• Jenny Lynn Keller

Dog Days of Summer


Have you ever heard of the Dog Days of Summer? I sure did growing up. My grandmothers said the words constantly during the summer. And let me tell you, nothing good was associated with them. The words, not my grandmothers. I dearly loved those two ladies but not the Dog Days of Summer. No sir-ree, ma’am. In my grandmothers’ way of thinking, you didn’t start anything during dog days unless you wanted it to fail. So what in tarnation are they?


Thank you for asking. Let’s start with my grandmothers’ answer—because their mothers told them so and they’d lived long enough to know they were telling the truth. Huh, good enough for me as a child years ago. Nowadays I research several sources, and here’s a quick summary. The Dog Days of Summer most likely originated with ancient Romans and referred to the sultry part of the year in the northern hemisphere when Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun, usually July 3 through August 11. The period is marked by laziness and inactivity because of the heat. Yeah, sounds just like a dog to me . . . but not all of them. Several summers ago we couldn’t figure out what critter was stealing the ripe tomatoes off the plants in our garden every night. Several species were likely culprits—woodchucks, deer, skunks, raccoons. Then we caught the guilty rascal in the act, my mother’s collie. Yep, that adorable, well-fed, long-haired canine knew the difference between green and ripe tomatoes and helped himself to a juicy late night snack easily within mouth reach. I guess he thought tomatoes the perfect reward for keeping away the other critters who paid no attention to 2 Timothy 2:6, “The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.” As I watched him chew on a large ripe beauty, my first thought was my grandmothers’ warning about the Dog Days of Summer.


Now it’s your turn to share. What’s growing in your summer garden?

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