The phrase “dog days of summer” originated in ancient Greece, when the brightest star, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog) was visible during the hottest months of the year. Taking cues from the Greeks, ancient Romans called the dog days “dies caniculārēs” and blamed the sultry weather on the “dog stars” appearance. Believing the star was the cause of the heat, the Romans sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the dog days of summer to appease Sirius.


Those of us who live in the CSRA have a different approach. As uncomfortable as the heat can be in the sunny south, we celebrate the dismissal of winter with spring and summer landscaping, barbecuing, swimming and enjoying outdoor activities – especially with our dogs.


Dogs love summer, too. Mine seem to develop sudden deafness in the warmer months and I have to lure them back into the house with treats. Everywhere I go, I see people walking dogs, dining al fresco with dogs at their feet or playing fetch.


This summer, the SPCA is celebrating the dog days of summer with low-cost vaccinations, Yappy Hours at the SPCA and monthly dog washes at Cold Creek Nursery. Make plans to celebrate your own dogs by joining us for these activities all summer long.


Beginning Wednesday, the SPCA will offer low-cost vaccinations at our clinic on Willow Run Road from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. We will also have a low-cost vaccination clinic in the Marr Education Center, also located on Willow Run Road, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


On Thursday, May 9 from 5 to 8 p.m., our dog park will be open to the public for Yappy Hour.


Bring friends and/or leashed, vaccinated, well-behaved dogs out to enjoy the park and an adult beverage and some summer tunes. Admission is free.


We will have a cash bar and food available by donation from the great folks at Johnson Motor Company. You and your dog can boogie with Bogie or just chill out by the dog pool with great food and friends.


Yappy Hours will continue every second Thursday of the month through September.


On June 13, we will welcome Pam White to the stage. Bruster’s Ice Cream and other frozen treats will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the SPCA. No harm visiting the Bruster’s truck and the bar for a boozy frozen concoction of your own.


On July 11, Kenny George will entertain us with original country and some favorite covers.


On August 8, Beth Brodie from Van Gogh to Go will be here to help you WarHOWL you pet (pet portraits done in the unmistakable style of Andy Warhol). This class will require some advanced preparation for those who want to paint and space is limited. Please call the SPCA by July 3 to reserve your spot. Cost of the class is $50 and includes a drink ticket. Details can be found on our calendar page at LetLoveLive.org.


On Sept. 12, we will show our cat people some love as we wrap up the summer with guest author Gwen Cooper. You know her best-selling novel “Homer’s Odyssey” and her newest release “Love Saves the Day.”


On the second Saturdays from May through September, join us at Cold Creek Nursery for summer time dog washes. The washes will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m.


Incidentally, the ancient Egyptians used the rising of the star Sirius as a sort of Ground Hog Day for the weather. “Dog Days bright and clear indicate a happy year.” We are expecting a happy, yappy summer at the SPCA. So don’t sacrifice your summer for your dog, and certainly not your dog for summer. Celebrate both. Call us for details at 803-648-6863 or look for details online at LetLoveLive.org.


Chrissey Miller is the Development Director at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare