What "dog days of summer" means to most people is that it's doggone hot weather.
But Dog Days originally meant the days when the Dog Star, Sirius, rose just before or at the same time as the sun. The Romans named this period caniculares dies — days of the dogs — after the Dog Star. In the northern hemisphere, the period falls between July and early September.
The Dog Star is the brightest star in the sky. This doesn't surprise us dogs.
The ancients thought that the dog days of summer was a bad, bad time. Somebuddy ancient said the dog days are "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." Obviously that human didn't know dogs.
If you dogs and your humans want to have a good time at two dog-friendly wineries, go to two Dog Days fundraisers (and "fun-raisers") that benefit Healdsburg Animal Shelter.
For two days, August 9 and 10, Mutt Lynch Winery in Dry Creek Valley will host their annual Dog Days of Summer Open House and Charity Event from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. Donations appreciated. You dogs are more than welcome — your attendance is a time-honored tradition at this "dog and wine" event.
I'm drooling at the thought of munching on the hot dogs that Big John's donates to the event. Woof! Pass the Greyhound Poupon.
Humans get to do Mutt Lynch winetasting and see dog art. There'll be works by Mylette Welch and other artists. I've visited with Mylette, and I like her Welsh Corgi print that my dog-ma hung on our wall.
Mutt Lynch Winery (707-942-6180) is located at 1960 Dry Creek Road, northwest of Healdsburg.
On August 10, another famous annual Dog Days event is being held at Trentadue Winery from 12 noon to 4:00 P.M. You dogs have to take your humans so that you can both enjoy an afternoon of doggie games, obstacle courses, and cooling-off water stations to beat the heat.
Trentadue will have an event center with pet related vendors, training tips from dog trainers, and more "cool dog stuff." Food and drinks will be available for purchase. The event fee is $5.00 per adult and $ 5.00 per dog. Children are free. A portion of the proceeds benefits Healdsburg Animal Shelter.
Did you know that Trentadue had grapevines way back in the 1890s? Well, they are in Alexander Valley — Old West Sonoma wine country. Trentadue still makes a pre-Prohibition field blend-style wine: You humans can check out the Old Patch wine, based on Zin, Petite Sirah, and Carignane. I'll check out the old patch.
Trentadue Winery (888-332-3032) is at 19170 Geyserville Avenue in Geyserville, California.
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