Dog Days


The dog days of summer are upon us. Although originally related to the rising of Sirius (the Dog Star) over the horizon – an omen of trouble and pestilence during the hottest days – nowadays we mean those late days of summer when nothing seems to matter. All the fervent plans we made are either done or abandoned and it’s too late to start something new.

In baseball, the teams are contending for first place but everyone knows it will not be decided now but in September and October. While the day to day doings of our heroes may pique a little interest, it really doesn’t matter in the long run. Other sports are either on hiatus or in their early days.

The same can be said of politics. In the USA, Donald Trump continues to lead the Republican polls, filling the headlines and social media sites with outrage or amusement but we all know that leading anything in August is a mug’s game. Nothing of significance will happen until the fall or maybe the winter. Call me after the first primaries and let me know where the toupee is then.

The Canadian election has been grinding on for three weeks now though it seems endlessly longer. People like me, who follow politics as closely as others follow baseball or, in Canada, hockey, eagerly lap up every bit of news and follow every shift in the polls, still know that it will all come down to the final five weeks. Who can say what another month of lackluster campaigning will bring? Will the voters remember who called the media “lying pieces of shit” or care who knew what about the Duffy affair? Will they be swamped with the commercial messages of all parties until they don’t know up from down or have they already made up their minds? Will this be the election where campaigns don’t matter?

Hard to say.

During the dog days, we want to care, we want to still wring the last bit of fun out of the ever shortening days, we want to get up and enjoy the heat while it still lasts before the snow flies (sorry Alberta – I feel your pain) but somehow it just seems easier to sleep in and lay around, dreaming perhaps of all the things we’re going to do as soon as Labour Day passes and the real world starts up again.

Which is of course foolish. Life is short. That is not an admonition to have an affair but a warning that every day not lived to its fullest is a day you will never get back, a day you may in the future regret as having been wasted. There are no lazy days when you are dead – no days at all.

So get up! Do something! Even if it is only to read that book you promised to read over the summer but never got to. Even if it is only to walk by the river with your dog. Every dog has his day and every dog day is still worth living.

But that’s ten minutes.


2 thoughts on “Dog Days

  1. Went out on a walking tour of Overbrook and Vanier this afternoon and got over two dozen street names’ signage photographed for my Projects on Ottawa urban geo-history. My feet are screaming at me over that – again – but it’s going to be worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

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