In case you’ve somehow missed it, they’re here. The infamous dog days of summer. Days that seemingly go on forever with their unforgiving and relentless heat — and depending on where you live, it’s evil twin, humidity.
We’ve all heard the saying the “dog days of summer,” but what exactly do they have to do with canines? As it turns out, not much.
Historians claim the phrase dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who tracked the seasons by following the stars. The star Sirius was known as the “dog star” because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, or large dog. When Sirius would appear in the sky near the end of July, it marked the beginning of the 40 hottest days of the year. The Romans referred to this period as the “days of the dog star,” which eventually got shortened to just “dog days.”
But because of the Earth’s current rotational wobbles, Sirius doesn’t appear in the sky at the same time of year as it did during Roman times. The Farmer’s Almanac lists the modern timing of the dog days of summer as being July 3 through August 11.
So if your favorite four-legged friends seem to be a bit on the lazy side during these next several weeks, don’t beat them, just join them and let sleeping dogs lie!