2006/08/05

Dog Days of Summer

The anciet Egyptians believed that the "dog star" Sirius which rises next to the Sun during the hotest days of summer was the cause of the additional heat at that time of year. It was a celebrated event as it meant that the time had come when the river Nile would flood, replenishing the fertile soils of Egypt. This is the origin of the term "dog days of summer". Sirius is acutally the Greek name. The Egyptians called the star Sihor. Sihor was the name of a dog-headed diety that was also known as Anabus. So you see, we dogs have long been rather important in human history.

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).

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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.

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For a good night's rest, there's no place like home.

How do spend your dog days?

- Momo The Wonder Dog

11 comments:

NZM said...

Momo is gorgeous - she certainly knew which house to choose to live in!

I used to look after a Tibetan Terrier called Basil. He belonged to friends who lived very busy lives, so Basil was my dog more then theirs for a while. He was my soul-dog! Out of all the things that I miss, I miss him, because I just wasn't able to explain to him where I was going and that I wasn't going to be around anymore.

Momo the Wonder Dog said...

Thanks NZM! Yeah, I looked around a long time before choosing this home.

We dogs and people have a special relationship that goes back thousands of years. I'm sure Basil was sad to see you go.

I trace my roots back through China to Tibet as well.

Robin Robin's Empire has lots of doggies from Tibet living with him in Singapore.

nzm said...

Hey Momo

Thanks for the link to Robin's blog. Your friend Bodhi look a lot like Basil!

Seymour said...

Wasn't there some South American tribe which knew of Sirius' companion Star? I tend to think in terms of "In Search Of" when discussing astronomy. Sad really.

agus said...

Hello Momo! You're so adorable! Such natural pose.

I suppose the meter reader lady hasn't learned your name yet. Or maybe she is not that fond of dogs.

It's always nice to know what you're up to once in a while. Pandabonium is cool to let you play around with his computer.

Woof! (Just one ping; I like that)

PinkPanther said...

Momo, you are a very smart doggy. You barked selectively, loudly and staved off that Meter Maid and that guy? Thus, Pandabonium doesn’t need to pay electricity bill and kerosene charges. ;^)

Momo the Wonder Dog said...
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Momo the Wonder Dog said...

Hey NZM, you're welcome. Robin has lots of good stuff, but of course I like the pics of his doggies.


seymour - Thanks for visiting. I didn't know about that tribe. Cool. I'll have to look into it. Not sad to reference "In Search Of", after all wisdom and knowledge are where you find them. If you're watching something called "In Search Of" it means you are looking.

Thanks Agus. I'm hard to catch with the camera. As for "one ping", well, just as in the movie, two is the wrong answer and more than that could get me in big trouble, so just one woof. Of course, if I am told to knock if off, I do.

PP - It's partly breeding, partly training. Oh, I'd be rewarded in a big way if I could actually keep the bills away. But I make them work for every yen! wag wag wag .

Happysurfer said...

Oh Momo, you do lead an interesting life. Thanks for sharing your exploits. Say, that's a nice picture of you with your white fluffy cotton-like fur. Stay cool.

Robin said...

good dog momo

good dog momo

how many times do u bath in a week to keep your fur so clean?

Hmm, bodhi hate bathing.

Momo the Wonder Dog said...

Happy- thank you.

Robin - I'm OK about getting bathed. I like it best when K bathes me and Panda dries me off. Just like the way they each do it. I usually get a shower every two weeks, weather permitting, and these days about once every week or ten days. It needs to be a sunny day so I can dry off thoroughly.