Dog Days of Summer

When I was a little boy, my mother always cautioned me about the Dog Days of Summer. She would warn me that if I cut myself, which I invariably did with my trusty Barlow knife, that the wound would not heal until after that period ended. And, as usual, Mom was right. I had always thought that the term ” Dog Days of Summer” referred to the fact that it was so hot down here that even the dogs couldn’t stand it and tended to go crazy.


I now know that is not the case. I believe that the Romans coined the phrase, and it refers to that time when Sirius, the Dog Star,rose just before or at the same time as the sun. The Romans believed it to be an evil time when” the sea boiled,wine turned sour,dogs grew mad,and all other creatures became languid”. Well, the Romans had at least some of that correct.


I have also read various dates which encompass the Dog Days, and those dates have changed over the years. My best estimate would be to peg the Dog Days of Summer as somewhere from mid July through mid August. What really got me to pondering on this subject was watching our weather forecast for the first three days of this week. Our local weatherman said that Monday of this week was going to be “hot”, Tuesday was going to be “oppressive”, and that Wednesday was going to be “hideous”. Now I have been watching the weather for as long as I can remember, but this is the first classification of “hideous” that I can recall.


My best description of this time of the year is that it is too hot to fish any more, and it’s still a little too early to begin getting excited about hunting season; so I think that I will just become languid like the Romans of old and the Riverview employees of today. However, I really can’t blame anyone for moving slower and taking more breaks in this heat and humidity!