We’re in the dog days now, folks.
I mean, we’re in late July, so I can only assume that Sirius, the “dog star”, is now rising before the sun, signaling the beginning of the hottest and – according to the Greeks and Romans and many of us modern day folks too, if for different reasons – potentially catastrophic days.
But I haven’t gotten up early enough to check, so I don’t know. I do know this: it’s been hot. It’s been too hot to go out. It’s been to hot to write. It’s been too hot to do much of anything at all.
And while I’ve been sitting around, doing nothing, I have noticed that no one is having a better summer than…my dog.
So, I tell myself, I’m not doing nothing. I’m actually furthering my education, full-immersion style. I’m not sitting around; I’m making observations of and taking lessons from an expert on how the dog days should be spent, and on some other truths that she always seems to remember better than I do.
Happy summer, everybody. Here is a summary of what we know so far.
Love, Beth and Indy
Get a new short haircut—you’ll feel better (and consider a colorful bandanna—you’ll feel like a badass).
It’s best if you keep your toenails short and your ears clean.
The brick floor is always the coolest place in the house.
Drink lots of water.
It’s good to have a toy that’s only yours.
Go to your room and take a nap in the afternoon.
A nice scratch can feel an awful lot like love.
Sleepover camp is fun.
Going to the doctor can be really scary (but is almost never as bad as you’re expecting).
Take your medicine even when you don’t want to.
Playing with a ball for a little bit can change your whole day.
Wait for it.
There is almost nothing better than a walk with your people.
When you are out in nature, notice everything, most especially the smells.
Trust your instincts.
Explore your yard.
When your people to tell you that it’s time for you to go to bed, go to bed.
A ride in the car can be just the thing (and hang your head out the window every chance you get).
A burger is a great summer treat.
Ice cream is an even better summer treat, and should be enjoyed with a big mess on your face.
If you are lucky enough to have a neighbor with a pool, and a friend who invites you for a swim, always say yes, even if the friend is younger and in better shape and a much better swimmer. And don’t stand around whining on the side of the pool because you are afraid to jump in.
When you get older, it’s harder to get up from a sitting position, and even harder from lying down.
Be a fiercely loyal friend.
Watch children carefully, especially around water.
Protect those you love.
Properly motivated, you can learn all kinds of new tricks.
Some of us are motivated by praise, or attention. Some of us are driven mostly by food.
Keep your distance from those who growl at you.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Let others know when they’re in your space.
Greet your people happily when they come home.
If someone seems sad or stressed, just stay close and let them know you’re there.
Forgive quickly and completely.
Lay your your head humbly on someone who loves you.
And when all else fails, go back to the basics: Sit. Stay. Leave it.