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By Tom Cushing

The Dogfather's Annual Fourth of July Plea (cue Scott McKenzie)

Uploaded: Jul 1, 2015

Some guy who styles himself The Dogfather asked me for the favor of publishing this doggerel -- set to Scott McKenzie's classic paean to our fair City by the Bay. It would have been disrespectful to decline, 'though he should really apologize to the late singer.

If you're going to Dan-ville's parade,
Be sure to leave your loving Fido home.
It's way too hot, and shade there is not --
Heat stroke's just an awful way to go.

Your dog's not built for Dan-ville's parade
He only sweats by panting with his tongue.
There's too big a crowd; shotguns are too loud.
Summertime he won't be lovin' there.

All across the nation,
Such a sad situation,
Pets in a panic ?

Yearly on this occasion,
Shelters face inundation,
Pets in a panic,
They run when they're frantic ?

For those who come to Dan-ville's parade,
Be sure to leave your Fido safe at home.
A cool dark spot, and water (a lot!)
Summertime he'll be a lovin' there!

July 4th is no picnic for your pets -- it may be their Worst day of the year. Please, please keep your pups away from the parade; if you think the air's hot for you -- and it's forecast for up-to-triple digits -- try walking barefoot on the asphalt, in a fur coat. Dogs are also creatures of habit and routine -- even if Fido is well-socialized around home and the dog park, the chaos of a parade is dramatically different. It can provoke fear and annoyance behaviors, the consequences of which are Your fault.

Later, be sure your pets are cool and Securely contained when you go out to enjoy fireworks. They're better escape artists than you know --I once had a dog go out the accordion closure of a second-floor window fan, and all he wanted to do was take a swim on a sultry day. Soothing music may help.

Every year, panicked pets die on the road, or in shelters over-burdened by runaways. Don't let that be your companion.

And thanks!