My mom called it dog days, when it was too hot to sleep at night. We had no air conditioning and relied on a big metal box fan to keep us cool. I never understood our dog’s part in this, other than we tended to lay around a lot, like a dog. Everyday is dog day in this house, Dwight; as we are here to serve you. The official dog days of summer are July 22 through August 22. Typically, these are sweltering times, when a severe storm is welcome, to drop the temperature for a cool minute as it quenches the earth. The rain sizzles on hot pavement, creating a mystical summer steam. The pace of life slows as our iced drinks sweat, even inside the house.
Summer dogs are lazy; digging to find cool while long, pink tongues drip sweat under shade. You don’t seem too interested in running, Dwight. But you like summer. The wild scents that cling to the humidity cause your nose to lift and twitch, but you sigh and shake your head, as if deciding it’s just not worth the effort to pursue.
I’m not a fan of the heat. I tend to hibernate during the dog days while I dream of sweatshirts, fall leaves and crackling fires. I do like the one thing about July that you detest, Dwight. Fireworks. The spectacle of colors bursting in the sky, cascading through the air and ending with a boom that is felt as well as heard. It’s worth sitting out on a sticky July night to see the patriotic display. The launch sounds like a small cannon, as all eyes look skyward in anticipation of the various colors and shapes that paint the thick summer sky.
Not for you Dwight, as you are not a fan of loud noises. During thunderstorms, you self soothe by curling into a ball and hiding your nose under your back leg, staying there until the storm passes. But fireworks make you bonkers! You pant and pace restlessly through the house, racing to the side door, looking for a way out. There’s no distracting you, even with food. Due to COVID, there were no public displays of fireworks this year. However, a few nights ago, someone in our neighborhood let loose a five minute salute of booms and sizzles that had you in a panic for the rest of the evening.
Deputy Dog Dwight discovered the source of the boom on our walk the next morning. You seemed pleased to find the empty explosive casings. You sniffed the evidence for a few minutes, evidently insuring that the boom was dead.
We are both pleased to see the tail end of July, Dwight. I wish you well during the last few weeks of dog days. May the sun shine warm on your belly and the thunderstorms be swift and few.