The Dog Days of Summer


The Dog Days of Summer

This year, the dog days of summer are officially July 12 – August 20. That’s when Sirius, the “Dog Star” rises just before the sun and becomes a harbinger of all things hot, stuffy, and miserable, at least according to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The meaning has changed over the millennia as folks have begun to equate it with the slowing down of time, vacations, and those “lazy hazy crazy days of summer.”

You might wonder why I’m bringing this up. Astrid and I have been discussing the lack of any news that doesn’t have our President’s name in it. Things just seem to move more slowly this time of year.

People are on vacation. The heat seems to attack any bit of industriousness. We just slow down and look towards the fall and cooler weather. Our betters in Europe are taking six week vacations where they go rent a cabin at the beach or in the mountains and escape the heat of the city. I’m not sure what Americans would do for six weeks but we are pretty good at figuring such things out.

The people you call to find out what’s going on aren’t there. They have turned their jobs over to underlings who don’t know what’s going on. The flow of information just stops. Robert Townsend, author of “Up the Organization” gave the mail room at Avis a stamp that he had them place on every incoming missif addressed to him while he was out of the office. He then told them to send the letter to whomever in the organization they thought should handle it. The stamp said “Deal with this, and don’t tell me what you did.” He returned to a clean desk and never had a problem. If we could only do that in the day of email.

I think everyone this time of year is taking Townsend’s advice.

We are looking forward to Labor Day, the kids going back to school, and a return to a normal way of life.

Here’s to Canus, the dog, and his nose, Sirius, and his ongoing attempt to catch Lepus, the rabbit, as they race across the heavens. Don’t worry, every year about this time he catches sight of that critter, and every year he doesn’t quite make it. And things return to normal.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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