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Tag: air conditioning

That’s how he rides

I don’t need to tell you it’s hot — pretty much everywhere — but I did want to show you how Ace, as a result of that, has changed his riding style.

On particularly hot days, which has been every day as we passed through Oklahoma and Texas, he has taken to moving up closer to the front of the car and resting his head and paws on the front seat console, so that he might absorb a little more coolness from the air conditioner vents.

This also puts his head just inches from the dual cup holders. That way, when I am mostly finished with my Big Gulp, extra large iced coffee or other mega-beverage, I can easily hand feed him ice cubes while I drive. He likes this very much.

The heat has been, far and away, the biggest challenge on our road trip — which enters its third month today.

Month two of our travels — aimed at finding interesting dog stories, seeing America, and exploring the relationship between America and dog (all on a shoestring budget) — saw us spend a little more money than month one.

Though trying to live on roughly the same amount we were paying for rent and utilities at our ex-home in Baltimore — about $1,100 — we  spent about $1,300 on food, gas and lodging, even with our ten days of free housing in Santa Fe, in exchange for petsitting duties.

That means we need to do a whole lot more freeloading as we head off on the next leg.

We will soon be making our getaway from Texas — where both of the ohmidogmobile’s door magnets were stolen, one in Dallas, on in Huntsville. We plan a quick revisit to Houston before heading on to Mississippi, then spending some time in North Carolina.

After that, we’ll head north, pop in on Baltimore, check the mail, pay some bills, and venture into New England before heading west again, on a more northerly route.

(“Dog’s Country” is the continuing account of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America.)

My awesome, and intimidating, one-sided tan

One side benefit of my new gypsy lifestyle — in which the dog and I have given up our housing to spend some time exploring America — is that I am now a bronzed God.

Not all of me, mind you, just my left arm, which has been resting out the open car window as we make our way west.

I like driving with the window down. Ace, being wiser, prefers the air conditioning. So we compromise: window down, AC on, and the vents aimed in his direction — until, at least, it gets so hot that I come around to his point of view.

As a result of all that arm resting out the window, though, my left arm has a tan to die for — not a farmer tan, more of a truck driver tan.

With my pasty stay at home days behind me, the open road ahead, I’m digging my left arm, which may be making the rest of my body jealous. I think my left arm is almost ready to go out in public, perhaps check out the dating scene, maybe start hitting the gym, so it can be as toned as it is tanned.

The rest of me will probably stay home — oh yeah, we don’t have one, make that inside — but my left arm, I think, wants to go out and hoist a few.

Of course, all this leaves me uneven, a split personality, dermatologically speaking — and it will continue to get more pronounced unless I spend some time on the passenger side, which, as I’m traveling only with my dog, is probably not advisable.

I’ll just have to cope with being a two-toned human being, and let the two sides fight it out.

John’s left arm: Dude, c’mon, let’s go out.

Pasty John: No, I want to watch this Law & Order I’ve previously viewed five times.

John’s left arm: C’mon, let’s go climb a mountain or do some river rafting. How about we at least check out the motel pool?

Pasty John: No! Might I remind you that, despite your extremely awesome tan, you are the weaker of the two arms. You’re not in charge here. Now quit flexing.

John’s left arm: Can I at least work the remote?

Pasty John: No, I don’t trust you.

The contrast between my arms is only likely to get worse in the days ahead. We still have to cross the rest of New Mexico and half of Arizona, where I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if my left arm is required to show proof of citizenship.

“Are you two together?” the Border Patrol agent will ask.

“Never seen him before in my life,” my pasty side will answer.

(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)

Baltimore Humane Society seeking help

The Baltimore Humane Society is looking for a few good men, women and appliances.

Andrew S. Levine, executive director of the society, has issued a plea for cash donations and other items needed to upgrade the facility in Reisterstown.

Those items include:

- A propane boiler to heat the main shelter building

– A  5 ton 13 S.E.E.R Air Conditioning System for the dog kennel, where temperatures can rise to 110 degrees in the summer

– A washer and dryer

– A refrigerator to keep medications cool

– A backup power generator to keep shelter heat on in the winter when power goes out and to keep power on during surgeries

– An x-ray machine for pets that are dropped off at the shelter after being injured in accidents

– Painting services to repaint buildings, inside and out

– Updated fencing for kennels

– Roof and gutter repairs

– Construction labor

–Landscaping supplies and labor

Levine asked that anyone that can help contact him at (410) 561-7666

America’s toughest sheriff coddles dogs

arpaio_underwearAmerica’s toughest sheriff seems to have a soft spot for pooches.

That, in part, explains why Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs an animal shelter out of the old Maricopa County jail in Phoenix — one complete with air conditioning, a luxury Arpaio has never seen fit to afford the incarcerated humans entrusted to his care.

Arpaio — a strong supporter of the death penalty, cracking down on illegal immigrants and providing the bare minimum, or slightly less, for inmates – has long been criticized for inhumane practices in the county jail, from the use of chain gangs to housing inmates in tents to mandating all inmate underwear be pink.

He once told CNN he was proud of the fact that the no-frills county prison system spent $1.10 each a day to feed its guard dogs, but only 90 cents each to feed its inmates.

His no-kill animal shelter, on the other hand — called MASH (Maricpopa Animal Safe Haven) – offers a cool and comfortable, supportive and nurturing environment for pets.

Prisoners help run the shelter, and news reports recently highlighted the story of two emaciated Rhodesian Ridgebacks who were nursed back to health by female inmates. The dogs were taken in after their owner, 34-year-old Jonathan Eder, was arrested on animal cruelty charges in August, ABC15 in Phoenix reported.

Named Bazzele and Frank, the dogs had been deprived of food and water for so long that the outlines of their rib cages  were “drastically visible.” Bazelle reportedly weighed only 48 pounds, Frank  57.  At the shelter, both have recovered.  Bazzele now weighs 71 pounds and Frank 73. Both are up for adoption for $100 each.

The shelter was created to house and care for animals that, because of abuse or neglect by their caretakers, have been seized by the county’s Animal Cruelty Investigative Unit and must remain in custody until the court cases are resolved. After that, the sheriff’s shelter finds adoptive homes for the dogs.

Arpaio opened the shelter in the First Avenue Jail, which was closed for repairs in December 1999, then reopened for pets after getting refurbished.

“Some critics have said that it’s inhumane to put dogs and cats in air-conditioned quarters when inmates don’t have air conditioning,” the sheriff’s website says. “A good answer came from one of the inmates assigned to care for the dogs. When asked if she was resentful about not having air conditioning, she gestured to some of the dogs and said, ‘They didn’t do anything wrong. I did.’”

It all makes for a fascinating contrast — the touchy feely tone of the sheriff’s animal shelter website versus the record and rhetoric of America’s toughest sheriff.sheriff

Consider the case of Schultz, the mastiff pictured to the left, also known as #1001.

“My owner kept me locked in a crate so I wasn’t allowed to go outside to use the bathroom, they also failed to provide me with the necessary food & water,” he says on the sheriff’s shelter web page that lists available animals. “I was brought to the MASH Unit in August, 2007, in which I received the medical attention and the love I needed to get better and recover …”

You won’t find many testimonials like that from the humans Arpaio oversees.

In Maricopa County, for an inmate to be treated like a dog would, literally, be an improvement — and, contrary as nurturing an inmate would be to the highly popular Arpaio’s philosophy, maybe it would keep some of them from biting again, once they are eventually released from their crates.

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