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Monday, July 11, 2011

The "Dog Days Of Summer" are...............

dog days
periods of exceptionally hot and humid weather that often occur in July, August, and early September in the northern temperate latitudes. The name originated with the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians; they believed that Sirius, the dog star, which rises simultaneously with the Sun during this time of the year, added its heat to the Sun's and thereby caused the hot weather. Their belief that dogs were subject to spells of madness at this time also may have contributed to the name. Because people tended to become listless during the dog days, Sirius was held to have a detrimental effect on human activities
Gypsy can tell you all about the dog days.
Gypsy staying close to her pool.
Hey, ya'll.  106 degrees again? Really?  I am definitely listless! And maybe suffering from a touch of madness (depends on who you ask). Can I take my skin off and just sit under the air conditioner in my bones? When the low nighttime temperature is 82 degrees, you know you're in trouble!  You might as well get ready for it cause I'm going to whine about the heat again.  It's so dry that you could sneeze and set a fire.  

Everyone and everything is suffering.  The farmers and ranchers trying to cut their hay pastures are engulfed in a cloud of dust that travels for miles.  Some of them have come down with pneumonia from breathing the dust and they were the lucky ones!  Others have had a small spark from a loose cable set the hay and their tractors on fire!

You know my love of animals, so I would be remiss if I did not include some tips for keeping them safe in the hot weather.
Veterinarians at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania offer the following tips to keep pets healthy and cool during the hot days ahead:
  • Do not leave your pet alone in your car - vehicles heat quickly in the sun, and animals left in them can succumb to heat stroke in a very short time. Heatstroke is life threatening for both dogs and cats. Signs to watch for are: heavy, loud breathing, a staggering gait, and a bright red tongue or gum tissue. If heat stroke is suspected, get the animal to a cool place, put cold compresses on his belly, or in severe cases completely wet him down so that his hair is soaked. This is a medical emergency - take him to your veterinarian as quickly as possible.
  • To prevent him from overheating, don't let your dog exercise in hot weather. If you want to run with your dog, do it in the cool hours of the early morning or late evening.
  • Dogs and cats need a cool, shady place to sleep during hot weather, as well as plenty of clean, fresh water, accessible at all times. Feed your dog or cat in the cooler hours of the day. Older animals have a hard time in hot weather, so be extra sensitive to their needs during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Be sure that your pet's vaccinations are up to date. Parvovirus, an illness that flourishes in hot weather, can be fatal to dogs that have not received their vaccinations. Also, be sure your pet's rabies vaccinations are current. During the summer months, pets often spend more time outdoors, and the chances of encounters with wildlife (possible rabies carriers) increase.
  • It's heartworm medication time. If your dog hasn't been tested for heartworm this year, see your veterinarian. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, but it can be prevented by administering a monthly preventive between June and November.
  • Keep your pet well groomed. Daily brushing or combing lets you check for fleas and ticks. Fleas can cause allergic reactions and "hot spots" in dogs. Hot spots are large, wet skin sores that appear suddenly in areas where the dog has scratched. See your veterinarian for flea and tick preventives or if a "hot spot" appears.
  • Play with your pet instead of stroking him to fend off fear of thunder or loud noise. Playing a game with your pet when he shows early signs of anxiety, like pacing or trembling, can distract him from the stressor.  In the long term, it teaches him to associate that same stressor with positive things such as play and treats. Petting him is likely to make no difference - and, in fact, it may reinforce the attention-seeking that comes with nervousness.
  • Keep dogs away from picnic garbage. Ingesting corncobs and chicken and other bones can be life-threatening by obstructing or perforating the stomach. Also, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, the peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants such as lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruits contain varying amounts of citric acid, limonin, and volatile oils that can cause gastrointestinal irritation and result in vomiting and diarrhea. The stems, leaves, and seeds of apples, cherries, peaches, and apricots contain cyanogenic glycosides that can cause vomiting and loss of appetite when eaten in large amounts. In severe cases, weakness, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation, shock, and even death can occur. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.  All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness.
  • If you have a swimming pool, do not leave your dog unattended in the pool area. Not all dogs can swim - they can drown if they fall into the water.
  • Use a heavy screen on windows or keep them closed if you have cats. During the summer, the number of cats suffering from "high rise" syndrome, or falling from windows, increases dramatically. Contrary to myth, cats do not land on their feet when falling from heights. The most severe injuries occur when cats fall from second- or third-floor windows.

 I am very fortunate to be able to check on Gypsy and the boys throughout the day because I am home. Not only do we provide two small swimming pools  for them but there are two very large water buckets.  Many times it just comes down to common sense.  Common Sense and Simple Living go hand in hand.   
Pickle and Mischief know how to beat the heat of the dog days of summer!
 It is so dry that even snakes have gone looking for water.   Unfortunately (for the snake), it sought refuge in my sister Joyce's flower bed.  She called me at 6:45 a.m. one morning to see if my "do no harm" rule applied to snakes.  I explained that snakes, spiders and other creepy, crawly things that will hurt you are not included.  In the background, I could hear dogs barking like crazy and Joyce seemed a little overly excited for that early in the morning.  Then the story came tumbling out.  She had seen a  five or six foot rattlesnake crawl into her main flower bed and she had killed it with a garden hoe!  A garden hoe?  A garden hoe? What were you thinking?  Get the gun, sis.  Get the gun.  Such bravery deserves some reward!  Maybe a tee shirt that says "Armed and Dangerous" with a picture of her holding a garden hoe?  Country girls can take care of themselves, I'm telling ya.  Anything can become a weapon in our hands! 

Garden Tool Women's Tank Top
Lovin' the lifestyle choice, thank you very much!
Light Green Farmer T-Shirt
Country Girls Get R Done! You Go Big Sister!
The Rooster May Crow... Tee
Need I say more?

I Run Like A Girl Just Try t Women's Tank Top
This one is for you, Becky!

I love tee-shirts so this site can entertain me for hours.  Click above and enjoy!  It's much more fun than being outside in this heat.  I am going to hibernate inside the house until December when I can then whine about how cold it is.

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