Keeping My Cool

Cool 5 thek9harperlee

There are a lot of wonderful things about South Louisiana that we like to share with our friends in other parts of the United States and around the world: our fabulous food, our marvelous music, our love for “passing a good time,” as we like to say. I could go on and on, but I would never include our summertime weather as one of those things that we like to share. Unfortunately, many of you have recently had and continue to have the misfortune of experiencing South Louisiana-like heat and humidity. I am really, really sorry about that. Trust me, I know it’s not fun, so I’ve put together a few tips on how I manage to keep my cool from early May to late September . . . and sometimes beyond.

Cool 3 thek9harperlee

Even on the hottest mornings, I still go for my daily walks . . . I just go earlier and earlier as we get deeper and deeper into the heat of summer. As you can tell from the clock on the wall, the little hand hasn’t even reached seven yet, and it’s already 80 degrees Fahrenheit with 70 percent humidity. It looks like this walk is starting about 30 minutes too late. Tip Number 1: Get your walk in very early while the sun and the temperature are still relatively low.

Cool 2 thek9harperlee

And this is what I look like after my morning walk. Not pretty, I know, but I have included this photo as an example of summer-heat-survival Tip Number 2: Find a cool spot. I am fortunate to have tile floors and I take total advantage of them throughout the summer. In fact, I have seen the looks on my humans’ faces when they see me stretched out on the floor, and I have to tell you that I think they might be just a little jealous.

 Cool 7 thek9harperlee

Tip Number 3: Drink plenty of water. I have two water bowls, one for outside (you can see it in the photo above) and this one for inside. Now I have to tell you that, for some reason, I’m just not a really big water drinker; but my human mommy found that if she puts ice cubes in my water bowls I get a little more excited because I can go bobbing for ice cubes. And then she discovered this wonderful trick from my Twitter friend Sugar (@SugarTheGoldenR): Put blueberries are other pieces of fruit in the ice-cube mold. Who wouldn’t get excited about the water bowl when it looks like two eyes are staring up at you!

Cool 6 thek9harperlee

A lot of mornings, after my mommy and I have returned from our morning walk and I have had a nice refreshing sip of water, my mommy heads back outside to tend to the garden. Tip Number 4: When your humans are crazy enough to go out in the heat of the day to do whatever silly human things they think just have to be done stay inside. Let’s be honest, we all know that dogs are generally smarter than their humans: Who feeds whom? Who enjoys the ride while who does all the driving? Who picks up the poo? I think I’ve made my point. When the dog days of summer descend upon you and the heat and humidity make it feel as if you are living on the surface of the sun, retreat to the relative comfort of your house . . . and remember that this too shall pass.

My friends at The Uncommon Dog  (http://www.theuncommondog.com/) put together this great infographic with more tips on beating the summer heat:

  • Get your dog a cooling bed, pad, or mat and/or get your dog a good dog house or dog tent to keep the sun off them. I don’t have a cooling pad or a dog house (well, actually, I do, if you count the house I share with my humans!), but my cute little dog blog friend Taylor at Life Embarked does have a doggy cooling pad that she loves. You can click here to read all about it.
  • Tie a wet bandana around your dog’s neck. This is one that my mommy is seriously considering . . . for both of us!
  • Get a kitty pool for your dog to splash around in. I think we all remember the fiasco that was my pool party (if not, you can click here to read all about it), but I have lots and lots of canine friends who really love their pools.
  • Set up a fan so air circulates where your dog hangs out. You saw the fan that we have on our patio in the picture above. It makes summertime dining outside almost bearable for my humans, too.
  • Always make sure your dog has fresh water and shade. And remember that serving that water on the rocks with a touch of refreshing fruit really could make your dog’s day!
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43 Comments on “Keeping My Cool”

  1. this are great suggestions, love your photos too! Thankfully our “cool down” has begun!

  2. Look at you in the golden sunlight! Wooowooooo! Wonderful tips Miss Lee! Fortunately it does not get quite that hot here much, but I will still tall Mama she should make some frozen fruit ice cubes for us anyways! WOoooooowooooooo, Ku

  3. finnhoward says:

    Oh Miss Harper Lee, that early morning walk must be very hard for you now that it is mid July. We have been getting up before the sun rises some days in order to get ours in. Keep cool, those tiles look nice and cold!

  4. Jan K says:

    Great tips, Miss Lee. I can’t believe we’d be needing them up here in New England, compared to Louisiana, but we sure do! We have a nice cool finished basement with tile floors and sometimes the dogs will be down there sleeping when we silly humans are still upstairs doing stuff in the sweltering heat and humidity! So I think you are right that you all might be smarter than we are! 🙂

    • It seems like it’s hot everywhere this year. That’s just not right. I’m glad your dogs have a nice, cool retreat . . . and I suggest you join them as often as possible. 😉

  5. Rebekah says:

    great tips. My crew is Freon dependent, so at times I pretty much have to drag them outside. I live in the Midwest, not the deep south.

  6. Ruby says:

    Thanks for the tips Miss Harper Lee! I have never thought of putting fruit in the ice cubes before. We don’t usually have a lot of humidity here in Colorado but this summer has been brutal. And its only July!! Stay cool 🙂

    • The humidity just feels like being draped in hot, wet towels. Miserable! So sorry you’re having to endure that in Colorado this summer, but I promise the fruit-infused ice cubes will help to ease the pain 🙂

  7. Your 3rd photo is such a GOLDEN photo. LOVE that you have a fan n clock outside. Golden LOVE fruity ice cubes … best way for me to drink lots of water. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  8. Mom likes that blueberry idea. I am not big on water drinking either. Your after-walk picture is hilarious!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  9. Terry Cramer says:

    Thanks for the tips, Miss Harper Lee. I had a big problem the other night when my mommy took me out in the heat. I started to collapse. I’m better now. Then we had brown-outs in our building and our elevator wasn’t working. Mom has kept me inside and I use the bathroom that the humans use. (wee wee pads). My legs aren’t working all that well, so I can’t do stairs, and we’re on the third floor. You look pretty wilted after that walk!!

    A tip of the snout to ya,

    Matilda

    • Matilda, you take care of yourself in the heat. Humans and animals need to remember that it really can take a toll, and we all need to take it easy and take care of each other. Wishing you much cooler temperatures very, very soon!

  10. Those were wonderfull tips and pictures. i would love to live where u do i like it hot. i thought yr ice cubes were staring at me. i will have to do that trick. stay cool.

  11. Wonderful post, and the cute pictures of Miss Lee are the cherry on top! LOVE!

    • Thanks, Misaki. My mommy and I have been following your heat wave, which must be somewhat miserable with that gorgeous fur coat of yours! Hope you’re enjoying cool temperatures very soon!

  12. Those are all great tips. We are super careful to stay cool.

  13. Oh you poor thing Miss HL!! We have pretty hot summers here in Johannesburg too but being on the high veld it is hot and dry (Durban and Cape Town have the humidity being on the coast).

    You keep cool and make sure you mom keeps the ice cubes coming.

    • That dry heat can be miserable, too. We hope you’re managing to stay warm and dry during your winter and that your humans remember the ice cubes when summer visits the southern hemisphere!

  14. My dogs loved the tile floors, but Zoe was the craftier canine. She would flop right over the air conditioning vent and take a snooze.

    • Talbot, the Golden Retriever who preceded me, loved sleeping on the A/C floor registers when my humans lived in Galveston. I sure wish we had those in the house where we live now!

  15. rubytheairedale says:

    Oh gurl, that humidity sucks!!! You sure look like you have your peeps trained well! And, yes, that tile floor does look inviting!!
    I’m not so sure abouts my water staring back at me though…..
    I thinks you should come here for a visit, we usually have hot days, butts low humidity…what? Oh, never mind, Ma just said we’re gettin’ thunder boomers tomorrow, and high humidity….
    I guess it’s time to break outs the beer, and not move! (that’s my Ma’s plan anyhu!!! BOL)
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

  16. Jo Danehy says:

    All good points MHL. Especially info about cooling off in the pool. The Sundogs have been coming inside around 2 pm and staying in for the rest of the day. Hope you make it through the summer OK.

    • When I’m at my gran’s house, we go inside around 2 o’clock for a little nap . . . which my gran calls “a toes up.” In this kind of heat, everyone needs a little “toes up” in the afternoon. 🙂

  17. 2browndawgs says:

    Excellent suggestions. We have a bit of break from the weather right now. 🙂

    • I’m so glad you’re getting a break from the heat. I have to say that this summer has been–for us–relatively not bad; but the weather humans are predicting a pretty miserable end to our week. Hope my mommy has my ice cubes ready. 😉

  18. writetowag says:

    I tell you…you take great pictures!!! That first one is so lovely and that last one with MHL behind the door…I don’t know of I could ever leave that sweet face!!!! She would totally have me wrapped around her paw!!!! Always look forward to your posts!!!!

    • You are so very sweet! Knowing I’ll be right there waiting at that door when my humans come back home makes it a little easier to leave me . . . but just a little. 😉

  19. What beautiful pictures of you dear Harper Lee! And a great post!

  20. Jessica says:

    Boy…Taylor’s cool pad is still going strong, Miss Harper Lee! Thank you so much for the mention! And the idea you shared about adding small pieces of fruit to ice cubes is genius! I have to admit- I noticed your pic of the ice cubes before reading your post, and I thought to myself “Are those googly eyes?” 😉


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