Traditionally, the dog days of summer is a span of 40 days starting in July and ending in August. While this is the hottest part of the summer, it coincides with the morning rise of the Dog Star constellation, Sirius. Depending on where you live, the dog days of summer are associated with hot temperatures, heavy soaking rain, and a change in behavior of animals.
First, it’s important to know Sirius (the Dog Star) is the brightest star in the sky, of course just after the sun. Under the right conditions, the Dog Star can be seen with the naked eye in broad daylight. Sirius is also is in a group of stars that form the constellation Canis Major, meaning “Greater Dog.” Ancient cultures used the Dog Star as an indicator of sweltering heat and the approaching flood season. As tales of Sirius made their way through history, the dog days of summer took on a life of it’s own in folklore of the Appalachians.
The old-timers in mountain regions have a very different take on the dog days of summer. According to them, snakes go blind, the morning dew is poisonous to open wounds, and dogs go mad during the hottest days of summer. Of course, these myths turned out to be false but for our pioneer ancestors it was serious business. Early editions of the The Farmers Almanac provided poetry and vivid descriptions of how farmers viewed the unpredictability of the dog days of summer. As described in the Farmers Almanac of 1817, “Dog Days are approaching; you must, therefore, make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.”
As for dogs, they love the dog days of summer but it can be dangerous too. No, they don’t go mad like the legend says, but they do slow down and become lazy as it gets hotter outside. A dog’s body temperature is slightly higher than ours and if it is too hot for you it is even hotter for your dog. During the dog days of summer, walk your dog in the morning and evening when temperatures are not at their peak. Your dog has a greater risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke than you do.
Are you ready to escape the excruciating heat of the metropolis for the cool breezes of the mountains? We’ve got the perfect escape and your dog is invited too! Book a stay at Blue Moon Rising, just a short drive from the city, and experience the tranquil mountain climate fit for man or beast. Whether you spend time at the lake, in the forest, or curled up on the front porch, the Blue Moon Rising dog days of summer are unforgettable for you and your dog. See for yourself, click here and explore.