Anyway, for me, the dog days of summer mean earlier and later walks (when it's cooler), more frequent showers, a shorter hair cut, and finding a shady spot to rest in. Today's temperature got up to 33 C (91 F).
Happiness can be as simple as a shaddy spot on a summer's day.
These days, Pandabonium gets up around 6 am and takes his walk. If he isn't up by 6:30, I bark once ("Just one ping, Vassily, " as Captain Marko Ramius said in Hunt for Red October) and repeat it every 15 minutes until he gets up. When he gets back from his walk, it is time for mine, followed by breakfast. I hang around my house until early afternoon when I start losing the shade of the awning over my house and Pandabonium moves me into the shade by his house where I can lay under or on a wooden bench. Often, he closes the front gate and lets me off the tether to roam around the yard. I like the feel of dirt sometimes instead of concrete or wood, and that's when I seek out a shady spot under a bush where I can nap.
Even in this heat, I have my duties to perform. I bark at most anyone walking by and of course any stranger who enters the yard. There are exceptions, such as Goma-dog's master who talks to me and gives me treats sometimes, and the lady that works the field across the street who also talks to me and calls me by name.
Then there's the mail carrier lady who arrives on her motorcycle. I don't bark at her. Once a week, a young man from the Co-op delivers some food. He's really nice, so I greet him with a wagging tail and he always stops to pet me. Once a month the meter maid from the electric company comes on her motorcycle to read the meter and leave the bill. I bark at her the whole time she is here and scare her as best I can. She keeps her distance from me. Also once a month a guy comes from Kurakawa's store down the street with a small truck and refills the water heater kerosene tank and checks the kitchen propane tanks. I bark when he comes, but then let him go about his business. School kids go by everyday. I used to bark at them, but some of them learned my name and now say hello, so I stopped.
That's what Shih Tzu have been bred to do. We tell friend from foe and sound the alert. We leave it to our master (or his bigger dogs if there are any) to actually deal with the threats we alert them to.
In late afternoon, I get another walk and then dinner. When the sun is getting low, I move back to my house to snooze.
For a good night's rest, there's no place like home.
How do spend your dog days?
- Momo The Wonder Dog