Charlie’s Corner is the domain of Charlie, the furry four-legged lady’s man of the Market Common. Each month, he’ll share information to help all new, visiting, and existing doggie community members get the most out of life alongside their human companions. We’ll feature his reflections on what it’s like to be a dashing downtown doggie, as he reminds all of us how to play well together. This month, Charlie revels in the dog days of summer and gathers round the proverbial campfire to tell a good tale.
It’s the last few weeks of the dog days of summer— that languidly delicious time of year marked by lethargy, inactivity, relaxation, and blissful beingness.
It stretches from July to around the second week in August. This is a time when belly rubs are more prone to occur, naps are a little longer and happen with greater frequency, and the pace, even for the South, is slower. The air feels hot, rich, heavy, and sweet with contentment. Upon tuning into nature, all seems right in the world.
I just love the name that categorizes this time of year— it so aptly describes all the best virtues of my species.
But did you know that the dog days of summer refers to an actual organization of stars in the sky? The brightest star in the sky visible from any place on Earth is called Sirius, or the Dog Star. It’s part of the constellation Canis Major. During the dog days of summer, in the Northern Hemisphere, this star rises at the same time as the sun.
The star has been well known since antiquity, and ancient cultures believed it was imbued with power from the sun, thereby increasing the heat on earth. How’s that for pooch empowerment?
Summertime is also story time, so let’s recount a good one about stars, dogs, love, people, and friendship.
Once upon a time in ancient India, there lived a prince named Yudhistira. He had four brothers and one beloved canine. One day, they all determined to go on an adventure together to seek heaven.
They set out; but as their journey progressed and they met with great toils, difficulties, tribulations, and delays, the brothers abandoned Yudhistira and their mutual quest, until only Svana, the prince’s faithful doggie companion remained.
Finally, Yudhistira found heaven, and was welcomed by the gatekeeper who told him that while he was welcome, he’d have to leave his dog outside.
Heartbroken, and aghast, Yudhistira refused to forsake the dog who had refused to forsake him through all his long wanderings, even if he must reject the pleasures of heaven. Delighted by the young prince’s loyalty and love, the Lord of heaven permitted both to enter, and Svana, also known as Sirius, now shines down upon us in the sky, from his own place in heaven.
What a great tale. That one always brings tears to my eyes. Let’s have a bonfire, roast some marshmallows and you can tell me one of yours next.
Until next time,