The history of the phrase "dog days of summer" — plus some of the cutest summer-loving dogs
Ah, the dog days of summer.
You’ve heard that expression before, right? It’s reserved for the time of year when the days are the longest, the sun shines the brightest and temperatures are the hottest. In other words, now.
Yes, indeed. We’re firmly entrenched in the dog days of summer. But why exactly are July and August so often called that? How did it start?
The expression has been around for a while. A loooong while. Since Ancient Rome, actually, when people began associating the hot weather with Sirius, the dog star. Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (which means large dog), hence the nickname. Back when the term “dogs days” was first coined, Sirius rose in conjunction with the sun. It’s still the most luminous star in our night sky, nearly twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star. Not that it’s contest or anything. But if it were, Sirius would totally win.
There are other theories, too. Some say that the dog days of summer are so named because it’s the time of year when dogs go mad, due to the sultry weather. Apparently, people used to think that panting dogs were crazy. Dangerously crazy. Ouch. That’s a little harsh. I mean, who came up with that? (I’m looking at you, cat people.)
We think the dog days of summer are best explained by, well, actual dogs. They should know, right? So kick back and let these #dogsofinstagram show you what this season is all about. Because according to dogs, the dog days of summer are for climbing trees…
…soaking up the sun…
…and kicking your feet up.
It’s a time for kooky Hawaiian shirts.
Hanging out in the park.
And riding your bike. (Please, no one tell this amazing doggy cyclist he’s doing it wrong. Please.)
The dog days of summer are for road trips with your bestie!
Did someone say road trip? Because this cutie is obviously Disney-bound.
The dog days of summer are about surf…
They’re about days at the lake.
And feeling the wind in your hair.
Because when it’s scorching outside, what’s better than romping in the water?
Or trying to eat it?
The dog days of summer are for playing games.
And binge watching Netflix.
Even dogs can’t resist the charms of a summer romance. Awwwwwwww.
But most of all, the dog days of summer are about embracing life and living in the moment. Because that’s what dog’s do best.
All images via here.