The Princess and the Heatwave

Marley is not a true royal princess- I mean, she does live in the ‘hood and she’s not a purebred Husky- but, she has been exhibiting some princess-like behaviors lately. I can’t say that I blame our sweet girl one bit, though. Let me explain…

Birmingham is in the throes of a heatwave and it ain’t pretty. With ‘feels like’ temperatures in the triple digits and the humidity so high it’s what Dan calls, ‘the air you can wear’, we’re all pretty miserable and dreaming of fall…which won’t come to the South until October maybe. Though I may grumble and mumble about it, I can take it; I did grow up in Florida in a house with no air conditioning, after all. I get used to going without make-up and having hair that looks like the Lion King, dressing for coolness rather than any sense of style or decorum. Basically we Southerners all become the People of Walmart during this hot and sticky season and everyone’s a tinch annoyed from being sweaty and uncomfortable (only my hair is far too short for curlers and my Tennessee mountain feet way too big to be walking around in house slippers in public, but I digress…).

I have always walked my dogs first thing in the morning; when school is in session I go in early to teach and am often hoofing it with my pup by 5:30 or 6am. During the summer break I go out early as a matter of survival for me and my dog. Marley is a husky and has a double coat. She also has a propensity toward being a big couch potato. Don’t get me wrong- she is typically a great exercise buddy, loving to go on long walk/runs- heck, we even ran the Mutt Strut 5K a couple of months ago.

As the mercury has risen, though, Marley has begun to go all royal on me. It happens the same way every morning; we start out with great gusto, heading down 12th, then up 16th through the ‘hood. We go down 11th, and as we make the turn down 10th at about twenty minutes into our walk, Marley suddenly slows down and then stops, looking at me and panting. I stop and love on her, asking if we can go a little farther. She looks at me like Scarlett O’Hara glaring in Southern, making me think she’s about to drop from heat exhaustion with a “Fiddle-dee-dee!”. In fact, one day she scared the absolute bejeezus out of me and dropped to the sidewalk for added effect, smiling at me with her tongue lolling out. Drama Queen…

Before you worry about her- as soon as I say, “Marley, you wanna go home, Girl?” she spins toward home like a flash and happily trots back in the direction of Chez Gainey. It’s all a show; a show designed to train me to get her highness back to her air conditioning. It’s working well, I’m afraid; I just shake my head, call her a big wuss, and take her home. I drop her off and continue on my walk while she lays on the floor and pants like a locomotive- a very happy locomotive who got her way.

Who am I kidding? I can’t deny this dog anything. I live to serve Her Majesty of the ‘Hood…but fall and our long walks together can’t come soon enough. As Mom used to share the story of a friend’s child who overheard his parents spelling out curse words, “It’s hot as T.S.I.G out there!”

6 thoughts on “The Princess and the Heatwave

  1. Yep. She has your number!! Have you considered giving her a “comfort cut”. Basically they shave the hair to about an inch or less all over the body with the exception of the head and tail. It does make the pups with thick coats more comfortable in beastly hot weather….

    1. She does. 😜 Our groomer said to never shave her/cut her coat, as the double layer helps to keep them cooler, too. I’ve given summer coats to other dogs, but I’ll just keep Marley close to air conditioning. 😂❤️

  2. Even I have a golden retriever and in India we too have very bad summers and poor little darling she too had quite a share of being in this weather and she too would not like to eat her food nor want to go out for her walks but sit in the house like a couch potato. Luckily we have our AC’s so she was made comfortable with that.

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