Ella and the dog days

The hottest days of summer are often referred to as “the dog days.”

The dog star, Sirius, rises and sets with the sun at this time of year; it is the brightest star in the sky and in ancient times they thought its heat added to that of the sun.

And so you have the ancient logic as to why August got so hot.

For me, the dog star is more about my special friend. August is when my four-legged pal has her birthday, and summer is one of our favourite times of year.

Well, next to spring and fall and winter, that is.

Ella is my pal. She is a chocolate Labrador retriever, my breed (and colour) of choice. She is cute (I tell people she practises 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, however, snoozing is her activity of choice. How can you not love someone with those qualities?

Ella is the perfect companion. She reminds me every day about the joys of living in the moment. Every time she chases her tail with complete abandon, I smile.

All I have to do is tell her to try to catch it by going the other way, and she does. Do you have a friend like that?

She is a foodie, too, just like me: 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.

Having a dog is a fantastic experience, in short 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 ten minutes away or 10 days, and they can often be wonderful comic relief.

I have worked with Ella doing obedience, confirmation shows and rally obstacle courses. Of course, we have done work retrieving too, as this is her No. 1 instinct. (She swims like an Olympic athlete, and I don’t just say that as a proud pet owner.)

We have a few blue ribbons hanging in the front entry room, but even when we didn’t win any prizes, she always performed like a star and was the ultimate teammate. We have even shared the odd ice cream cone in celebration.

Ella and I celebrated her 12th birthday this week with time in the garden, sniffing the flowers and a sunset walk overlooking the lake, checking for deer and generally enjoying the moment.

Even if you don’t have a dog, I wish you a lazy, happy last weekend of summer, enjoying your moments in the sun and under the stars.

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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