As July threatens to turn into August, and our hair seems irrevocably plastered to our foreheads, we’re feel like we’re squarely in that special time of year that our mothers used to call the “dog days of summer.” And dogged they are, but in truth, the phrase comes from the ancient Greek and Roman belief that Sirius, also known as the Dog Star for its prominence in Canis Major, controlled the hot weather. The Romans would sacrifice a brown dog at the beginning of summer to appease the sultry rage of Sirius, but our offering is a little more whimsical (and less bloody) — a list of a few of the most beloved pups in literature. Because after all, if sacrifices to stars don’t work, who better to help you actually enjoy the sweltering summer than man’s best friend? Click through to read our list, and of course, if we’ve spurned your favorite canine, sing his praises in the comments!
Argos, The Odyssey
One of the first dogs ever to be named in Western literature, Argos is the most faithful of them all — having waited for his master to return for twenty years, he is the only one to recognize Odysseus for his true self when he does appear. Then finally, having seen his master safely home, the old dog can die in peace, an enduring symbol of fidelity and love.