Dog Days of Summer

It’s that time of year again.  Not just hot but HOT!  Incredibly, nasty, dangerously hot!  The kind of hot we get, oh, well, not every 5 or 10 years or even every other year here in Houston.  No, we seem to get it every year.
These days are called “dog days” of summer.  The term comes from a time when Sirius, the Dog Star – and the brightest star in the Canis Major constellation -- appeared to rise about the same time as the sun during the summer, thus adding to the heat of the sun.

When you look into the night sky, you can find Sirius at the bottom left of the Orion constellation.  As a kid, I read a story about Orion being a great hunter in Greek mythology.  Upon his death, the gods placed Orion in the heavens, and his most loyal companion, his dog Sirius, was put at his heels.  I think of that story every summer, when the dog days come around.  And, of course, the idea of Orion always having his favorite dog with him reminds me of the dogs I’ve owned and the wonderful company they were.

It’s only natural that storytellers of all kinds would write about their own pets.  Books, movies, TV shows, and songs have all been used to relay stories of dogs and what they mean to us.  Whether they work with us or just provide companionship, the relationship between people and dogs is one that is constant and comforting.

I’ve listed several movies below, dividing them into general themes of Best Friends, Adventure, and Fun.  The divisions aren’t hard and fast.  There’s give and take among the categories and a mixture of comedy, drama, and fantasy.  The movies themselves might make you laugh out loud or warm your heart – or make you cry.  But overall, they’ll probably make you appreciate those friends who were always at your side.

Best Friends


Just for Fun

So during this extra-hot dog days of summer, stay indoors and watch a great movie about our best friend.  I especially recommend the films set in cold places.



D'oh! I'm embarrassed to say

D'oh! I'm embarrassed to say I've only seen a few of those, mostly the Disney ones (Lady and the Tramp, The Ugly Dachshund, etc.). But I would observe that even this summer Man's Best Friend steals a movie, though a decidedly adult one -- Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer and a little Jack Russell terrier. A sweet story, but definitely one for the grown-ups.

Beginners is definitely on my

Beginners is definitely on my "to see" list.  And that reminds me that I should have included As Good as It Gets with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.  Another example of a little dog stealing hearts -- and a few scenes.

Thanks so much for writing!


My daughter and I love many

My daughter and I love many of the movies on this list: Milo and Otis, Snow dogs, Lady and the tramp. My husband loves K-9. This made me think of several great TV shows featuring furry babies: Lassie, The People's choice (featuring the basset hound Cleo), Frazier. Thanks for the memory prompts.

I wish I'd had the

I wish I'd had the opportunity to see The People's Choice.  But, you're right.  I should have included the TV series Lassie and Frasier.  Eddie often stole the show on Frasier.  Thanks for writing.  And for the great suggestions.