Man And Beast Weather

Yesterday’s 95-degree (!) weather brought “danger” emails from 2 alert — and concerned — readers.

One worried about dogs. The other talked about people.

M. Ford — a newcomer to Westport — asked me to remind everyone that it is never safe to leave your pet in a closed car in warm weather.

She noticed a car parked — facing the sun — at Trader Joe’s.* The rear window was cracked — just an inch.

This dog is NOT locked in a sweltering car. (Photo courtesy of

When she left the store 45 minutes later** the dog was in the front seat, panting. The door was locked.

Fifteen minutes later — after Ford finished some work in her car — a young woman came out, got in the car and drove away.

Ford wanted to give her a gentle reminder, but worried about offending her. She asked me to pass along the warning — and adds this informative link about car temperatures (click here).

Meanwhile, Mike Nayor writes: “When the weather turns fair the number of walkers and joggers in Westport multiplies exponentially. In theory that’s a good thing.”

However, he says, one recent evening he almost hit 3 people walking abreast in the same direction as traffic. All wore dark clothing.

Mike asked me to remind people to walk and jog against traffic, so they can see what’s coming their way.

“Responsibility for safety resides with both drivers and pedestrians,” he notes.

Always walk facing traffic. And cross only at designated areas, like these 4 fellows. (NOTE: This photo was apparently not taken in Westport, as all the cars are headed the wrong way.)

*This may be the first story about the Trader Joe’s parking lot that does not involve a terrible parking job.

** The checkout line is usually much quicker — unless there’s at least 2 inches of snow on the way.

12 responses to “Man And Beast Weather

  1. Luke Garvey

    And cyclists, (of which I am one!) PLEASE ride single file, for your own safety.

  2. Nancy Hunter

    One would have to be a “Nut Job” (couldn’t resist!) to leave a pet in a hot car.
    As far as Abbey Road, above, no need for ubiquitous “look left/look right” reminders, but should perhaps be universal on two-way city street crosswalks.

    • Cathy Barnett

      Nancy, in this case, I hope John, George, Paul and Ringo looked RIGHT then left before crossing, as the approaching traffic is coming toward you in the left lane.

  3. Siri told me I couldn’t use my phone (left in car) until it cooled. I was in Stop & Shop for 15 minutes! She was apparently unconscious! :/

  4. My dog? Never!!

  5. Susan Reilly

    I have learned that it is better to walk wiith traffic, not against it. That way cars can see you. I agree that it should be single file and the walkers should wear bright clothing, especially at dusk or later. I’d like to hear other opinions on this.

    • Joyce Barnhart

      It’s very important that you walk against the oncoming traffic. If you walk with traffic it’s easy to step into the path of a passing vehicle, especially if one has just passed and you aren’t alert to another following. And, while I am not litigious, I tell friends, only partly kidding, that you should cross at the crosswalk, not because you’re really safer, but because you can sue if you get hit. Or your estate can sue.

      • Robert Mitchell

        It is not only perfect common sense to walk against the traffic, so that you can see the oncoming cars, and the drivers can know that you see them, but also:
        1. It obviates the need for looking over your shoulder every time you hear a car approaching, and
        2. It is the law in Connecticut: Sec. 14-300c. Pedestrian use of roads and sidewalks. “if such roadway carries motor vehicle traffic traveling in opposite directions each pedestrian walking along and upon such roadway shall walk only upon the left side of such roadway.”

  6. Susie Valentine Collins

    There was a dog locked in a car and NOBODY called Animal Control? Or the Police? Here you go: Westport Animal Control: 203-341-5076. If you get the machine, leave a message, get a pic of the license plate to report and take a photo of the dog in the car. Then IMMEDIATELY call Westport Police 203-341-6000 and they will page the on duty Officer or send another Officer. If you can wait, please do – in the distance. Do not confront the dog owner. Document and report. You’d call if it was an infant, right? Please put these numbers in your contacts and help those who cannot help themselves. Good work people!! 🙂

  7. Luisa Francoeur

    As a regular exercise walker who uses roads with no sidewalks, I keep in mind how scary it is as a driver to suddenly see a pedestrian looming up. Please always wear bright colors and in low light (dawn, dusk or night) something reflective.

  8. Savannah Girling

    Hello! My name is Savannah Girling. I am only 11 but I still know that in Connecticut it is illigal to leave a dog alone in the car. My sister, a few friends, and I were at Westport Pizza for a bite to eat. A women came in, your typical Westport woman; ray bans, a stylish free people outfit, and gold open toed sandals. She came in asking if anyone had a white Volkswagen. I thought that maybe the car she was describing was blocking her in or maybe hit her car. My friends and I ignored her. When we went outside walking to Starbucks, we noticed a small croud maybe 3 or 4 people. We stopped as someone informed us a small white dog, looked like maybe a toy poodle was trapped inside the white Volkswagen. The lady that walked into Westport pizza then told us that he had been there for about 30 minutes already. We stayed for about five minutes and then left for Starbucks. We came back and then my friends dad arrived. He seemed confused by the now 8 people loitering outside this random white car. By this point the dog had been in the car for about an hour. The police had been called four times and still haven’t arrived, even though the car was right in front of “specs” the glasses store. The police would’ve taken 1.5 minutes if they actually cared. The police finally arrived, taking the plate number, asking questions and all that jazz. There was food and water in the car indicating that the dogs owners were planning on taking a while. We left around 7:38. From what we know, the dog was in the car since 6, maybe earlier.

  9. Werner Liepolt

    I’m posting here so this reminder NOT TO LEAVE A DOG in a car gets some necessary visibility.