by Carola Dunn
As you all know, of course, this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere is known as the Dog Days of Summer. The Ancient Romans--following the Greek idiom, as usual--named the hottest part of the year for the brilliant star, Canis Major, or Sirius, which rose with the sun at that season. Because of the Precession of the Equinoxes (don't ask me what that means; I've never understood it), Sirius no longer rises with the sun in early August, but what the heck...
So, it's the Dog Days. According to a 19th century writer, it's the time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, Quinto raged in anger, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." Quinto? Who's he and where does he come into the story?
But talking of dogs and phrensies, it's the time of year when long, lovely evenings invite us outside. In my case, I join friends on the school field behind my house, just to sit on the grass and talk. Oh, friends and dogs, the latter at times definitely phrensied.
This is Maka. She's feeling a bit phrensied because a pair of dogs she doesn't know very well have arrived on the field. She's seeking safety in my lap.
This is a selection of the hordes. Last night we had 11 dogs out there. I find it safest to sit, so I can't be knocked down when they all decide to chase each other. They just run right over me instead. My Trillian is the magnificent tail left front.
And here's a phrensie of love, a big sloppy kiss from Oli. He's Trill's best friend and comes to stay when his mom and dad go away. He loves my books, too:
And so does Maka:
I've never caught Trillian reading my books, though.