For my entire life, I thought the phrase “Dog Days of Summer” originated because summer was too hot to do anything except lounge around like a lazy dog.
I conjured up images of dogs sprawled out on front porches, too hot and too lazy to chase a passing cat. I pictured canines sacked out under shade trees and their owners sacked out on hammocks.
But recently, I discovered I was wrong.
The phrase has nothing to do with an average canine and everything to do a major canine. Or shall I say, Canis Major, a constellation known as, the Big Dog. Within Canis Major, there’s a star named Sirius, the Dog Star. It’s 23 times brighter than the sun and the word “Sirius” means scorching.
Wondering why that matters?
Well, ancient people knew how bright Sirius was. They believed during the time of year when Sirius rose alongside the sun, the days grew hotter. They blamed it all on the Dog Star, resulting in the “Dog Days of Summer.”
Oh and FYI, the time period is July 3 to Aug. 11.
So, “Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer,” scorching temperatures possibly not fit for man or beast.
What better time to think about a cool, vacation destination of your choice, unless you’re a dog, then you don’t have a choice. Dogs just go where their owners take them.
The lucky dogs go along on vacation and shirk all responsibility. They don’t have to pack, unpack, do the planning, the driving, the laundry or keep up with the room key. Now, that’s what I call a vacation.
I’m guessing the other canines are dropped off some place where they eat, sleep, run around, and eat and sleep some more. Their caretaker might even pamper them. Then, they’re picked up and chauffeured home. That doesn’t sound so bad, either.
I’m beginning to think these dogs have it made in the shade.
Oh, speaking of shade: Wasn’t it already 100 degrees in the shade last month, before the “Dog Days of Summer” were upon us? I only have two words to say about that: Uh-oh!