This is my favorite time of the year, August, the middle of the dog days of summer. Warm weather, naps, barbecues, more naps, some beach time, even more naps. The dog days are perfect for me, my sister and two brothers.
But when I told one of my neighbors, a very smart and friendly shi-tzu, about loving the dog days because we get to lie around napping because the weather is so hot, she set me straight.
She told me that it has nothing to do with dogs or even hot, lazy summer days, but that it refers to the bright star Sirius, which appeared to rise just before the sun starting in late July and ending in late August. The Greeks and Romans called it the “dog star” and the period “dog days.” Well you could have knocked me down with a feather!
I guess as the years went by people forgot why they called it the “dog days of summer” and started making things up, like that it refers to dogs napping in the summer heat. I guess it’s just human nature. I do it all the time, and I’m a dog.
But I wasn’t going to take a shi-tzu’s word for it, I heard they can be sneaky. Sneaky smart. But she was right, it was right there in Wikipedia (I had mom help me look it up, my paws are too big for the keyboard).
It said right there that the Greeks (and Romans) believed that summer heat was brought on “by the appearance of Sirius,” a star in the constellation that the later Romans and we today refer to as Canis Major, literally the ‘greater dog’ constellation.
Be that as it may, I’m still going to be enjoying the sun and taking my naps, because August really is for the dogs. Why else would they make Aug. 26National Dog Day and Aug. 4 Assistance Dog Day and Aug. 5 Work Like a Dog Day? Wait, strike that last one. No one wants to work like a dog, although my mom keeps saying that she does, but she works a lot harder than me or my siblings so I’m not sure what she means by it.
The great thing about August too is that there are a lot of days celebrating ice cream and we love celebrating ice cream around here! Any flavor, as long as it’s cold and creamy and served in a big bowl.
So there’s Aug. 2, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day; Aug. 6, National Root Beer Float Day; Aug. 14, National Creamsicle Day; Aug. 18, National Ice Cream Pie Day; Aug. 19, National Soft Ice Cream Day; Aug. 21, National Spumoni Day; and Aug. 25, National Banana Split Day.
A lot of reason to celebrate. Just remember to eat the ice cream fast, but not too fast, don’t want to get a brain freeze, before it all melts. These are the hot dog days of summer after all!