Homebodies - The dog days of summer


Rita Friesen
The Neepawa Banner

Yikes! It’s August! The dog days of summer. True meaning: the hottest weeks of summer, from early July to early August. Also the time when Sirius, the Dog Star, rises and sets with the sun.What I have noticed, and this is a bit of a downer, the daylight hours are approximately equal to what we enjoyed in the later part of May.

There are mornings when it is nip and tuck that the sun is up before me – darn little dogs of mine that need to go pee! And the sun is setting before I am ready to see it leave. This past week has indeed proven the validity of the age old quote. These dog days of summer banish all thoughts of a ‘three dog night’, a night so cold one requires three dogs to cuddle up and stay warm.

There are a wide variety of dog quotes, some common and some less frequently used. One I had not thought about –‘why keep a dog and bark yourself?’. Translated, why hire someone to do something, then do it yourself? I equate that to asking a child to perform a task and then re-doing it to meet one’s own expectations. Not that I am calling a child a dog, just the concept.  How about ‘That dog won’t hunt’? Saying, in fact, that the idea will never work, just forget about it. I can relate that to several child rearing concepts as well! Trusting that the dishes will be washed and the floor swept when mom gets home from a day’s work!

Really familiar with, ‘My dogs are barking’. A long day of shopping, walking on concrete floors and my dogs are not only barking, they are howling and yelping. A hike in a forest or along a river bank doesn’t hurt my feet the way a slow, steady walk in a mall or museum does. Totally unfamiliar with ‘Dog my cats!’ Meaning ‘Oh my!’ I can see utilizing that saying a time or two. Modified cuss word, sort of. The resource I utilized (Google!) has ‘A dog’s breakfast’, meaning a mixture of all kinds of things. I am familiar with the term being used to describe a rather inedible meal. Prefer their definition this time, less insulting to the cook. Listed in the quotes are some that need no introduction or interpretation – ‘I’ve got to see a man about a dog’, ‘Raining cats and dogs’, ‘It’s a dog eat dog world’, (not a concept I endorse!), and ‘Gone to the dogs’.

Rounding out the sage sayings are two that I watch every day. As I prepare to leave the house, again, Miss Daisy and Henry Hoover sit there, ‘Sad as a hound’s eye.’ It is a very sad and pitiful look. Almost enough to make me relent and either take them along, or stay home myself. Almost, but not quite. And then when I return, whether I have been gone 10 minutes or 10 hours, there they are, ‘Like a dog with two tails’. So happy that I have returned to care for them, cater to their every need and feed them, that they almost turn themselves inside out with elation.