Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heat adjustment

For four of Sensi’s six years, he lived with Brent in a basement apartment.
We never had a heat problem there.
In fact, we had the opposite of a heat problem. We had an insanely-cold-all-the-time problem.
In the winter, it was freezing. We used blankets. In the summer, it became a tolerable and even welcome cold — until someone turned on the air conditioning.
Then it went back to freezing. And we’d end up huddling under blankets on a 90 degree day.
I noticed, on visits to my parents house last summer, that Sensi had a hard time adjusting to being on the main floor of a home during a hot day. He pants, and pants, and pants.
At our new house, there is no air conditioning.
Luckily, the house’s design helps it keep cool without air. But not that cool.
Nothing can keep a home cool on a 90-day degree — except air conditioning, of course.
Sensi is adjusting, but it’s weird to see him panting. We almost never see that, unless he’s tanning on the deck.
It’s kind-of nice, though. When he pants, he looks like a very relaxed, happy dog — because, of course, it looks like he’s smiling when he pants.
He hasn’t figured out yet to go lay on the wood or tile floors.
Dogs heat and cool themselves primarily through their paws, secondarily through their underside — the belly.
That’s probably why you never see a dog lay down in front of a fan. Unless a fan is cooling their paws or belly, it doesn’t really help them out.
When dogs are hot, the best thing they can do to keep themselves cool is lay on a cool surface. Indoors, surfaces like concrete and ceramic tile stay much cooler than other surfaces. Wood floors and linoleum aren’t fantastic, but better than carpet.
Keep this stuff in mind. It comes in handy. Last summer, there was one day when Sensi seemed really hot and I wanted to cool him down.
I stuck his paws in a bucket of cold water, then had him lay down and put some cold, wet rags over his belly. It worked like a charm.

Was the TV talking to us?
Here’s a funny story, related to the heat.
Brent and I signed up with AT&T Uverse last weekend. There’s one feature about the cable that I absolutely love: weather on demand.
I can select weather at any time of the day or night and then I can see the weather in all sorts of ways — hourly, 6-day forecast, a video like what’s on the local news, radar and even satellite.
There aren’t many TV programs that Brent and I get really hooked on. We’ve been ER watchers for years, but now that’s ended. We’re left with one favorite program: Deadliest Catch. It’s all new at 9 p.m. on Tuesday nights.
After we finished watching it last night, we checked the weather before heading for bed.
Mind you, we moaned and groaned about the heat and how badly we need air conditioning all night long.
I selected the video offering for weather, and leading the video was a wacky forecaster we hadn't seen before. He was unorthodox, at the least. It was strange.
“It’s gonna keep gettin’ hotter and hotter around here, especially into Wednesday,” the guy said. “And if you don’t like it, guess what?”
“BUY AN AIR CONDITIONER!!!” he screamed at us.
Brent and I were stunned.
“I’ve never before felt so much like the TV was talking right to us,” Brent remarked, and we started laughing.
We weren’t sure if perhaps we had heat stroke and were seeing things. Was the TV talking to us? We watched it again just to be sure.
And again, he screamed at us to get an air conditioner.
Coincidence, I guess.

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