It’s been hot here lately at the Magickal Cottage! The summer sun has been absolutely oppressive. Fortunately, tomorrow it’s supposed to start cooling off a bit. It’s the Dog Days of summer! According to Factmonster: Dog Days is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was reckoned as extending from 20days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun.
All a body feels like doing on days like these is to kick back and move as little as possible, sort of like the way my dog chooses to spend most of her time year round. Our dog, Sheila (she’s Australian), has a couple of “beds” around the house and usually chooses to lie down on the one that is closest to her human. Except for when the mail carrier or delivery truck threatens her home, she is fairly laid back and sleeps a lot.
Three cats make their homes here as well. However, the big difference between the cats and the dog seems to be in the way that cats will sometimes “honor” you with their presence and dogs “cherish” your presence. I am a crazy cat lady, sure, but can just as easily become a crazy dog lady as well. I was the dog mom of three dogs at one time, so there you go! I’m a sort of a switch hitter when it comes to animal parenting.
The thing about dogs is that they just love to hang out. There is something very comforting about a dog who likes to curl up next to you when you are taking a nap or feeling under the weather. There is speculation that humans first domesticated dogs because they were helpful in alerting them of danger and proved useful in hunting prey with their sharper senses. But over time it seems that the bond became much closer between dogs and humans. The goddess, Hecate, is fond of dogs, especially black dogs. And dogs are said to guard the gates of the Underworld which is proof of their reliability as a watchman. I can’t picture a cat agreeing to sit and guard anything that they were told to guard by human or deity!
As an animal totem or guardian, this is what we are told about dog:
The Dog is a symbol of the small becoming the great.
People with this totem have great spirit
and a great ability to love.
It takes a lot to break a dog spirit.
People with a Dog totem are usually helping others or serving humanity in some way.
Dog medicine embodies the loving gentleness of best friend and the fierce energy of protector.
You will have a deep understanding and compassion of human shortcomings.
As an animal totem I think dog is one of the great ones. And people with this totem are true humanitarians. Sure, they aren’t as exotic as a dragon or a phoenix (I love dragons and phoenixes, btw), but wouldn’t you love to have a dog person as a best friend or partner? I would!
So kick back with your canine companion and enjoy these final days of summer. What? You don’t have a dog? Well, there are plenty of them just yearning to hang out with you! Go and get you one! And remember: Adopt, don’t shop.