Fun Fact Friday – What are the Dog Days of Summer?

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Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

As the Dog Days of summer are quickly approaching, how many of us can honestly say they know what the saying means or where it came from?

Many believe it refers to the hottest days of summer, usually July and August, where the weather “isn’t fit for a dog” or that the weather is so hot that it drives the dog “mad.” For many of us, especially those of us residing in Arizona, both ideas don’t seem too far-fetched, but surprisingly the phrase originally had nothing to do with your four-legged friend and everything to do with astronomy.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the sun and the brightest star visible from anywhere on earth, Sirus, occupy the same area of the sky – rising and setting together. Sirus, sometimes called the Dog Star, is a part of the constellation named Canis Major or the Greater Dog.

Since the star shines so brightly next to the sun, ancient Romans believed that the star gave off heat and added to the sun’s intensity resulting in a longer stretch of hot summer days. For this reason, they would refer to this stretch of days as the “dog days.”

Through the evolution of mythology and folklore, the dog days saying was further elevated by the fact that dogs suffer more from intense heat than humans, which makes them at a greater risk of going mad.

As we continue to practice social distancing and working safely from home, I think we can all agree that this year’s Dog Days of Summer might have a different meaning or even started a little bit earlier. Abbie shared with the team that Hildy has adjusted to the comfort of her being home that she no longer feels the need to bark when a visitor approaches the door, bringing a whole new meaning to going mad this summer.

Autumn Jarrett
Autumn Jarrett
Originally from Illinois, Autumn currently resides in Tempe. In her spare time, you will find her taking weekend trips with her friends, shopping or binge watching her favorite shows. Check out Autumn's complete bio here.

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