The Dawg Daze of Summer

by Freida Dixon

The “dawg daze” of summer are barking at my door. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional period of Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3rd and ending August 11. This annual event coincides with the rising of the constellation, Sirius the Dog, in the summer sky. These are the days when the hot weather takes a toll on my energy and lethargy sets in.  My usually productive persona wants to put the brain in neutral and my body says it’s time to take a vacation.

While scrolling online through several news sites, I discovered that dogs don’t deserve such a bad rap.  They are not lazy and lethargic during the hot summer months after all. Our canine friends are much busier and productive than I am during the hot and muggy weather. One story from MSN written by Matt Cantor (Newser Staff) tells about a dog that found a baby in a plastic bag in a trash dump in Thailand. The dog, named Pui, carried the plastic bag in its mouth to its owner and barked until the owner came to find the infant girl. The baby is recovering in the hospital and the amazing dog earned a medal, a new dog collar, and a monetary award.

It seems that dogs are posing as models and entering beauty contests as well. All sorts of canines are modeling Doggles–the latest doggy fashion for the summer. This protective eyewear for dogs is a crossover between swim goggles and a pair of Foster Grants. This fashion statement not only looks good on your pup, but helps keep their peepers safe during all sorts of summer activities. It’s possible that canine attendees wore Doggles at their own red-carpet event—the annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest held in California on June 25th. The ugliest winner took home prize money and received celebrity treatment on national TV early morning shows.

A friend of mine has trained his dog to be a therapy dog through an organization called Happy Tails. Joe and his busy dog, Onyx, visit nursing homes and hospitals to bring cheer to the elderly and children who are recuperating from serious illnesses.

I am put to shame by the activities of my furry friends.  Today I will put on my sunglasses, send a card to a friend in a nursing home, call someone on my prayer list, and look for other meaningful ways to help someone in need. Even though the dog days are here, I will not use them as an excuse to sit around and do nothing.  Maybe you can teach “this old dog new tricks” after all.

Frieda Dixon is an author, blogger, speaker, and member of Word Weavers Woodstock. You can find her on Two Late Bloomers.blogspot.com and at Facebook.

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