Weather in the Foothills

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment to animals.”
– Abraham Lincoln

The “dog days of summer” are known for being the hottest days of the year. Such days conjure up images of pools, ice tea and dogs lying in the shade. The phrase commonly pertains to heat-struck canines. But its origins date back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. During the summer, they observed the star Sirius – the dog star ¬– rising with the sun. The more recent Farmer’s Almanac refers to those days between July 3 and Aug. 11 as the dog days of summer. No matter its origin or meaning, it comes with a guarantee of hot weather.

We may think, “Pampered pets and their indulgent owners” applies only to this day and age. Oh, no, no, no! There was once a yellow Lab-mix dog belonging to a rather tall lawyer from Illinois – Abraham Lincoln. After being elected President, he reluctantly gave Fido to dependable neighbors. Included were instructions for Fido’s care: 1) Must have full run of the house. 2) Should eat at the table with the family. 3) Must sleep on his horse-hair sofa. 4) Kept comfortable during hot and cold weather.

Appropriate manners for the White House? Maybe not.

Fido, like our dog Abby, was considered a family member. But President Lincoln’s humane care and love for animals was unheard of in the 1800s. These summer dog care tips, no-doubt, would receive his Presidential seal of approval.

1. Provide plenty of water and shade, preferably indoors.

2. Protect paws by checking the ground temperature prior to a walk.

3. Children (with and without fur) should never be left in a hot car.

4. Pool-time water safety applies to dogs and children.

Today brings a very slight weather change as ocean breezes shift inland. Appreciatively, cooler night temperatures are expected. More of the same expected.

Indeed the weather has “gone to the dogs!”

Sue Kilpatrick is a Crescenta Valley resident and Official Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service. Reach her at