The Dog Days of Summer

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If you live in the United States, you know the Summer of 2011 will go down in the weather record books as one long, hot summer. As I type, our thermometer indicates the outdoor temperature is 100 degrees. That’s hot.

“That’s hot” reminds me of – no, not Paris Hilton – a quote from an 80s movie titled, “Biloxi Blues”. Matthew Broderick’s character says, “Man it’s hot. It’s like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.”

As I work from home and look out my window, I see the trees and leaves moving with the breeze. However, the breeze does nothing to cool the air. The fact that my dogs choose to lounge here, with me, rather than outside in their large backyard playground, tells me the wind is misleading, simply moving the hot air and not cooling it.

The heat is zapping me dry, depleting me of words to write and stories to share. I have entered the dog days of summer.

Wilbur. Not a silver back - but a silver belly.

As the dogs lounge beside me, I find myself easily distracted. We have two of the best dogs, Wilbur and Cherokee. Found under the steps of an office where I worked when they were approximately 7 wks old, we’ve seen these puppies (brother and sister) grow into two beautiful and loyal pooches.

To this day, we still call them ‘Puppies’. In fact, earlier today we had a visitor at the door. Wilbur and Cherokee were barking up a storm. I heard our 6yr old say, “Puppies! It’s OK. It’s OK, Puppies!” Though, these 9yr old, 80+lb pooches are far from “puppies” in the literal sense.

When Wilbur was a puppy, he would grunt like a pig whenever he was held. Hence his name is Wilbur. The dogs were found on Cherokee St. in downtown Acworth, GA, so Wilbur’s sister was named Cherokee. Cherokee was a soft and squishy puppy, and she remains a soft and squishy puppy. Wilbur, bless his heart, is a little off. For the first 2 years, Wilbur barked and ran from trash cans. For the first 5 years, Wilbur would bark at men in hats. Nowadays, nearing the ripe old age of 9, Wilbur isn’t as jumpy or easily spooked. Perhaps his eyesight isn’t as good. Still, Wilbur has his quirks.

Wilbur, resting his head on my chest.

Cherokee chillin'

Cherokee is our jumping dog. In her younger days, she could clear our 6′ fence. We have not seen her try to jump in several months. Rest assured, if she did try to jump, Mr. Wilbur (aka Tattle Tail) would bark a distinctive bark, run up to the deck and alert us of Cherokee’s shenanigans.

Wilbur and Cherokee are not our first furry loved ones. I grew up with dogs – German Shepherds mainly. After my Dad died and I relocated back to Atlanta, I adopted a Rottweiler named, Lina. As much as I adore Wilbur and Cherokee, Lina(loo) was – hands down – the best dog ever.

[Aside: While I type, Wilbur is having a dream, barking and running in his sleep. Man oh man, do I ever love my dogs.]

Cheerful Cherokee

When I adopted Lina, she was approximately 5 yrs old. I was fortunate enough to spend 8 years with that beloved pooch. She died Memorial Day 2005. I am certain Lina made it to the age of 13, in part, because Wilbur and Cherokee kept her puppy nature alive and thriving. The three dogs got along so well together. Lina broke all the horrific stereotypes that are tied to Rotties. As I said earlier, she was the best dog ever. My non-dog loving friends agreed. Lina had no enemies. Well, maybe squirrels. “SQUIRREL!”

This summer has been long. This summer has been hot. My work days are challenging, in part, because my 6yr old is stuck at home, wanting my attention along with my employers. Still, throughout the long hot summer, my faithful, furry companions remain by my side. I love my puppies!

Puppy Wilbur playing with Lina

The Puppies: Wilbur and Cherokee

The Lovely Lina

Side Note: The dog pictured in the pool is our friend, Sophia. She is one cool dog – literally and figuratively.

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27 thoughts on “The Dog Days of Summer

  1. Just got home from class to find this adorable post.
    β€œPuppies! It’s OK. It’s OK, Puppies!” I love the sound of small children saying sweet things.
    Sophia has found a good place…in fact every dog owner probably needs one of these.

    • Georgette, I smile every time we call the dogs “puppies”. My husband and I have been doing it since they were – well, puppies! To hear my kids refer to the dogs as “puppies” cracks me up.
      Sophia has the right idea for certain! We don’t have a doggie pool for our dogs – but you better believe they’d be in it, if we had one. I am glad you liked my post.

  2. Your dogs are too sweet! Look at that shot of them as puppies…aw! I am huge dog-lover. We had mostly Collies growing up. I haven’t had a dog in awhile (since my beloved childhood dog Princess passed 20 years ago) but after seeing those pictures, I’m trying to convince my daughter we should get a dog. For some reason she’s petrified of dogs any size, don’t know why but I may have to wait until she’s in college before I get a dog again.

    • Thanks Darla. Our dogs are kinda cool. Even if Wilbur has his quirks. As I type, he is right beside me. Always loyal – unless there is a knock at the door, a siren nearby, other dogs in the neighborhood, treats, etc. Apparently, Wilbur is not very loyal. (hahahaha!) Come to GA – visit – and we’ll work on your daughter’s doggie fear.

  3. Andrea HT

    Awwww….I miss Lina(loo). She was a sweet dog….I remember when you brought her up (I was living in Maryland at the time) with you on a visit and she and Shilo (my cat) pretty much ignored each other. She was a lap dog. Literally. These are the dog days of summer. I wish I could spend my days the same way Sophia is spending hers!

  4. Oh Oh…there’s that “I want a dog again” feeling again. All stirred up by Lenore Diane. It is so tempting when I see these photos and all your heart chatter! πŸ˜€

    • Soul Dipper, as my “puppies” get older, I find myself wanting to get a 3rd dog… So many pooches need homes. If you succumb to the temptation, be sure to share pictures! πŸ™‚

  5. jacquelincangro

    Hello Wilbur and Cherokee! What cool dogs. Well, I bet they can’t wait for fall along with the rest of the country. I remember you mentioning Lina in a comment and she must have been a super dog. A credit to her breed.
    Reggie, of course, probably would bark at all of them because he’s afraid of bigger dogs. πŸ™‚

    PS – I laughed at that quote from Biloxi Blues. I remember it from the movie!

    • Jacqueline, that Biloxi Blues quote has been used by me all summer! Sha’woo. It is hot.
      Wilbur and Cherokee are cool dogs. Thanks for noticing! (smile) And yes, Lina was a rock star. Such an awesome rock star.
      I’m willing to bet Reggie would take nicely to Wilbur and Cherokee. Wilbur would be just as nervous – though very curious – and Cherokee would do her best to keep Reggie in line. (nicely)

  6. I think of all dogs as ‘puppies’ and it amuses me when owners of large dogs get all defensive. “He’s not a puppy! He weighs 75 pounds!” Um…do they really think I didn’t notice the size of the dog? It’s just a cute little nickname. I’ve been known to call my cats ‘puppies’ as well πŸ™‚

    Though I generally prefer to own cats (they suit my lifestyle better), I do love dogs and always want friends with dogs so I can play with them. Yours are just adorable. I love a dog who’s a ‘bit off’ πŸ™‚

    • It’s true – all dogs are puppies! Well, the fun ones, anyway. (smile)
      Growing up, in addition to dogs, we had cats. I can see a cat in our house at some point – I’m just not certain when.
      Wilbur cracks me up all the time due to his ‘offness’. He’s a dork – and I mean that in a good way.
      I

  7. Annabelle and I don’t have any puppies, but we do have one kitty.
    Who sounds a bit like Wilbur.
    She likes to freak out at things that aren’t really there.
    And us, too, sometimes. When we actually are there.
    πŸ™‚

    • Cats crack me up, SIG. When we were visiting our friends in FL, one of their cats would randomly come shooting out of one room and high tail it to another. Seemingly for no reason. That cat was incredibly entertaining. I’m willing to bet their cat and my Wilbur would hit it off. Who knows, perhaps your cat and Wilbur would hit it off, too. The odd ball bunch, or something. πŸ™‚

  8. Lenore, I love your stories about your “puppies”. I love dogs and would try to get one but with 3 cats I’m not sure how they would act. We just lost our precious “Bunny Butt” cat, a manix who was 16 1/2 yrs old. Then we have one thats 17 1/2 yrs old. All 4 cats were little street orphans. Maybe one day we will try to get a puppy as I’m home all the time since I retired. As I was out watering my flowers last night a neighbor came by walking her dog. I just had to pet and love on her. The owner said, you made a friend for life. The dog was part pit bull, bull dog and something else,very sweet..

    • Thank you, Libby. I am glad you liked my post.
      Very sorry to hear about “Bunny Butt” (cute name). Thank you for rescuing these kitties and giving them a good home. If you are able to open your house to a puppy – that would be wonderful, too. Though, as long as you have a neighbor’s dog walking by for visits – that’s sweet, too.

  9. OK I love your puppies, too!! πŸ™‚ All the pictures were wonderful but the closeup of Wilbur’s nose resting on you? — priceless.

    It would be a sad, sad world without the wonderfully hilarious and companionship of our fuzzy kids, wouldn’t it?

    Cheers! MJ

    • MJ, getting that shot of Wilbur was challenging. He was literally on top of me. Silly pooch. Love him.
      And I agree – without dogs, world would be a sad, sad place. Thank you for reading!

  10. Man can I relate with the hot summer. Theres a line in to kill a mockingbird that reads “somehow it was hotter then. A black dog suffered on a summer’s day”. I bet they can relate too.

  11. It has been HOT. I was hoping to escape the heat by heading to Michigan, but that kind of backfired as they had record highs there, and in fact a couple of days were hotter than Florida.

    I love your doggie pictures – and I think you’ve been to my blog to see mine. I spent many years without a pet – what a shame!!! Our “rescued” shepherd, Shelby, has brought much joy to my life.

    Hope you, and the pups, can stay cool somehow. Shelby likes to go the doggy park and lay in the mud – in fact, it’s her favorite thing in the world. The slimier and gooey-er the better.

    • As I respond to your comment, my two puppies are laid out flat next to me. I can’t claim my room is the coolest room in the house, but if I am in the room – the puppies will be in the room. Pretty nice companions.

      We spent 10 days in FL back in June. The temps in FL were far cooler than the temps in GA, while we were gone. Today, we are having another day with temps in the 90s. Thankfully the humidity is starting to decline. It does make the heat a little easier to take.

      I have seen pictures of your pooch. Pooches do so much to enlighten our lives, in my opinion. (Even with the dog hair. Oooooooh the dog hair.)

      P.S. Your 2nd comment about Urban Cowboy… I laughed out loud. My legs seem to sweat every day. I’ve yet to speak the words out loud, though I guess I’ve just admitted it to the world. *sigh*

  12. I also like the line in Urban Cowboy where she is putting on her wedding dress and says “Mama, my legs are sweaty…” I’ve used that line many time this summer!

  13. What a cozy blog you’ve created, Lenore. This post, about the heat and about dogs, is like you wrote it for me. As you may know, I’m a huge fan of both. Your dog pictures are really wonderful. Sorry it took me so long to find you — for some reason I couldn’t. I tried a couple times, but always failed. A techie I’m not. Now that I know where you are, I’ll be back.

    • Thank you! I’m glad you found me. You had the power all along, all you had to do was click your heels… Okay. I’ll stop. I don’t want to scare you away.
      Yes, I do know you are a fan of the heat, which is why I will spend the winter basking in the glow of frozen temperatures, while you long for the hot August nights. (smile) At least we have our dogs, right?

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