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The Dog Days of Summer

You always hear about the Dog Days of Summer but do you know where the saying comes from?  Certainly, if you own a dog it could be assumed that it has something to do with your pooch.  But it really doesn’t.

Webster defines Dog Days of Summer as:
1 – the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere.  OR
2 – a period of stagnation or inactivity.

In reality, the Dog Days of Summer orignates back to ancient times when people would gaze upon the night time stars.  Today most everyone has heard of Sirius and if asked, many would say that Sirius is a satellite radio company.  They would be right, but Sirius is also the brightest star in the constellation, Canis Major.  (Canis Major is also known as “The Big Dog”)

During the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the sun and our ancestors believed that heat from the star Sirius added heat to the sun and therefore increased the heat during a period of time during the summer months.  (Do you suppose Al Gore knows that there was “Global Warming” due to the star Sirius?)  Obviously this is not the case, but the rumor stuck and today we celebrate the Dog Days of Summer from the days July 3rd through August 11th.

So if it’s any consolation (or is that constellation?) we only have a few Dog Days of Summer left.

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