7/09/2009

Dog Days of Summer



The phrase "Dog Days of Summer" actually refers to the time of year when the astrological constellation Sirius shows up in the Northern Hemisphere (and does not mean it's when it's too hot outside for dogs to do anything other than lay around and pant, as one friend assured me.) Summer is not only a time to observe this constellation in the sky, but to spend more quality time bonding with one's pets.
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Ever wonder what your dogs do while you are at work all day ? Since I have summers off, I 've gotten the unique chance to find out for myself. If I sit really still ( easy to do while blogging, watching tv, sorting laundry or reading) the dogs around my home eventually forget I am here, and revert to their normal every day behaviors.

Mostly, they lay around a lot. It's clear from their behaviors that Phoebe ( the poodle) and Ralph (the boxer) don't really have any serious complaints about their lives. Meals are regular; the air conditioning drones on, sheltering them from the 100+ degree heat outside. The monotony of their lives are broken up by periodic trips through the doggie door into the back yard, to make their existential yowlps at the universe or a passing cat on the back fence. Once in awhile, a car passes by the front of the house, on the street outside, and then they both race to the front door to show me how well they are taking care of things, and keeping us all safe by barking and attacking the curtains. That 'll show 'em ! This routine has scared the UPS man, who now routinely just tosses packages onto the lawn and drives off. Many people have told me they think Ralph is a pit bull. Rest assured, he is not.

Sure, their lolling about has pretty much trashed the sofas in the den. The kids spilling juice and gunk all over them doesn't help, either. I figure I'll replace them when the human children go off to college. At that point I'll have to figure out some way to deter the canine offspring from getting on the new ones. (Previous efforts with electronic "scat" mats, electronic fences, baby gates, etc, have not worked. They only work if other members of the family cooperate and use them.....)


Sometimes, when boredom sets in, the pets are a source of entertainment. Evenings are often spent trying to watch tv while the dogs decide to race excitedly in circles, barking and tossing toys in the air. Surprisingly, Phoebe seems to exert some sort of control over Ralph, in spite of their size differential. She keeps him in line, makes him do what she wants, by nipping his ears. Here, hubster "sings" ( by howling) with the dogs, who love this so much, they woo-woo along with him.



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