This time of year is often referred to as the “dog days of summer” and for good reason. It seems that no matter where you live in the country, these summer days are so hot even dogs don’t want to go outside.
Many people have used this expression and think it literally is about dogs, but the phrase actually has nothing to do with dogs or even summer. Instead, it refers to the Dog Star Sirius and its position in the heavens. To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when the star Sirius first appeared, to just late July. These were considered the hottest times of the year; the time that could bring fever or even a catastrophe.
According to Wikipedia, the expression even found its way into film and popular music. Do you remember Sidney Lumet’s 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon or the 2012 film Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, about a teenage boy during the summer holiday? Musical examples include the one of my favorites, the song “Dog Days are Over" by the band Florence and the Machine from their debut album, Lungs (2009).
The dog days of summer are also a good time to consider adopting a dog (or cat). Each year an estimated 3 to 4 million animals are waiting in pet shelters for someone to give them a safe, loving home. July is “Clear the Shelters month”, when you adopt a dog from a shelter or pet rescue group; you will be saving a life and greatly improving yours. Dogs are amazing, supportive and heroic companions who make a huge difference in someone life.
My mother adopted her dog Daisy, three years ago after my step dad passed away. Prior to adopting Daisy, my mom was overweight, had high blood pressure and never exercised. Daisy has made such a huge difference in my mom’s life, and she probably has to Daisy’s life as well. Today, my mother has met her neighbors who she sees during her daily walks around the neighborhood. Daisy knows which neighbor has treats for her. My mom frequents her local dog park and she has made a host of friends as has Daisy. Her blood pressure is lower, her weight is down and her physical endurance is way up, plus the benefits from the unconditional love from a pet cannot be measured.
As a pet lover and owner of four rescued German Shepherds and a kitty, I certainly can vouch for this!
How are you spending the dog days of your summer?