So there we were, enjoying a hot late summer day at a partly-shaded table, when we heard some barking. Looked around and discovered the source: A cute little dog in a purple van.
Now, it's a hot day, probably 90 degrees, and it's a sunny day. There is a wee bit of a crack in the window, but it's got to be pretty darn hot in the van. Maybe the people just stepped away for a minute. We carry on eating, keeping an eye on the dog. The dog, in turn, keeps an eye on us, looking all mournful and pleading as dogs do.
We finish our food. By this time it's probably been half an hour and no one has come around for the dog. We pay the check and go over to have a look at the dog, who is laying down and panting pretty hard. Poor thing. We go inside the restaurant and explain the situation, then ask the servers if maybe it's a regular customer or something. Of course not. One girl seems mildly concerned, the other blankly says "It's not our jurisdiction."
We can't just leave the dog there. I mean, it's probably fine, but we don't know that, and it would absolutely drive me crazy with worry if we just went away. So I ask for a phone book and call the non-emergency police number. I explain the situation and they say they'll have someone right over. We hang around for a bit and, to my surprise, they do send someone right over.
So there we are, trying to look all nonchalant as Richmond's finest is taking in the situation, when who should walk up but the van's (and dog's) owner?!? He must have been nearby the whole time. He explains (sheepishly?) that the dog was in there with a bowl of water. (Sorry, mister, that just means your dog is braising instead of roasting.) The officer says they get a lot of calls like that in the summer, blah blah blah, while we beat a quick path out of there before the guy figures out who called.
(Though judging from the politics advertised on the van's bumper stickers, the man is unlikely to be packing heat. You'd think he'd be kinder to animals, however.)