The phrase “dog days of summer” originated in ancient Greece, when the brightest star, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog) was visible during the hottest months of the year. Taking cues from the Greeks, ancient Romans called the dog days "dies caniculārēs" and blamed the sultry weather on the “dog star’s” appearance. Believing the star was the cause of the heat, the Romans sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the dog days of summer to appease Sirius.
Those of us that live in the CSRA have a different approach. As uncomfortable as the heat can be in the sunny south, we celebrate the dismissal of winter with spring and summer landscaping, barbecuing, swimming and enjoying outdoor activities – especially with our dogs. Dogs love warm weather, too! Mine seem to develop sudden deafness in the warmer months, and I have to lure them back into the house with a box of Cheerios. Everywhere I go, I see people walking dogs, dining al fresco with dogs at their feet or playing fetch.
This season the SPCA is celebrating the dog days with Yappy Hour, spay and neuter specials, another Play to Spay, and summer dog washes. Make plans to celebrate your own dogs by joining us for these activities all summer long.
Beginning April 1, the SPCA we are offering free spay or neuter surgery for community cats (feral, stray, no identifiable owner) thanks to generous grant funding from Petsmart Charities Inc. Surgery comes with mandatory ear tip and rabies vaccine.
Since there is just no way to schedule surgeries for strays, we will leave 10 spots open on our schedule to accommodate these “surprises.” The first 10 cats to show up at the clinic Tuesday through Friday at 8 a.m. will get put on the schedule for surgery that day. Please call us at 803-648-6863 for further information. It is limited to 90 surgeries total.
Yappy Hours kicked off April 1st with live music by Mike Aiken and a fantastic, fun crowd. The party will continue every first Wednesday of the month through September. On May 6, we will welcome Gavin Reilly to the stage. June 3 brings a new face to the patio, Marvin Blystone. Karen Gordon will entertain us with sultry Garden City Jazz on July 1. Aug. 5, our friends Drew and Josh will be back to unleash the bluegrass spirit for the benefit of the animals. Summer Yappy Hours will wrap up with a local favorite, Bogie.
On the second Saturdays May through September, join us here at the SPCA for summer time dog washes. The washes will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. There is no better way to escape those “dog days of summer.”
And as that hot weather winds down, we will bring back Barkaritaville and the Twilight Walk for Animals on Oct. 10 from 6 to 10 p.m. Go ahead and put it on your calendar. If you were here last year, you know you don’t want to miss that party!
Incidentally, the ancient Egyptians used the rising of the star Sirius as a sort of Ground Hog Day for the weather. “Dog Days bright and clear indicate a happy year.”
We are expecting a happy, yappy summer at the SPCA. So don’t sacrifice your summer for your dog, and certainly not your dog for summer! Celebrate both!
Call us for details at 803-648-6863 or look for details on line at LetLoveLive.org.
Chrissey Miller, CAWA
SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare