Hot Dogs, the Scoop on Disposable Poop Scoops, and a Lop-Eared Hippity Hopper

Sultry weather calls for cool options for our pets.

7 mins read
A dog playing in the water

The dog days of Summer, which begin July 3rd this year, are named for the canine companion of the stellar hunter Orion.

The Hellenes – the classical Greeks – named the star, the brightest in the night sky, “Seirois” or “Sirius,” meaning scorching, glowing, or lit, just like way too many summer tourists on Mykonos right now. The Greeks linked these canicular days under the gaze of the Dog Star with mad dogs, dog bites, fever, lethargy, and general bad vibes.

Even sooner, June 21 marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. If you’re celebrating in pagan style, painting yourself blue and skipping naked around the forest, have a blast but watch out for poison oak.

And please note that the heat is now officially on. Pasadena and its environs will have intermittent broilers from now until the frost is on the proverbial pumpkin, sometime around the winter solstice.

So remember to keep your pets cool, sheltered, and hydrated at all times. Leave the noonday sun to the Englishmen. 

Also, realize that our less-welcome canine companions, the coyotes, along with bobcats and bears, feel the heat, too, and may seek refuge in the shade of your garden and in your pool. And, groom your cats more often. Felines will often try to cool themselves by shedding and may swallow huge puffs of fur in the process, leading to unseemly hacking, gacking, and hairball spewing.

Precious Cargo

Be aware of California Penal Code Section 597.7 PC: Leaving A Pet Unattended in a Vehicle. Technically, it’s not illegal to leave an animal alone in your car. What’s illegal is endangering the well-being of the animal by doing this. In the summer, this risk is very real, even with the car window cracked open.

If an animal left alone in a car suffers “great bodily harm” in the eyes of the law, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and extensive court fines. And note that law enforcement officers who observe an animal in a vehicle that they reasonably believe may be suffering are permitted to take any action necessary to help the animal, including prying open the car door or breaking the window. This law applies to any animal, not just dogs and cats.

Even when the outside temperature is, say, 68ºF, the temperature inside a closed car can reach 118ºF or higher within one hour and can go to 140ºF or higher as the minutes tick past. Think of your passengers, human and non-human, as a quart of Ben & Jerry’s: head for the shade and AC pronto.

Mean Streets

Of course, your dog loves olfactory news-gathering city walks, but summer is a time to get creative with other exercise options. The reason: asphalt gets much hotter than surrounding air temperature, and will easily burn your pet’s paw pads (the adorable pedal “jellybeans” of cats as well as dogs, obviously). 

Let’s say the air registers at a lovely 77ºF. In direct sun on that same balmy afternoon, the pavement heats up to a George Foreman Grill-searing temp of 125ºF. When the mercury climbs into the 90s, the asphalt spikes up to 50 or more degrees higher. Concrete and brick retain slightly less heat than asphalt but still get hot enough and retain heat long enough to fry an egg and Rover’s paws.

Even if you don’t do the math, when you find yourself hot-footing it down the driveway like a gandy-dancer because you left your flip-flops in the house, realize that it’s too darn hot to walk the dog.

Or try the seven-second test: rest the back of your hand on the surface of the asphalt, brick or concrete for seven Mississippi’s. If it stings, help your dog answer nature’s call and get some moderate exercise in safer, cooler ways.

If you have a yard with dirt and grass, allow your dog to use it as a summer restroom. Yes, it’s slightly more cleanup work for you, but it’s safer for your pooch.

If you have a pool, last one in’s a rotten egg.

And check out the many dog resorts around our area and beyond. These typically offer day-stays (12 hours max) in the neighborhood of $40, usually featuring one or more pools, toys, boogie-boarding, etc., in the company of other dogs under constant supervision. Your dog will need to be evaluated in advance, and these places book up fast and may be closed on holidays including Labor Day.

Here are a few to check out:

I Dig My DogLike summer camp for happy dogs. Their mantra: “Swim. Play. Nap. Train.” Evaluation by appointment only. Pasadena, (626) 844-7877.

Paradise Ranch Pet Resort: Cage-free dog-boarding, no cages or kennels, deluxe pooch waterpark, offers training, boarding and grooming. Games, snacks. Sun Valley, (818) 394-9557.

South Park Doggie Adventureland: Multiple locations. Free trial day for first-time customers. Indoor and outdoor spaces.  Playcare (day-care) and Staycare (boarding), with a 16-course Pawcademy curriculum including swimming, agility, puzzle-training, frisbee challenges, ball pits, water park, foam parties, canine painting classes, doggie movie screening theater, and a “Zen” room. Hey, this IS Southern California. 

And, we’re now just dog days away from July 4. As we go to press, your neighborhood is probably already rattling with the pops of illegal fireworks set off by scofflaws, drowning out even the lusty cries of our resident peacocks. Your pets hate the noise as much as we hate the fire danger.

If you can catch the midnight express to someplace frostier with your animal companions, do so now. If not, now’s the time to make sure you are prepared to keep all of your pets indoors for the next few days, place a call to your vet for tranx or other soothing treatments as needed, perhaps invest in a Thundervest, and wait out the audio assault.


Your intrepid LNP news team will stop at nothing to bring you the latest breaking updates. This reporter has just returned from the sunny Cyclades, where the island population temporarily bulges by 10x between May and October. Not all of these guests are the expected 35 million tourists who come to gawk at the ruins and gulp ouzo: some of them are hard-working folk from all over Europe who arrive to staff the buzzing hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, resorts and bus tours.

And some or all of the above bring their dogs.

The end result is…more poop on the Plaka. Pee on the Parthenon.

a sign in English and Greek
Some assembly required, but it’s not adding any plastic to the environment. Photo: Victoria Thomas

But leave it to the Greeks. After all, we’re talking about the birthplace of democracy, as well as the inventors of Western philosophy, the Olympic games, the marathon, cartography, the umbrella, theatre and feta.

a cardboard scoop with Greek writing
Even if it’s all Greek to you, this is an epic clean-up strategy. Photo: Victoria Thomas

So along the streets of Athens and the party islands, you’ll find dispensers of disposable folding cardboard shovels, free for the taking. Scooping, frankly, seems more convenient than plastic grab-bagging it and is perhaps better for the environment.

Should Pasadena do the same?

It’s been said that no parent thinks they have an ugly baby. This applies to all manner of babies, including fur-babies.

If this describes you, as we know it does, now is the time to enter a photo of your pet in the Pasadena Humane 2025 Calendar Photo Contest, which is a fundraiser for our local pet shelter as well as an opportunity to earn your pet’s deserved rock-star status by having their likeness published in the annual calendar, and emblazoned upon collectible Pas Humane merch!

Note that voting ends June 30, 11:00 PM PDT. And, given our obsession with ginger cats, in spite of the fact that this summer’s Garfield movie was an epic fail, we must note that currently, a marmalade tabby cat named Murray is currently in the lead with 5,600 votes.

This week, let’s give a bigger-than-usual shout-out to Pas Humane for their good works. Here are a few of their critters ready to come home. Remember that big breeds (“Canis Majoris,” as the Romans re-named Dog Star Sirius) are not low-maintenance. No pet is, really.

But large dogs like Shepherds and Huskies require lots of space, lots of daily exercise, lots of stimulation, lots of attention, and training. This is part of the reason they often end up in shelters.

Meet Sadie #A511760

A dog looking at the camera
Ready to share your life with this lady? Sadie’s all ears. Photo: Pas Humane
  • Female canine
  • Breed: GSD, Age: 1 year, 8 months old
  • Coloring: Classic black and cognac; Size: 60 pounds
  • In fine health, anxious around other dogs, needs to be a solo act
  • Doesn’t like frantic dog parks or dog beaches; is calm on car rides
  • Sweet, sensitive, bonds easily with people; likes walks and hikes
  • Knows and obeys basic commands; loves to collect favorite toys on her blankie and play

A fan at the shelter has sponsored her adoption, so that means that the usual fees are waived. Sadie is available for a 10-day adoption trial, where the adopter can make sure that she’s a good fit for their home.

Meet Pepper #A514110

A dog sitting in the grass
Adopting this Spice Girl will bring zest to your life, like a pinch of red pepper. Photo: Pas Humane
  • Female canine
  • Breed: Siberian Husky; age: 2 years old
  • Coloring: Cinnamon (red) and white
  • Size: Large (though smallish for a Husky)
  • In fine health
  • Strong prey instinct, so, best suited to a home with no cats, small dogs, or other snackable pets
  • Loves to chase squirrels and small critters; would shine in a home with other Huskies!

Pepper is available for a 10-day adoption trial, where the adopter can make sure that she’s a good fit for their home.

Meet Mocha #A508917

a dog standing on a ramp
Mocha’s all grown up now but still a puppy at heart. Photo: Pas Humane
  • Male canine
  • Breed: GSD; age: 1 year, 3 months
  • Coloring: Blond body, mocha ears and mask
  • Size: Large; in fine health
  • Outdoorsy guy with big energy; won’t do well with other dogs
  • Loves humans; ready for adventure!

Meet Reese #A513961

Reese was born to run — literally. Photo: Pas Humane
  • Male canine
  • Breed: Siberian Husky; age: 3 years old
  • Coloring: Black and white; size: Large
  • In fine health; a bit fearful, but becoming more confident
  • Likes to be brushed and petted; plays with toys, great runner

Reese is available for a 10-day adoption trial, where the adopter can make sure that he’s a good fit for their home.

Meet Brandon #A515174

Bright eyes, perfect size. Photo: Pas Humane
  • Male canine
  • Breed: Smooth-coat Chihuahua; age: 10 years
  • Coloring: Chocolate and white (not an all dark Brandon)
  • Size: Pequeño (small); in good senior health
  • ¡Muy cute!

Sometimes, good things come in small packages. A mature, compact dog may be a great companion to a senior who enjoys life’s quieter, gentler joys.

Meet Roger Rabbit #A514446

a lop-eared bunny
Some bunny loves you. Could it be Roger Rabbit? Photo: Pas Humane
  • Male rabbit
  • Breed: Lop-eared
  • Age unknown
  • Coloring: white with greige muzzle
  • Size: Small

Rabbits must always be kept indoors, with plenty of room to frisk around. They also require a varied, fresh diet (not just pressed alfalfa pellets), and the menu is specific. They may or may not be cuddly because rabbits are not really domesticated like dogs as companion animals. Consult with a rabbit expert before adopting a bunny if you’re new to life with lagomorphs. 

Learn about the Pasadena Humane adoption process HERE.

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Victoria Thomas

Victoria has been a journalist since her college years when she wrote for Rolling Stone and CREEM. Victoria describes the view of Mt. Wilson from her front step as “staggering,” and she is a defender of peacocks everywhere.
Email: [email protected]

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