What I Should have Told the Lady


When I came out of the grocery store with three gallons of milk and was standing beside the car fumbling with my keys, a woman hailed me. “I just hate it when people do that!” she called out as she walked by.

“What?” I said, setting down the milk.

“Leaving a poor little dog locked up to die in a hot car like that!”

“Well, better the dog than some little kid, maybe…” I said.

“No it isn’t!” she huffed, pausing long enough to plant her fists on her hips. “At least a child can talk!” And with that, she stumped around the corner and vanished.

“My!” I thought as I looked down the curb at the Chihuahua, standing at the wheel of the next car, not even panting. It must’ve come whilst I was inside, paying for my milk. I’ll bet you money that anyone who loves his dog enough to be driving around with it would take it inside the grocery store if only he were allowed to. And you know very well that he was doing his best to hurry right back out to it.

One always thinks of these things too late, but after she was long gone, it occurred to me that I should have said: “Shame on you ma’am! Where’s your humanity? Where’s your love and trust of your neighbors?”


Tom Phipps