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The Dog Days of Summer

A literal look at a figure of speech

High Point v North Carolina Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Suddenly, somehow, it’s July. The mercury in thermometers here in the southern part of heaven is stretching ever closer to triple digits, and the puppy I wrote about a few weeks back has learned that she’s equally fond of naps in the sun and air conditioning. Car doors may as well be oven doors these days, and we found ourselves in the midst of a widely-documented college sports desert.

There are other sports, of course. Folks are slipping and sliding all over the court at Wimbledon, Cam Johnson and his Suns are headed to the NBA Finals, and there are still eight teams left standing in the UEFA Euro Championship. There are options, for those of us who are itching for sports, but it will still be two months before the Tar Heels take the field against the Hokies of Virginia Tech.

It’s a long, hot few months between now and then. My apartment complex’s pool is still closed on account of the ongoing pandemic, so I find myself with plenty of time to reminisce on seasons past.

I didn’t have an opportunity to catch a ball game at Boshamer this past season, unfortunately. That’s an abnormality for me, but this past season wasn’t exactly a normal season. Either way, I didn’t get to see one of my favorite fixtures at home baseball games; Remington, the Heels’ golden boy. The retriever trots out in between innings, a bucket of balls held proudly in his mouth, to deliver fresh baseballs to the umpire as necessary. A source of cheering regardless of the score, Remington is a fun diversion during the lull between at-bats.

Three weeks ago, I got a puppy and named her after a Tar Heel great. Today, I found myself thinking of Remington, the ball pup for the Diamond Heels. I don’t believe that’s what they mean when they say these are the dog days of summer, but here we are regardless.

Happy 4th of July, y’all, and Go Heels as always.