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Literary Ramblings and Thoughts, Other Musings, Why Not?

The Dog Days

Okay, I’m hurting here for some inspiration and something, anything to write about.  I see some of you just swimming along, putting forth blogs of wisdom, mirth (yes, I said mirth), stories about back to school, about the trash that’s gracing our television screens (and btw, they were hysterical) and inspired poetry.  They’re wonderful!  I laugh and they tug at my heartstrings or it reveals something about you.

Here I am. Just floating, not going anywhere. It’s hot.

Me, I’m the little kid that’s been made to stay in the shallow end of the pool.

I’m watching everyone else splashing and having fun in the deep end.  Or I’m the kid in the deep end, just learning how to swim and dog-peddling rapidly, not getting anywhere.  Or the kid that their parents threw in the deep end with floaties on her arms and they’re yelling, “Swim, swim.”  And I don’t, I just stay there, floating, sweating in the sun.

Enough with the swim analogies, but I figured it’s summer, hot and it was apropos.

So I looked up where the expression “dog days” came from and what it means.  Whatever.  Read on, it’s all I got.

Why a Dog Does Nada When It Gets Hot

My intensive research is solely from the internet so you know, it must be true.  Wikipedia says that the term originated from the Latin term, diēs caniculārēs and it’s mostly associated with hot weather and Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky (and also satellite radio) and way back in 1813 it was “believed to be an evil time…the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.”

Seriously, don’t mess with me. It’s hot.

That does kind of describe how I feel sometimes when it’s gets hot — languid and hysterical at times.  And I get the phrensies too (looked it up, it means “irrational excitement.”)  Yep.  When I’m not languishing, I’m getting irrationally excited.

But the Wise Greek said the Greeks had it all wrong — that Sirius wasn’t the brightest star and maybe the expression came from when it gets hot, dogs lie really close to the ground, panting and all that, not doing much of anything.  And, the expression also stuck in the 19th Century when it was determined that dogs contracted rabies (more than any other time of year) during the sultry days.

Look at that.  Nearly four-hundred words and hopefully, you know more about dog days, constellations and rabies than you knew before.

I’m Not Complaining But…

In front of my fan. it’s hot.

I remember watching an episode of CBS Sunday Morning where the Fast Draw Guys (you know the guys that draw stories on whiteboards) and it was about the temps humans are the most comfortable with.  I couldn’t find it on YouTube, but if I remember correctly, those temps are between 65 and 75, 78 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, if it rises above that, we begin to get uncomfortable, sluggish and hot.  Below that and we’re complaining about the cold.  I don’t know where you are, but it’s hot and humid where I am.

So, I’m kind of like that dog, lying close to the ground.

Uninspired, sluggish and ready to snap at someone who may say the wrong thing to me.

I’m off to shake off the dog days.  I’ve just finished a few work things so I’m going to do the things I’ve been wanting to do.  Paint a room, work on a desk my hubby’s building for me and organize my office.

That is, if it’s not too hot.

Enjoy Florence and the Machine below — she’s singing about those dog days being over.  And they will be soon!  Then we’ll start complaining about the cold.

Did I say it was hot?

Photo creds:  Dog with fan, Fan blowing on dog

About Brigitte



67 thoughts on “The Dog Days

  1. I haven’t been writing posts because I’m actually down in Hilton Head, South Carolina, trying to shake off Vegas. It’s steamy, rainforest hot down here, moss hanging from trees, glasses fog up when you walk outside… These are real dog days. Everyone moves in slow motion. Of course, I love it.
    You’re so right about the fact that we’ll all be complaining about the cold soon enough. Great that you added that little bit of perspective.
    Have a beautiful day, Brigitte!

    Posted by A Gripping Life | August 9, 2012, 9:36 am
    • Lisa, I’ve been to Hilton Head. It’s gorgeous there and I lived near Charleston for a time so I know that heat you’re talking about. It is oppressive at times — will wear you out. But still, better than Vegas, huh? Sweat all that Vegas out, enjoy and stay cool. Thanks for taking the time to stop by while on vacay and you have a beautiful day as well, my friend.

      Posted by Brigitte | August 9, 2012, 11:11 am
  2. It’s hot here too. I feel your pain love. We must plan a party bus to Mexico or something. We will find shenanigans and phone spouse’s for bail money. It will be epic.

    Or we could sit on our patios and pretend we did that and write about it.


    Posted by reptilesintheicecream | August 9, 2012, 10:29 am
  3. You dear Brigitte are relegated to the shallow end. You are just treading water waiting to catch your next big wave. This post was very apropos(had to check my spelling on this one) for the hot steamy languid summer we are having.
    Either way your presence online is like a cool splash of fresh crystal water on my face…

    Posted by unfetteredbs | August 9, 2012, 10:32 am
    • Audra, thank you and I read your other comment. This one scared me at first since I took it to mean that I was one of those annoying kids in the shallow end that someone WANTS to splash cold water on and scream, STOP YOUR WHINING. I’m relieved that you think otherwise. (just kidding, I know what you meant) and thank you dear one, I love being a cool splash of fresh crystal water. You managed to bring beautiful poetry/imagery to my whiny dog day post. Thank you. 😀

      Posted by Brigitte | August 9, 2012, 10:55 am
  4. oops that should read NOT relegated

    Posted by unfetteredbs | August 9, 2012, 10:32 am
  5. Dear B,
    Awesome song!!!
    And girl, you have been putting out PURE GOLD lately.
    Just let it come.
    Cuz when it DOES come, I treasure every word you say.
    I love your swimming analogy. It’s ok to float.
    Or, in the great words of Dory from Finding Nemo,
    Just keep swimming….just keep swimming…
    Your adoring fan,

    Posted by Carr Party of Five | August 9, 2012, 10:51 am
    • Dear Lis, shucks girl, flattery will get you everywhere and thank you! :). You are such a sweet person and I’m your fan as well. Great minds think alike and all that. I’m heading over to your post — that George Clooney pic was nice. ;). He seriously has some white teeth, doesn’t he? xxoo

      Posted by Brigitte | August 9, 2012, 10:59 am
  6. I hope you get over your writer’s block soon Brigitte 🙂

    Posted by Sword-chinned bitch | August 9, 2012, 11:02 am
  7. pretty darn good for having nothing to say
    I do not complain about the cold because I complain about the heat – figure I have to put my money where my mouth is or whatever the heck that saying is

    Posted by on thehomefrontandbeyond | August 9, 2012, 11:05 am
    • Thanks, Lou Ann. Glad you took the time to read. I know what you mean and I think that’s the saying…and yeah, I try not to complain about the cold. You can wrap up in lots of layers but sometimes you just can’t take enough clothes off. :).

      Posted by Brigitte | August 9, 2012, 11:08 am
      • I don’t want to scare people – it is just this year that I decided that exposing my arms is okay (something that did not bother me when I was younger) and who cares if my legs are ghostly white?

        Posted by on thehomefrontandbeyond | August 9, 2012, 11:10 am
      • Exactly, who cares? I don’t lie in the sun and sweat and if I do go to the beach I’m under an umbrella. There was a time when it was GOOD to be ghostly white. I want those times. Stay cool. :).

        Posted by Brigitte | August 9, 2012, 11:13 am
  8. I can’t wait for fall. Summer is my least favorite season, and the humidity here has just been brutal.

    I’m with Audra–you are not relegated to the shallow end of the pool. You’re just summernating! I just made up that word–if hibernating is sleeping through the winter, then summernating is like the summer version of it. It’s hot and humid, it makes everyone cranky and tired, everyone is in “summer brain” mode. So it’s best to lay low until the cooler weather comes in.

    Posted by Madame Weebles | August 9, 2012, 11:51 am
  9. Ah, Brigitte, you’ve articulated beautifully exactly how I’ve been feeling! I’ve got lots of pictures to show it – at a thousand words a pop, no less! – you’ve done it exquisitely with many fewer words. You go, girl! xoxoM

    Posted by Margarita | August 9, 2012, 12:16 pm
  10. You and ME TOO lady! The days are running together in a pool of sweat. Yesterday ran into today in a good way though! Most excellent post!! 🙂

    Posted by Honie Briggs | August 9, 2012, 12:16 pm
  11. I think we all feel like “the little kid that’s been made to stay in the shallow end of the pool” at some time or other. And sometimes, most times. But although you might feel like you’re spending time in the shallow end, your posts are always a big splash. In a good way. 🙂

    Posted by Carrie Rubin | August 9, 2012, 12:27 pm
  12. I’ve always liked the term “dog days.” There’s something evocative in those words, the same way there is in “Indian Summer.”I think I first encountered this term in the book “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

    High heat & high humidity get to me. The high heat by itself I can take in small doses, but humidity ruins me. Where I live it rarely gets above 80 in the summer (although two or three years ago it got to 108 here–we were hotter than Mississippi that day!), and our nights can be chilly. At least you have four seasons. We have two: not quite summer and not quite winter.

    Posted by Smaktakula | August 9, 2012, 1:09 pm
    • Yeah, me too. Indian Summer — forgot about that one. I made hubby read “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He HADN’T read it. Or Catcher in the Rye, which he didn’t like cause he said the guy was whiny. Anyway.

      And I hate humid. Been there done that for long periods of time, but I shouldn’t whine…down south they’ve got triple digits. shudder.

      Where you are sounds perfect, but I do love the seasons.

      I heard San Fran was like that as well. Met a couple once who opened up a wine bar in Asheville and they left SF because they said they got sick of it never getting too hot or too cold. Humans, we’re never quite satisfied, huh? Thanks, Smak.

      Posted by Brigitte | August 9, 2012, 1:14 pm
      • Where you are sounds perfect
        Well, we are the happiest people in America! http://prometheantimes.com/2012/07/06/beat-the-heat-with-schadenfreude/

        I loved “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but I’m with your husband on “Catcher.” Holden Caulfield is a neurotic little bee-yotch.

        we’re never quite satisfied, huh?
        I think that’s the nature of the human condition. In my life, every time I’ve gotten a pay raise, for the first week or two I feel rich, but a week after that it’s just normal.

        Posted by Smaktakula | August 9, 2012, 3:03 pm
      • Yes, I read that about you when I’ve first discovered you, you lucky guy you. Aren’t you just so special? 🙂 He was the same; once he got into TK a Mockingbird, he liked it too. But he’d read some of Catcher and he’d stop me and go, “Is this guy ever going to stop whining? Poor rich little guy…wah, wah.” You’re exactly right though. It’s that whole goal thing; you reach one and you want another one and another and another….

        Thanks, Smak.

        Posted by Brigitte | August 9, 2012, 5:22 pm
  13. Wow. Dog days and swimming analogies—I can relate to all of that, here in Hotlanta.
    Me? I’m just treading water, and I’m about to go off the deep end.

    Posted by Robin Jean Marie | August 9, 2012, 2:23 pm
  14. Definitely hot and humid dog days in Maryland this summer. 90s again today for the millionth day this summer. No surprise it was the 3rd hottest July on record here.

    I’m dragging, I feel like my posts are dragging, and my novel writing is absolutely dragging. Count me in the group ready for fall to begin!

    Posted by jmmcdowell | August 9, 2012, 2:56 pm
  15. Yeah, you are totally not a shallow end kind of girl. No way. Love the song!

    Posted by Fish Out of Water | August 9, 2012, 2:57 pm
  16. haha love it! It’s been hot here too but our summer is too short and you won’t catch me complaining – I don’t want to jinx anything! 🙂

    Posted by dianasschwenk | August 9, 2012, 7:08 pm
  17. Love that last picture. It makes me jealous of that dog and his floppy ears. Well, maybe I don’t want floppy ears, or to have bad breath like a dog…but you got to admit, those ears just make you smile, especially that wind-blown look. It has been hot this summer, and my dog has laid around a lot…of course, in the winter, she lays around a lot too, so I guess all year are dog days to her. But seriously, I feel like you with the blogging this summer too–swimming in shallow water. I’m become very lazy in blog posting. I just want to concentrate on my book and forget about everything else.

    Posted by char | August 9, 2012, 7:40 pm
    • Hi Char, he’s cute, huh? I think this summer blogging “eh” is going around. I know what you mean about the book thing though. I’ve been avoiding that lately. Excuses, excuses. :). Thanks, Char.

      Posted by Brigitte | August 9, 2012, 7:53 pm
  18. Evidently you did not really see what I tossed up today.. someone else’s poem and someone else’s art work yo buy..lol..I have brain drain and am going to really try to come up with something intelligent, witty and memorable.. just not sure when..
    BTW– this is a great post!!

    Posted by free penny press | August 9, 2012, 8:28 pm
    • Lynne, I did and it was great! That’s what we all want intelligent, witty and memorable — I try for that all the time, sometimes it happens and sometimes not so much. But I’m so glad you enjoyed and thanks for commenting — it’s so appreciated.

      Posted by Brigitte | August 10, 2012, 7:56 am
  19. Hello Brigitte!
    It could also be a crocodile day, because they do exactly the same thing : lie around with their mouth (?) open to ventilate their insides. Very often, here in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, I remember seeing them like that or a dog panting just like you describe and wish I could actually ventilate myself in the same way so I wouldn’t feel so warm, so sweaty and yes, grumpy! 😉
    Cooling off in the water on the beach is my best answer for now! I’m off that way, right now! 😉

    Posted by Les Petits Pas de Juls | August 10, 2012, 11:28 am
    • Hi Jul — so nice to see you here! Now that sounds like a wonderful way to embrace the dog days — cooling off in the clear, turquoise water in Mexico. I’ve seen pics of your part of the world and they look gorgeous — a place I want to visit. Thanks so much and be well, friend. Cheers!

      Posted by Brigitte | August 10, 2012, 11:39 am
  20. freezing cold and blowing a gale in my part of the world. love this song by florence; one of my favourites 🙂

    Posted by sarafoley | August 11, 2012, 6:54 am
  21. Just love your post and last pic with the cute dog is my special fav! actually I prefer the heat (not too much though) than the bitter cold!

    Posted by adiaryofanewife | August 11, 2012, 11:23 am
  22. You’re not trapped in the shallow end, you’re doing laps. You’ll be back in the deep end soon enough. For now, you’ve earned a bit of paddling with us kiddies and our pool noodles.

    Posted by Kathy V. | August 13, 2012, 8:49 pm
  23. How can anyone in the phrensies (love that word-thanks) be stuck? You’ve got mad dogs and oscillating fans in your blog. What could be better than that…(well, maybe a chocolate fountain)…but mad dogs? You’re just a step away from clever cat stories.

    Posted by lutheranladies | August 14, 2012, 12:30 am

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