July 16, 2020 – Dog Days and Dog Rides

According to Farmers’ Almanac (where else?) The “Dog Days” of summer” refers to that period of Summer from July 3 to August 11. I’ve always assumed it had something to do with the oppressive heat that usually comes during this period. For example, right now in Laurel, we are experiencing a heatwave of more than 20 days over 90 degrees. And, because of the heat, it seems the best thing to do is simply lie around, like the dog, on the cool floor. Not a bad idea, eh?

Turns out there is an astronomical explanation for the “Dog Days.” Here’s how Farmers’ Almanac describes it:

The phrase is actually a reference to the fact that, during this time, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. This is why Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star.

In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. On July 23rd, specifically, it is in conjunction with the Sun, and because the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the Sun’s warmth, accounting for the long stretch of sultry weather. They referred to this time as diēs caniculārēs, or “dog days.”

Thus, the term Dog Days of Summer came to mean the 20 days before and 20 days after this alignment of Sirius with the Sun—July 3 to Aug. 11.

Farmers’ Almanac, Why Are They Called the “Dog Days” of Summer?

That is all very interesting and good to know, but it is completely meaningless to our remaining dog, Dolly. (You’ll remember had to let Madison make her journey to the Rainbow Bridge about a month ago.) Dolly has this idea that “Dog Days” means “Dog Rides.”

My view of Dolly while on a ride.

Every time I take her outside to do her doodies (or “duties,” if you will), she finds a way to guide me to my car. She stands by the driver’s side rear door looking up at me until I either give in and take her for a ride or I become the Big Bad Doggy Daddy and slowly, but gently, drag her back into the house.

Those eyes! See what I mean??? I’m helpless!

Standing by the door of the car she looks up at me and kills me with those sweet, dark eyes. More often than I’d like, I give in and we go for a brief ride. Really, it doesn’t have to be long. I can drive around the block and she still feels like she has been around the world. Farmers’ Almanac, at the end of its article on the “Dog Days” of Summer asks this question: “So what does it mean to you?” For Dolly it means rides. For me, it means I’m driving Ms. Dolly.

P.S. I was going to use a photo of me with my head hanging out the window while driving down the street but that seemed neither wise nor terribly attractive.


chickenman – episode 81

Chickenman continues his flight across the Atlantic, Ms. Helfinger is back in the office, and the Commissioner needs to Wonderful Weekend Warrior. But how is Ms. Helfinger to reach him mid-flight?


Stay safe, be well, keep calm, keep washing your hands, keep wearing your mask, and keep striving for justice, peace, and health for all.

Tom

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