When someone talks about The Dog Days of Summer, I picture an old black dog tucked up under a lilac bush panting in the wet heat.
Here are a couple of other, much more literary descriptions:
The Clavis Calendaria says: The sea boiled, the wine turned sour, dogs grew mad.
The prologue of Tuck Everlasting tells us: These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.
Wikipedia reports the phrase has to do with the dog star Sirius appearing in the sky at sunrise and that the Romans sacrificed a brown dog to appease this minor deity.
Me? I still think these long, hot, sultry days are a God-given excuse to kick back in the shade with a sweating glass of sweet tea. Too hot to work. Too hot to think. Time to soak up God’s grace for a while.
Then I’ll fill the dog’s water bowl and bring the old boy into the air-conditioning.