“Every dog has its day”, the old saying goes and these days it seems like every day and every month has its celebration or awareness observation. The month of August has twenty three awareness observations. I was completely unaware of most of these observations, until I began research for this article. Did you know that during August we have awareness observations for National Goat Cheese Month, National Sandwich Month, as well as, Romance Awareness, and Happiness Happens Month? It is amazing what a Google search reveals. “Just Google It”, is also another interesting example of today’s online culture. I use to have to look it up in Funk and Wagnalls or World Book, now I just Google it.
With the world at our fingertips, a plethora of useless trivia and information can be amassed in a very short period of time. It must be why we are so enamored with our hand held devices. My vote is to celebrate Family Fun Month, also in August, by putting down the phone. Here are some of the online suggestions for observing Family Fun Month: order pizza and watch a movie in the backyard, go camping, take a vacation, go out for ice cream, build a backyard fort, take a family bike ride, take a day trip to the zoo, or enjoy a backyard campfire. Are you serious about that last idea? The person responsible for that list obviously is not from the South and has never heard about the dog days of summer. I am thinking sitting under a shade tree on the creek bank, with an ice cold beverage, and my toes in the water might be a better suggestion for family fun. The dogs are welcome to sleep in the shade, or swim in the creek along with the children.
In late summer Sirius (the Dog Star) rises and sets with the Sun. The star is so bright the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat, accounting for the long stretch of sultry weather and even spawning thunderstorms. At 8.6 light years distance from earth, it has very little to do with additional heat, or our weather patterns. According to Google, it is all about the earth’s tilt. The tilt toward the sun causes its rays to hit at a more direct angle, increasing heat. So much for Google, heat from stars, and a tilted earth, I am putting my phone down, reaching for my beverage, and tilting my chair toward the shade tree. It’s my plan to enjoy the observance of dog days.