Aren't the dog days supposed to come later in the summer? I remember when I realized that even just a few degrees of heat--say, from 96 to 100--could make a huge difference. One hundred degrees makes you want to lie down wearing few, loose clothes, with a book and a glass of iced something, and it's pretty much a slow race to see if you'll finish the drink before the glass sweats all the way down to the bedside table.
That's me, anyway. I had some cousins whose dad was in the Foreign Service. They lived in many, many hot, sweaty places--Venezuela, Panama, the Philippines--and swore that we all whined way too much about the heat. "Take a nap," they urged. "Then stay up late, when it's cool!" This ingenious manana-style system did not accomplish one of my major objectives, that of warding off my inevitable post-lunch-nap headache, which follows hard on the heels of the siesta hour (or dos).
Also, in the days before AC (dark, dark days), I used to have terrible summer allergies. You'd have to keep the windows open to have air circulating, but then the madness began: dust, chaff, pollen. The horror. I distinctly remember lying with wet washcloths over my entire face. This when I had young children who only wanted to play all day long.
Bruiser, it turns out, feels the heat, too. Too bad he can't lie around in loose clothing and drink iced drinks. He does, however, take his ease under the direct flow of the swamp-cooled air. Occasionally he'll take a dip into the heat for approximately three and a half minutes, then bursts in the door to have another helping of cool.
When it's this hot, people tend to bring their dogs to the dog park later in the evening. There's a real influx around 8:30 p.m. or so. When we're within a couple of blocks of the park, Bruiser loses his mind, whining and crying in the back of the car. If I were the kind of person who translated dog noises into human speech, I'd say he's saying, "You guys, if you don't let me out when we get to the dog park, that would be SO UNFAIR!" (Actually, we took him to the park last Tuesday, only to realize when we got there that it was closed on Tuesdays for routine maintenance. It was Bruiser's worst nightmare realized, as my friend J says.) So we get to the park, go in through the double gates, and he runs like crazy. Meanwhile, we circumambulate the park, admiring all the dogs, little and big, while congratulating ourselves on having the best, handsomest, most noble dog. The dog with the best character. The most poetic dog. The smartest dog, the one who lights up a room, the dog who has the most to offer, the dog who looks beautiful when he runs in the cooling, darkening day.