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In the Heat

I hate the heat. It’s still only spring on Long Island, but the temperature went up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit the other day, and then it went down again, so that the heat in my building came on, until it felt like it was at least eighty degrees again. Just to piss me off. When I get too warm, by even a few degrees, I start to get double vision, bad headaches, dizziness, and sudden bouts of nausea that make me want to sit down on the floor for a few hours until the world stops spinning. It’s unpleasant.

At my synagogue, people are always telling me how chilly it is with the air conditioning on. Aren’t you cold? Four women ask me, one after the other. If it’s over 40 degrees Fahrenheit, then no, I’m not chilly, I’m fine.

I’m considering attaching a small fan to Cricket’s head so that when she, inevitably, jumps on my chest and tries to smother me awake, at least I’ll get a nice cool breeze for my trouble.


“Where do you think you are going to put this fan, Mommy?”

Cricket is currently a big fluffball, because my mom prefers the fluff and always conspires with Cricket to put off grooming for as long as possible, until not only can’t we see Cricket’s eyes, but she can’t see us either, through the encroaching hair from her forehead above, and her cheeks and nose below. It’s possible that she’s staring at me with searing hatred; it’s also possible that she’s asleep. I’ll never know.

Cricket no eyes 1

“I don’t see a problem.”

If I were Cricket, I would go to the cabinet and take out the rounded-edge doggy scissors, and bring them to one of the nearby humans, as a hint. But Cricket is not me, so she hides under the couch and pretends it doesn’t bother her at all that she can’t see, and has started to smell of eye snot, and is probably sweating to death in that fluffy coat. Totally not a problem. Everything is cool here.

Butterfly likes to sit in the direct line of the fan, or the air conditioner, and feel the breeze in her hair, but she also likes to go out for walks in the heat of the day, so she’s an enigma to me.

pix from eos 013

“I’m an enigma? What’s an enigma?”

I would like to complain about the current changeability of the weather, and how it goes from hot and humid, to rainy, to cold and windy, and then to mild and pleasant, so that I am forced to change from my winter jacket to my fall jacket to my rain coat al in one day. But by July, the heat and humidity in New York will be so unrelenting that I will be hugging my air conditioner for dear life. Even Cricket will be splayed out on the floor, looking for one last cool spot. Though she still won’t be begging for a haircut, or a bath. She could be dying of heat stroke and she’d still see the bathtub as a torture chamber. So, I’m trying to embrace the moments of nice weather when they come up and ignore the rest for now. Maybe, along with putting a fan on her head, I should get Cricket a book bag so she can carry all of my weather options with her: like a bottle of water, an extra sweater, and maybe a rain hat. Then all I’ll have to do is convince people that she’s my service dog and bring her with me everywhere I go. I mean, what could go wrong with that?


“Help Me!!!!”


The future service dog.




About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

70 responses »

  1. I’m with you…I absolutely hate the heat! Wonderful post! Always enjoy your writing and hearing about your beautiful dogs

  2. What I’ll never get is why my dogs, who jump into rivers and lakes, bound through the pouring rain, and search out puddles for rolling, become terrified of water when it’s time to take a bath.

  3. I didn’t even recognize that poor wet dear dog! You have my sympathy on the heat. I remember one summer in Cambridge was so hot and humid that I took a shower, turned on the fan and stood in front of the open refrigerator. There was no air conditioning anywhere I ever lived. Here we have the furnace on though it is supposed to be 90 on Thursday. Our dog is completely confused. So am I.

  4. gingerbread76

    I want to know why dogs run around like Tasmanian devils after a bath.

    Also, not long ago, I read an article about how there are places on the interwebs where you can register your dog as a service dog. Even if they aren’t, really. You just have to state some reason… like… I don’t know… my dog keeps me calm when I fly. The certificates look official and apparently most establishments don’t question it. It’s a racket, but still, I guess it’s a thing.

    • That could work with Butterfly, but two seconds into the flight, Cricket would scare a baby and the plane would have to turn around and her service dog credentials would be shredded.

  5. That last picture so made me laugh! You’re almost there, Cricket. Service Dog school is looking good for you. 🙂

  6. It’s been at least 90 down here in Florida the last few days, and we only just got some rain and some cooler air today. But the Sun shone so much at my bedroom (which is in the northwest corner of the house, right where the summer Sun sets) that it is the hottest room in the house and I am having to type this on the tablet with a pedestal fan running. It’s after sunset, and my window is only now starting to cool off.

  7. My Ginger used to look like a big cuddly bear and then I’d have her groomed and she’d look like a little, skinny rat. Ok, maybe not a rat, but she shrank considerably after a grooming. She didn’t much like it either. Love the pictures. Had me laughing, their so cute!

  8. I don’t see any problems either, Cricket.

  9. hairytoegardener

    Cricket’s last two photo are so cute & funny. (I know she doesn’t think so!) For my dogs, it’s toenail clipping that terrifies them. I understand your dislike of the heat. In Texas, it seems almost as if it’s hot all of the time. We barely had a winter this year. I remember in the summer of 2011 wanting to go outside to work in the yard but by 9:30 am it was already over 95 heading to over 100. My house’s wooden siding cracked that year when it hit 114 F. I hope this summer is a cool one for you.

  10. Ahhh! I feel so sorry for them at bath time. Those sweet little faces so anxious, but once Tide gets in there he loves it. Happy Mothers Day. 🙂

  11. how nice to have clean
    babies for mothers day 🙂

  12. I gotta start reading more slowly. I saw the picture of Cricket and read the title as “In Heat”.

  13. Enter MERCUTIO, BENVOLIO, Page, and Servants.
    Ben. I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire:
    The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
    And, if we meet, we shall not ’scape a brawl; 5
    For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

    Your writing about how heat affects mood made me think of the above.

  14. If I should ever invite you to visit us here in South Carolina (which is an open invitation, btw), don’t come. The heat would more than overshadow the fun conversation!! 🙂

  15. Wow, 80’s there. We are still hovering in the 50’s with lots of cloud cover. It was funny seeing the pictures of her bath time. Emma loves bath time and just sits there as if saying pamper me cuz I’m special.

  16. I am in the same boat, so can completely understand where you are coming from, that heat is nasty! The forecast is calling for upper 70s to mid 80s all week, ugh… Those last two photos made me laugh, poor pup isn’t happy about bath time!

  17. Those bathing and clipping images just kill me! reminds me -besides the lovely doggie odor – that I need to get my two bathed!

  18. Hunydog had a bath the other day, and while her hair is short, it’s copious. The drain catch was full of little gold dog hairs when I was finished. She was upset by this and now runs and hides if I even approach the kitchen sink. A suggestion for cooling down (temporarily, but it works pretty well) have a spray bottle full of water near at hand and spritz yourself now and then when you’re sitting in front of the air conditioner. It helped me through hot flashes and the impending heat of summers here. At least we have dry heat. I consider myself lucky.

  19. If you need Cricket to carry all three coats, you might need a bigger dog, or a treat system as she pulls the caddy. We have one dog who will sit in the rain, jump in the lake and climb right in the shower with us if we let him…he’s a Boxer mix. The Pit-lab mix is a dainty indoor dog who will squat for a sit on the wet porch, and gives me a vulture look if it’s raining as if to say, “No, really, Mom, I can wait!” She probably could, but we don’t test that theory too often. I don’t think she likes the bath much either.

  20. Love the piece! Hope Cricket appreciates the haircut afterwards, as least.

  21. Sorry Cricket, but that photo entitled ‘Help Me’ cracked me up. Must be the sadist in me.

  22. My Fats waits until noon in hot south florida and begs to go jump in the creek behind our house then just lays out in the grass to cool off. Meanwhile its cool inside my house and I’m starting to look a little like I should be in the cast of Jersey Shore. Im legit orange and its natural….

  23. The pictures say it all 🙂 Lovely post!

  24. Such an adorable dog you have!

  25. I’m a fan of fluff like your mom!

  26. Hi Rachel, so I’m reading this brilliant post of yours and nodding my head in agreement all the way through. I’m so with you here – I too *hate hate hate* the heat! (Apologies for the repetition but I just had to.) That is so unfortunate since I live on a little island smack bang in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Mild winters, granted, are a good thing (although I do miss the snow of MI, where my husband and I lived for a couple of years). But the summer months are almost unbearable. I too get headaches and feel nauseous almost all the time. I feel for Cricket too poor thing. When she was still with us, my yorkie spent most of the days trying to find the coolest spot in the house. Just try to hang in there. I’m with you!

  27. Oh someone does not look happy.

  28. It amazes me when they are bothered by something as simple as a knock on the door but truly wouldn’t care if they could see or not. I laughed out loud when you said “I can’t tell if she staring at me with searing hatred or if she is asleep” Thank you for sharing you and Cricket’s story.

  29. OMG, those pictures of Cricket getting her hair cut made my day. Thank you!

  30. I hate the heat, too. And lately I am even getting annoyed at people who assume every one loves the “nice weather.” We had been having cool days some even a bit cloudy and rainy. I have been LOVING that AWESOME weather. But as soon as the clouds rolled away and it got warm people starting saying, “Oh, finally some nice weather!” And I have had to bite my tongue so as not to snap back, “What is nice about it? See the sweat dripping down my back? UGH. The weather we had was more than just nice, it was awesome. This is crap!” I wish people would start saying, “I like this weather.” Instead of assuming every one likes it when it is about 60°F.

    And, no, of course, you wouldn’t be one of those people that lie about your dog being a service dog when she is not.


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