June 4, 2010

Dog Days

We had a discussion at our house this morning about summer. Given the steady downpour of rain greeting us this morning, we wondered when summer actually begins and when it’s actually over.

“Well,” I said, “It sure hasn’t begun yet!”

“The official start date is June 21,” Gretchen informed me.

“So there’s time for things to clear up?” I asked.

“The dog days of summer will be here soon enough,” was her reply.

Curious about the dog days, I got on the computer while she was in the shower (don’t tell…I’m only supposed be on the computer under adult supervision, but I was doing research so I didn’t think anyone would mind) and found out some important information.

The Greeks and Romans believed that the really hot weather of late July and August was the responsibility of Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (or Bid Dog constellation according to Ptolemy). In fact, Sirius is actually the second brightest star in our galaxy — the sun being the brightest. When the hot weather hit in Greece and Rome, they blamed the dog star and in hopes of tempering the summer heat, the Romans even sacrificed a brown dog to appease Sirius. (Yikes!)

They said that if Sirius got vengeful, he’d make the seas boil, wine sour, and all creatures (humans and such) crazy with fever.

I could use a bit of feverish craziness these days. This rain is kind of a bummer, but according to some information I learned about summer in the Pacific Northwest, I need to hold out until July 5. Apparently that’s when our weather starts to dip toward those feverish zones.

I can hardly wait.

But meanwhile, we have work to do. Monty was top on our list today and since we didn’t have to go to school today, we picked him up early for a walk in what we thought would be rain, but it wasn’t. “I don’t mind the rain,” Monty told me. “It makes my hair even curlier!”

“I know what you mean, Monty,” was my response.

Gretchen left us at home while she walked Rosie and Tyson, an addition to today’s schedule. “I don’t mind the rain,” explained Tyson, “but I could do without raincoats!

“And the squirrels and swallows,” added Rosie, “don’t come out so I can chase them!”

“Nor the cats,” said Tyson.

Two dogs after my own heart!

But they chased after tennis balls …or at least Tyson did. Rosie chased after treats!

Gemma doesn’t care at all about rain or raincoats. She still hunts the squirrels and cats and anything else that moves while Oshi and Perrito would much rather be inside on days like this. “We’re kind of like mops,” said Oshi to Gemma.

“Can I chase a mop?” asked Gemma.

“You can chase me!” offered Perrito.

“Well run already!” prompted Gemma.

Oshi isn’t about running or chasing. Oshi is about longingly look toward home and then waiting (im)patiently to head back that way!

The grass grows really fast when it rains and Monty and I found that out today as we played fetch in the wet, tall grass. It didn’t stop us from having a good time, though!

Saber is a walrus, at least that’s his nickname when he’s with us. He thinks the rain is fun and most of the time doesn’t even pay attention to it. In fact, he likes to find a puddle and lie down in it. “Dog days of summer?” he asks, “Isn’t this the dog days?”

Busy Friday, but I got to rest after all the activity as Gretchen is off to the hydrotherapy pool for work and my other mom is working. I think I’ll just finish up this blog and take a nice, warm nap and dream of those dog days that everyone promises are coming!

And in the end…it didn’t rain on us one single drop. Maybe the dog days are just around the corner!

Have a good weekend,

Rubin

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