The dog days of summer

Here in Seattle, we have been experiencing record-breaking heat.  Wednesday set a new record — 103 — which beat the old one of 100.  This is the official record that is recorded at SeaTac Airport; many outlying areas record different temperatures.  In fact, in Auburn, about 20 miles south of Seattle, they recorded a temp of 106, which was the same as Death Valley!  This kind of weather is not why we live in Seattle; we like the temperate summers and winters without much snow (except for this last year, which set a new record for snow — what is up with our weather anyway? — and anyone say, global warming?)

Most homes around here, including mine, don’t have air conditioning.  We only get a few days of heat in the 90s — at least in a normal year — so it is not a problem.  So trying to stay cool has been a real challenge.  There are lots of trips to places with air conditioning — the mall, the library, movie theaters, even the grocery store — at least for the people, that is.  Our 4-legged friends aren’t allowed in such places.  As a result, we have to find other ways to keep our friends cool.

At my house, there are 4 dogs here most days.  Only one is mine.  My roommates have two, which makes three that live here all the time.  Plus, my boyfriend has a dog and lives in a apartment, so instead of leaving him home in a kennel, the dog spends the day with me.  Four dogs, all hot, all miserable from the heat.

I got them a kiddie pool.  One of those hard plastic ones, with the sides that are about 10 inches high.

The youngest two were interested even before the water went in.  But the two older ones, including mine, weren’t.

The two youngest, Lilo (one of my roommates’) and Loki (my boyfriend’s), quickly discovered that their newest game was to chase each other around the pool.  It was pretty funny to watch, particularily since there was only room for them to stand nose to tail in the pool.  Chasing each other really ment going around, around, and around in a small circle.  Imagine a dog chasing its own tail; that was the motion they were making in the pool, chasing each other.

After they had done that for a while, one of them would jump out, followed quickly by the other one.  They would proceed to chase each other around the yard, getting filthy in the meantime, until they got hot again and went back into the pool.

An entire afternoon of this play and the dogs were happily back to themselves again.  The pool looked more like a mud puddle then any body of water that I would like to get in, but the dogs were clean!  I am not sure how they managed that feat.

Seeing them enjoy playing in the water reminded me of my own childhood, when summer meant running in the sprinkler and hanging out with my friends.  The only important thing was what was happening right at that moment, because we didn’t want to think about the end of the summer and the return to school.  We wanted each and every summer day to last as long as possible.

We as adults need to be reminded of this — to  enjoy each day, like dogs do.  There is so much fun just waiting to be discovered, even in your own backyard.


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