Dog days of summer

The hottest days of summer are often referred to as the dog days because the dog star, Sirius, rises and sets with the sun at this time of year. 

It is the brightest star in the sky, you see, and in ancient times they thought its heat added to that of the sun and that was why it got so hot.

Having a dog is a fantastic experience because dogs are creatures that know how to love unconditionally.

They will treat you with the same enthusiasm whether you had a good day or a bad one, they will be just as excited to see you after 10 minutes away or 10 days, and they can often be wonderful comic relief.

Ella is a chocolate Labrador retriever, my breed (and colour) of choice. She is cute (I tell people she practices looking cute when no one is around) and she has a wonderful smile. 

She loves to be with people, and is curious to know what is going on (if nothing is going on, she likes snoozing).

How can you not love someone with those qualities?

She reminds me every day about the joys of living in the moment. Every time she chases her tail with complete abandon I smile. I can even tell her to try to catch it by going the other way, and she does.

She is a foodie, too. She loves the berries we grow in the yard, and fresh garden cucumbers and carrots and beans.

I suppose I should really say she is a gourmand, as in truth, she is simply motivated by her tummy. She will do anything for food.

Ella is my fourth chocolate Lab. They have all been special friends, and they all taught me a great deal. Being reminded to love life is something we all deserve, and having a resident comedian doesn’t hurt either.

Every day, I get the same happy bouncing response when I announce dinner. It’s been the same stuff for almost 10 years and she is still excited.

When she wants to play with a toy, she will show off her enthusiasm with an extra bit of bounce, landing on the toy will full abandon. (This was a characteristic of her earlier compatriot, the aptly named Tigger.)

And on our daily walk she always amazes me with something, like making me pause with her to hear the birds sing or notice the blossoms (usually on a day I am in a particular hurry).

It’s no surprise to me that research shows people live longer when they have the company of a dog. Perhaps in the dog days of summer, we can all capture that special philosophy dogs have.

Even if you don’t have a dog, I wish you lazy, happy days of summer.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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