Dog Days of Summer

Friday, July 1, 2022


It’s commonly thought that the expression “Dog Days of Summer” refers to the hottest time of the year. If true, that would have been during June’s heat wave. But the expression actually derives from ancient observations of Sirius, the Dog Star and its annual rising in the morning during summer.  It is also the brightest star, after the sun. The Old Farmers Almanac places Dog Days at 40 days from July 3 to August 11. Both observations just happen to coincide with (typically) the hottest time of the year.

But, what if you actually have dogs and you want to enjoy the hotter days of summer?  Here are a few suggestions – just remember to bring water for yourself and your canine companions. And observe common courtesy – leash up where required and always clean up after your dog.

Off-leash Dog Parks. A great way to start the day, and work off some energy before it gets too hot.  Check out DogPaw Off Leash Parks  to see if there is one near you.

Cape Horn Hikes

Early morning hikes in the Columbia Gorge.  The western part of the Gorge and can provide a nice respite from the heat. Both sides of the Columbia River have excellent hiking trails and outdoor vistas.  One hike close by is Cape Horn Trail just off Highway 14. It starts out a bit steep, but levels off to a nice hike up to Nancy Russell Overlook with panoramic views of the Gorge.

Two helpful references are Best Hikes with Dogs Western Washington by Dan Nelson and Best Hikes with Dogs by Ellen Morris Bishop.  Although the second is focused on Oregon, there are several areas that are easily accessible within a one-day drive from Vancouver.

Go Jump in a Lake! (Or River or Beach.) You don’t have to be a water dog to enjoy water sports in our area.  The Lewis, Washougal, and Columbia rivers all offer places to swim with your dogs. And many lakes in the county allow swimming. But be on the look out for algae bloom –  it can be toxic to humans and dogs. Check with local authorities and look for posted warnings before entering the water. Finally, check out the beaches on the Long Beach Peninsula.  A little over 2 hours to miles of off-leash fun right on the ocean.  It will not only cool off your pups, but also wear them out for the trip home!

Or Just Stay Home.  And if you can’t make it to one of those destinations, you can always resort to the backyard kiddie pool. Trust us, even before you can get the water in, it will be a hit with the Dog Days of Summer!

Dogs in Kiddie Pool

Looking for a place to beat the heat and enjoy summer?  Call us, we have homes with Nature as Neighbors.