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The Dog Days of Summer

The Way I See it

July 15, 2018
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

As avid readers know, not only is this column cute, relevant, thought-provoking and down right humorous, it is also highly educational as well. Faithful readers rank in the top 75th percentile in intelligence, good looks and great personalities. The other day several dogs growled at me wondering as to why we humans call this hot humid time of the year, "the dog days." To say they were upset is putting it mildly but I explained it was in no way a dissing of dogs. After all, I explained, they are man's best friend. Their anger subsided and I then explained it all to them.

The "dog days" of summer, I told them, are actually based on the world of astronomy and The Farmer's Almanac lists the annual dates as forty days beginning July 3 and ending August 11. More dogs were gathering now and really wagging their tails in keen interest. I told them these dates actually coincide with the "heliacal" rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, high up in the sky. They were amazed that they really had a huge and important star named after them. One dog, named Spot, even wished his name could be changed to "Sirius." I had no idea whether that could be done or not.

I continued to tell these dogs that the rising of Sirius really has no effect on the weather but for the ancient Egyptians, Sirius appeared at this time and just before the Nile River's flooding, so they used the star Sirius as kind of a watch-dog for that event. At this all the dogs howled and barked with excitement. And I simply closed our little educational time by explaining that this also came when we here in Iowa have some of our most extreme heat and humidity, thus the connection with hot, sultry weather was linked with them for all time.

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John Sheda

They wagged their tails with wild abandon, which I assumed in dog language was their way of giving me a huge round of applause and standing ovation. I could be wrong on this point, but I really doubt it. To make our little session complete we talked about just how hot it really was.... "It's so hot....

I saw a chicken lay a hard boiled egg.

I saw a funeral procession pull thru a Dairy Queen.

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Read More: Farmer's Almanac:

I saw two trees fighting over a dog. (The dogs really loved this one).

I saw a cop chasing a thief and they were both walking.

I saw a fire hydrant chasing a dog. (Again they hooted and howled over this one).

I saw a bird pulling a worm from the ground and he was using a pot holder.

I saw cows giving evaporated milk.

I saw a guy's car get overheated and he hadn't even started it yet.

Well, about this time the dogs noticed a mailman delivering his mail and they quickly decided to harass him so our little educational class was officially over. They wagged their tails and barked as they left, (their way of saying thanks) and I continued on with my day.

Let me know what you think at or call me at 319.327.4640. Woof, Woof.



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