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  • Writer's pictureAnne Heffron


I was trying to figure out how to turn the air conditioner on with my key fob so I could leave Bird in the car while I ran in to grab some things (dog food, broccolini, broccoli rabe and a cold green tea to give the morning a little punch). It was a miraculously cool 72 on the new edge of July, but in my mind, 70 is the cut off that it's safe to leave your dog in the car.

I had the windows unrolled a little, so I kept sticking my hand in to feel if any breeze was coming out of the vents. Press, hold, stick hand in, nothing. Press, hold, stick hand in, nothing.

A man drove by in a construction truck, Are you okay? he asked. My heart broke all over the parking lot. Here was a guy who could easily driven past into his busy day, not sparing the time to check to see if someone needed a hand. Isn't that the norm? Isn't that what I do most of the time? Oh, it looks like you need someone to jump your car. Too bad I'm on the phone.

I told him I was fine. I wished I had a thousand (thornless) roses I could have piled onto the front seat around him. I felt cared for, seen, loved by the universe.

I thought you were locked out, he said.

Nope, I said. I'm just a dog owner being weird.

I want to kiss your whole face, I didn't say to him.

Thank you so much, I said. We waved to each other, and off he went.

I tried the button one more time, and this time the breeze kicked in. I ran into the store, happy happy happy.

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