Mill Creek Musings

The Dog Days of Summer

We’ve been experiencing what my Grandmother used to call The Dog Days of Summer. That phrase refers to those sultry days in July and August, a period of stagnation. The name comes from the ancient belief that when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose at the same time as the sun, it was somehow responsible for hot weather.

I like to look up the origin of phrases. This exercise led to some other dog expressions: Dog Day Afternoon, “Every dog has his day”, and “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog”.

Not to put down man’s best friend, but my impression is that most dogs don’t work very hard. Oh, there are a few exceptions: guide dogs for the blind, huskies in the Iditarod, and Australian sheep dogs herding their charges. Dogs are like politicians. They meet, greet and accept donations.

Don’t get me wrong. I like dogs. We had a black lab named Sparky for many years. She was the family pet, but I was the one who took her for late night walks. When she died, I never wanted another dog.

Now that I’ve entered my last quarter century and am set in my ways, I think I’m too old to get a pet. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

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