Wordy Wednesday ~ Dog Days of Summer

Stars

It may be “Wordless Wednesday” around Blogville, but here at the Ranch where we tend to do things against the grain, we’re pitching a “Did You Know” post that’s anything but wordless. What are we yammering about today?  We’re talking about the Dog Days of Summer.

What are the Dog Days of Summer? In the Northern Hemisphere, the Dog Days of Summer coincide with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, at the same time as hot and sultry weather does this time of year. So let’s take a look at some of the historical background surrounding this annual phenomena.

Traditionally the term “Dog Days” refers to the period of particularly hot and humid weather occurring during the summer months of July and August in the Northern  Hemisphere from July 3 through August 11.

In ancient Greece and Roman times, the Dog Days were thought be a time of drought, bad luck, and unrest, when dogs and men alike would be driven mad by the extreme heat. Today however, we recognize it as the time of the year when temperatures and humidity peak.

So why are they called the “Dog Days” of Summer? This period of sweltering weather coincides with the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star. You may recall that the constellation Canis Majoris—known as the “Greater Dog” (aka Alpha Canis Majoris) and that apart from our Sun, Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.

Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans believed the early morning rising of Sirius in mid-to-late summer actually contributed to the extreme weather of the season. In other words, the “combined heat” of super-bright Sirius with the sun was thought to be the cause of sweltering summertime temperatures. Did you know the name “Sirius” comes from the Ancient Greek-seírios, and means “scorching?”

Ancient Egyptians believed the star was a “watchdog” for the coinciding fact of the Nile’s flooding season.

We now know Sirius’ appearance does not actually affect  weather during this time period, but its appearance during the hottest part of summer ensures that the lore surrounding this star continues to live on.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “old-timers believed that rainfall on the Dog Days was a bad omen, as foretold in this verse:”

Dog Days bright and clear
Indicate a happy year;
But when accompanied by rain,
For better times, our hopes are vain.

The organization made this further comment in the early 1800’s:

“Dog Days are approaching; you must, therefore, make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.”

Both Elsa and Norman take great exception to the “unsteady, crazy” reference.

Whether you believe in ancient folklore or follow science, no one can deny this is definitely the hottest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

An interesting 2009 Finnish study tested the hypothesis that rates of infections are higher during the Dog Days. The authors concluded, “This study was conducted in order to challenge the myth that the rate of infections is higher during the dog days. To our surprise, the myth was found to be true.” Go figure, Norman and I thought pet therapy helped peeps feel better.

Canis Major

Speaking of Norman, he knows exactly how to cope with the Dog Days of Summer and advises everyone to stay well hydrated. As you look up in the early morning skies at Sirius, just remember there are ‘only’ 71 days until the official arrival of autumn.

Norman
I think I’m melting

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ June 27, 2022

Since we will be visiting patients and staff this week beginning tomorrow, I thought today’s smile seemed especially appropriate. Have a terrific Monday. Here’s hoping your meds have 4 legs and a wiggly tail.

Smile

I couldn’t let today go by without congratulating the Colorado Avalanche on their Stanley Cup win last night. Well done, boys. Special congrats to Cale Makar (#8) on winning the Conn Smythe MVP trophy to go with his other hardware: the 2022 Norris trophy (best defenseman in the league) as well as winning the Calder Memorial trophy in his rookie year (2019-2020). Pretty impressive for a 23 year old.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordy Wednesday ~ June 15, 2022

Given how crazy and wild things have been lately, I couldn’t help but wonder if things were better ‘back in the day’ and found this look back in history. The nostalgia was definitely noticeable on my spirits. Wordless Wednesday

Do you have an “I remember when” moment from way back when? It seems we may simply trade problems through the years.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordy Wednesday ~ June 8, 2022

We’re departing from our usual wordless format in favour of a pictorial recollection from the weekend fundraiser held at the Park Meadows location of Orvis who offered gift wrapping to their customers for a donation to the OES Rescue. We are always grateful for their support but to visit directly with customers at an event is extra special. Because of Norman’s pet therapy experience, he was the weekend’s ambassador showing the general public how great rescued dogs can be, given a chance.

Welcoming us to the store was a sandwich board showing current conditions at favorite regional fishing spots, and sporting an adorable OES face. After a quick set up of the wrapping table and after meeting the staff who showered Norman with affection. Customers began arriving shortly thereafter and we enjoyed chatting with them. My good friend and fellow volunteer, Anastacia (who arranged for this event), and I wrapped gifts while chatting with folks while Norman did his thing.

Norman

For those unfamiliar with Orvis, it’s an American family-owned retail and mail-order business specializing in fly fishing, hunting and sporting goods. Founded in Manchester, Vermont, back in 1856 by Charles F. Orvis to sell fishing tackle, it is the nation’s oldest mail-order retailer and this location is a dog friendly retailer at a large mall.

One of the first visitors was a woman who instantly fell in love with Norman and said she would return with her daughter and granddaughter. Shortly thereafter, this little cutie marched in and strolled up to meet Norman.

Her mom and grandmother chatted with us for several minutes and all enjoyed their time with Norman. His soft fur and patient disposition never disappoint.

Norman is nothing if not an equal-opportunity therapist…he enjoys youngsters as well as older folks alike.

Norman

Norman easily size people up and seems to know who will offer an ear rub and those who will offer a nice belly rub as well.

NormanNorman

Norman spent the entire day meeting and greeting customers. Most didn’t want gift wrapping but still left a donation nonetheless for which we were most thankful. To reward Norman for all his hard work, he got to pick out a toy from  numerous offerings. You may recall the customer who liked Norman so much at Orvis’ Christmas event, she purchased one that he still adores to this day.

Norman
Oh…the choices

The elephant had been intriguing to Norman back in December, but he barely acknowledged it this time.

Norman
Hmm…this one has possibilities

He thoroughly checked all the offerings.

Norman

In the end, Norman put his paw of approval on the sloth, a choice that was most unexpected.

Norman

This was THE one.

Norman
My favorite!

It was a long day yet Norman performed like the consummate professional he is. He was one happy but tuckered out boy.

Norman

Next week Orvis will host another event where a different pup and volunteer will help out Anastacia. It should be a good one for the rescue too since Orvis is running a big promotion to coincide with Father’s Day weekend. While Norman and I won’t be there, we are excited at the potential for another very successful day.

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few pics from our day at Orvis. We want to thank Orvis and their gracious staff for their ongoing support of our rescue.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 17, 2022

Welcome to Monday but today is not just any Monday.  Today we honor two giants of humanity, Martin Luther King (MLK) and Betty White. Around the country, parades are being held with an emphasis on the participants honoring the civil rights leader through a day of national service. Since 1994, the day of service is being coordinated nationally by AmeriCorps, a federal agency which provides grants to organizations coordinating service activities on MLK Day. The only other national day of service in the U.S. officially designated by the government, is September 11th’s National Day of Service (9/11 Day).

MLK

Today would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Fans of the “Golden Girls” star who passed away recently, have created a virtual event asking for donations of $5 be made to animal rescues or shelters in her name. White was a big animal lover and well known for her efforts of saving endangered species. She helped fix conditions at the Los Angeles Zoo.

In addition to her efforts at the LA Zoo, White was also a big supporter of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The zoo’s entrance to the “Heart of Africa Exhibit” was named Betty White Way in 2014 in her honor.

Betty White

We typically use Monday’s for sharing a smile, but today we also support of the efforts of both of these legendary Americans. Everyone at the Ranch supports the essence of MLK Day as well as the remarkable work of Betty White and hope you’ll participate in a meaningful way to honor both of these special people. May your Monday be the beginning of a good week filled with smiles and positive actions, just go easy on the mice, okay?

Smiles

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 6, 2021

Happy Monday! Welcome to the busiest and most wonderful time of the year according to many folks. When you work in the ‘pet therapy business,’ you sometimes see a slightly different side as folks try to maneuver through some of the retail madness. This cartoon made me smile as I thought how Santa and the gang might feel about it.

Smiles

However you handle the stresses of the holiday season, we hope you are able to take a moment and smile. And please be  kind to those trying to help you with your holiday preparations. A smile and a bit of patience go a long way to making things ‘merry and bright.’ Make it a terrific week!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Monday Musings ~ November 15, 2021

Squirrels

Came across this chap on my walk who refused to move for fear of losing his prized meal. Maybe squirrel Thanksgiving is this week? Anyway, he kept giving  me the stink eye the whole time I positioned myself around the tree limbs to try to capture his pic. He must have thought it was rude to stare while he was noshing.

Here’s hoping your week is stink-eyed free with tasty treats galore. Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Live, love, bark!🐾

2021 OES Picnic Recap

It’s unusual for us to post on Tuesday but Norman ‘insisted’ we post a recap about the weekend’s OES Rescue Picnic and Fundraiser so I’ll let him take it from here.

Norman:  Over the weekend, mum and I went to quite the event. We’ve been visiting our sheepie friends, Clifford and his  brother, Sully helping put together a bunch of gift baskets so had no idea what this adventure would be like. I always enjoy seeing Clifford and Sully since they have the BEST toys that I take full advantage of when we visit. Sometimes, mum has to take them away from me. But this event had so much space and so many sniffs to investigate, I could have cared less about toys.

I now think I’m in love. Check out this gorgeous girl! Mum said I’m a bit of a cad since I didn’t get her phone number (or name sadly). I told mum she was in charge of names since she has the thumbs to write those things down but she apologized saying she was too busy checking everyone in and keeping the water bowls filled. It was a gorgeous but warm day and if you know sheepdogs, we like to party and can drink like fish.

OES
Isn’t she gorgeous? Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

Taking my welcoming duties seriously I posed at the entrance making sure everyone knew where the fun was.

Norman

Here’s my pal Yogi who got the award for best dressed sheepdog.

OES Picnic
Well dressed ‘Yogi’ Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

Once folks came inside the party area, they checked in at the registration table. Notice those ‘welcome bags’ on the right? They each contained an OES fridge magnet, either a photo frame or collapsible dog bowl as well as a donated product from our pals at Licks. Everyone who attended received one.

OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

Let’s check out all the amazing gift baskets! There were all sorts of cool things including donated pro-sports tickets and athlete autographs, brewery/spirits tours, bandanas, hand made sweaters, knit hats, dog treats, original artwork, and dog-related items. Bids were made on various baskets raising funds for the rescue with some folks engaged in ‘bidding wars.’

OES Picnic
I want No. 7, no, that one’s mine! Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

There were loads of sniffs to be had, games of chase, corn hole, golf cart rides around the neighborhood, a kissing booth, a BBQ for peeps with some special sweet treats.

OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue
OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue
OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue
OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

My pal Sully knew just what to do.

OES Picnic
Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue

And look at these adorable ‘kids,’ our pals, Anastacia and Dave with Clifford and Sully (along with doggie friend, Gracie, owned by the owner of the home that held the event).

OES Picnic

Lots of peeps got into the spirit at the Kissing Booth, even  mum and I.

OES Picnic
Mwah!
OES Picnic
I give the best kisses.

The baskets were given a good once (or three times) over for all the amazing items that were donated.

OES Picnic

And consultations were held on bidding strategies.

OES Picnic
Did you see Basket No. 12?!

Everyone was well behaved, enjoyed one another’s company and had a great time. We sheepdogs come in all shapes, sizes and shades of grey but we all have one thing in common. We 💙  peeps.

OES Picnic
Yes, I am a lap dog. Photo courtesy of Colorado OES Rescue.

Don’t you wish you could have attended? Join us tomorrow when we’ll report how much was raised to benefit the Colorado Old English Sheepdog Rescue.

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ July 26, 2021

Monday

I am not self-medicating with chocolate. The nice lady at the shop wrote me a prescription. Well, she called it a receipt…but whatever.

Here’s to the good kind of self-medication. May all your meds this week be sweet.

Live, love, bark! 🐾