Hot Dog

HERD ABOUT IT?

by Ana Grarian

   It is HOT. Hot humid and my poor feeble brain wants nothing more than to lie this body down in an ice bath. I don’t know how folks choose to live in the south, or most big cities. The two months off again – on again sultry days of summer are almost too much for this old northern girl.

My elderly dog shows her own signs of extreme confusion when the panting cannot overcome the discomfort. I take scrupulous attention to her water dish and comfort, sometimes sleeping on the couch so she can stay on the porch overnight.
Last night was one of those nights when it didn’t matter. Outside was not much better than in, so we each huddled in the vector of our respective fans. Even the pet bunny has his own.
I gave the dog a long cool bath, working to get rid of as much loose hair as possible, and still this morning there are clumps of it wherever she has lain.Thankfully today there is a stiff breeze to alleiviate the 80+ degrees and perhaps it will not reach the 90 something of yesterday.
Heat is another way that city living has changed our energy consumption. On the farm we simply left every window and door open all night to allow the house to cool down, closing it up again in the morning, and of course the dogs slept under whatever  tree or porch they so desired.
Here in town doors get locked when all go to bed, closing down two large areas of heat/cool exchange. There have been enough intruders in the neighborhood to make this the prudent thing to do, even if you are just as likely to find one of the town drunks has mistaken your fridge for his, as to actually be robbed. With a child in the house I am careful. Though some nights I do sleep on the sofa so to keep the doors open as another line of defense with the aging canine.
As I said, last night was too hot even for that, and the temptation to run the a/c was strong. Trying to be a good steward to environment and electric bills, I did not. Of course for those who live in 100 story high-rises with windows that don’t open, there is no choice. Concrete and steel buildings surrounded by asphalt that suck up the sun’s rays all day and then radiate heat all night.
Another aspect of tiny town lots is the lack of trees. I am fortunate to live in a town that promotes trees and is actually known for them. Almost every house has a tree in front of it. Of course that does not neccesarily mean the trees are best located for protection from the weather. We are fortunate in that our lot does have several tall trees that protect the back of the house from the morning rays, and one bedroom from the western sun.Most of the afternoon sun is blocked by the house next door – good for us – and they have a whole house ac. Certainly better than the tracts of houses carved out of farm fields and exposed to all the elements, and trailer parks. (why are trailer parks so often devoid of adequate trees?)
I have lots to accomplish here today. Hopefully the paper work will get done as that is most important. If need be I can go downstairs and complete it with the aid of the air conditioner. I managed to tidy my room. The rote movements of shelving books, sorting papers and hanging up clothes manageable without the brainpower the heat saps away. I wonder if a basin of ice water for my feet would work?