.

  2. That is criminal neglect, IMHO

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Just TERRIBLE! My heart breaks for this beautiful dog.

  4. More information needed here… how long was the dog outside? In general dogs would always rather go on road trips with their owners (yay! the car!) than be left home alone, and they’re pretty sturdy in the cold (my little girl loves being outside in this weather) so… as long it wasn’t too long, i wouldn’t come down too hard on the owner.

  5. Heartbreaking and disgusting. I pray he wasn’t sitting there for more than just a few moments. I hope he wasn’t left outside while the coffee-drinker enjoyed their brew inside. It’s no treat for him to be left out there…that’s apparent.

  6. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Dan, after all the “coffee shop news” you’ve been posting going way back last year to the Greens Farms RR station barista that overslept have you ever considered renaming your blog: “The 06880 Coffee Shop of Horrors”?

    But this is enough to get the most decaf addicted Wetspotter’s blood boiling. The poor dog! If a dog is man’s best friend then the person who did this wasn’t a man!!!!

  7. Yes, there needs to be more info regarding how long the dog was left outside. Was this a quick stop on a downtown walk or hours of neglect?

    My late Siberian Husky, and now a double coated Bearded Collie, both would rather be outside then indoors no matter what the weather. Our late Chewy would roll and dig under the snow. Neither stay(ed) out in the frigid cold for long.

  8. I will say that I see this dog and his/her owner walking from upper Main to Starbucks and back every morning. I believe this dog is well cared for. I know it’s sometimes easy to jump to conclusions, but I think this owner hasn’t been given a fair benefit of the doubt.

  9. Nancy Powers Conklin

    Obviously, this dog is NOT putting its butt on the ground because it is too damn cold! At least he/she knows better than to sit!

  10. I see the pro’s and con’s and I am first in line to try never to jump to conclusions. Though one can rather judge a person’s actions, one must never judge the motive behind that action. I try to live by that, for sure: if it were for a quick moment and the dog loves the weather, I get it, but too often people just don’t think…but I can’t help it: I just feel sorry for that creature…

  11. Joyce Barnhart

    This dog should have a sweater in this weather. It has short-hair and that fur coat is not nearly enough protection in this cold. And its feet might also suffer from the salt and crunchy ice on shoveled walks and roadways. This owner is neglecting its dog.

  12. My golden retrievers love being outside no matter how cold.

  13. This is my dog. I am not appreciating these comments as if you saw us, you could have known that we spent 1 minute at Starbucks. Since I am a regular, the minute they see us, they start my coffee order. We walk every day to Starbucks. I debated walking in this temperature, but Liberty was game. I tried to put her in a new jacket, but it was too large and dragged on the ground. We stay an average of 1-2 minutes in winter for the coffee. She doesn’t mind. She is extremely spoiled and only goes out for these walks and sits in the warm house with me all day. But thanks for all the love Westport…..

    • Bobbie Herman

      My immediate thought upon seeing this photo was that the owner (you) dropped in to get a takeout container. It looks like my instinct was correct, and your beautiful dog was not being neglected. It’s too bad that people are so quick to jump to conclusions without knowing the facts.

    • Yeah, wow, I was going to say, any dog who goes with his peeps to a Starbucks every morning — highly doubt that dog is abused. He looks very well cared for. I’m a dog trainer and this dog is fine. Work in a shelter if you really want to see abused dogs. I spent a lot of time working as a trainer in a shelter and believe me, most of four leggeds would love this dog’s life. He looks cold but fine 🙂 My dog has major cabin fever right now as we’re in negative 35 degrees, and he lives for his 10 minutes out on our porch in our condo sans his doggie coat. He sniffs the cold, rolls in the snow and I can hardly get him to come in before the frostbite sets in. So, I think folks here were a little hard on poor Jody.

  14. Jaclyn Jeffrey

    Jody, good to know that your dog was only outside for one-minute. I am a dog lover, very protective and perhaps too much so… are you not concerned about leaving your dog outside, even for a minute, where someone could take her? I am not criticizing you, I do marvel at the people I see who do this, I could never do it… Please take care, it may be the lovely, bucolic town of Westport but…

  15. Exactly, you have a beautiful dog, one can tell he’s very well cared for. I walk my basset, Charlie, every morning. He doesn’t own a coat except the one he was born with. I tried to put one on him before and he looked at me like I was crazy. Char and I went out this morning, like we do everyday. My hair froze. I pleaded with Charlie to forgo our walk this morning, but he happily peed and sniffed like he does every day. When we got home, I got ready for work and Char went under the covers of my bed for a nap. I think it’s wonderful that you take your dog out with you every morning. For all the haters ‘judge not…’

  16. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Why not let dogs into shops, as Europeans do.

  17. Jaclyn Jeffrey

    Nancy, I am with you. If shops allowed dogs, as in Europe, I would take mine everywhere.

  18. Jaclyn Jeffrey

    One additional comment here… Going back to my original post (and similar to the one I made weeks ago about the Jeep parked on the street) … to the person who took the photo and sent it along to 06880… shame on you. What good is taking a photo? Very passive aggressive. If you see something that disturbs or concerns you, try to do something to address the situation in a calm, forthright and non-aggressive manner.

  19. Some of our dogs had to be carried outside when it was cold, while the others ran outside and had to be caught and carried back in; dogs know and let us know if they want to go out or stay in. I would bet this dog is so happy that he or she got to go for it’s daily walk to Starbucks and was just as happy to get back home and climb onto the warm sofa for the rest of the day.

  20. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Ok people jump to conclusions…. But let’s think about this… Your pup is not a “winter dog”…ie: husky,Akita… It does get cold, especially in this crazy weather of subzero temps…. Also last I knew the DOT and many other business and town folk you rock salt and other things that are quite caustic to a pups paws… So I would say thank goodness for concerned passionate animal lovers… Lighten up… And maybe be walk a mile in your pups paws… Go out without the proper clothing and sit your bare ass on a cold salted sidewalk and enjoy the view for the minute you say… Just saying

    • Dogs have fur… Humans have coats… Liberty was happily sitting outside Starbucks, after many treats, for a minute on her daily walk. Kids stand outside in the snow for 20 minutes waiting for a bus… That’s freezing cold too and you don’t see people taking pictures of them standing there and saying their parents or the schools are neglectful

  21. I used to live in Westport and saw the owner of this dog walking it to and from Starbucks every morning (as I did with my dog). I have no doubt that this dog is much loved and cared for. People need to not jump to such conclusions. I’m sure this dog gets more attention than than the vast majority of dogs who are stuck inside all day and are lucky if their owners just let them out in the backyard to pee three times a day!

  22. are you guys kidding me? 9 degrees for a dog this build, size, breed = no problem.

  23. I’ve seen people bringing their dogs into Starbucks.

    • Nancy Hunter Wilson

      Excellent. In Canada, the same is true. In summer, shops will put out water bowls for customers’ dogs.

  24. My first instinct would be to feel bad for the dog, too. Not that I doubt she’s well taken care of! But it was really cold yesterday and the pup does look uncomfortable. Honestly, I feel bad for anyone (animal or not) having to be outside in this brutal cold weather we’ve been having!

  25. My concern is with the residents of Westport that keep their dogs outside 24/7 – no matter what the temperature. If you think such abuse doesn’t occur in Westport, think again. The state tethering laws are way too lax and dogs are suffering right here in our little town of Westport.