Sunday, July 31, 2011

DYEING PETS

Okay, this is not a sad blog entry about pets who are dying, so put away your tissues.  It's a blog entry about people who are dyeing their pets, which is kind of a fad right now.  But if you think it's cruel and sad to dye a pet, then I guess you will need your tissues after all.





China seems to be where this new dyeing trend got started, and there are big dyed dog competitions and everything.  Actually, it's kind of weird that the Chinese are spending so much money on dogs nowadays, since it wasn't all that long ago that dogs were mostly raised for their meat and were eaten in restaurants.  But now there are Chinese people with more money, and they love owning dogs and putting cute outfits on them, and they also love dyeing them.





Just looking at the photos of Chinese dyed dogs, it seems like they are mostly either painted to look like pandas or like tigers.  But I'm sure there are other dye "costumes," too.  I would think, since this is the Year of the Rabbit, that people would dye their animals to look like rabbits, but I didn't see any photos of that.









The dyeing of pets thing is getting popular in other places, too, like for example in the U.S.  But some people wonder if it's a nice thing to do to your pets or not.  Other people think it's fine and lots of fun.  The problem is that we don't know if the dye will hurt an animal, especially if the animal is dyed several times.  Dyes for animals are made out of stuff that is supposedly safe, but dye covers most of the body, and it is absorbed through the skin.  So sometimes animals have allergic reactions to it.  And sometimes they just get really stressed out while they are being dyed, because it can take a long time to make a special design.





Small, exotic pets like hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and chinchillas shouldn't be dyed because they can have bad stuff happen such as respiratory infections and pneumonia.  Also if you have a pet that is difficult to bathe, like me, for instance, you shouldn't dye that pet because of course after you dye it, you will have to bathe it later to get the dye off.













It's best to have your pet dyed by a groomer who has experience doing it.  And you should just start by dyeing a small part of the animal first to see if there is any bad reaction.  Cats are especially likely to get an allergic reaction to dyes because they groom themselves and swallow the dyes.













My own opinion is that it would be best not to dye your pet.  Of course, if you remember, I don't like costumes for pets either.  But at least costumes won't make your pet sick unless the costume gets eaten and sticks somewhere inside your pet.  But dyeing animals is a new thing, and we don't know how it will affect the animals over time.  Which is why it is kind of a risky thing to do, if you ask me.  And it's also why I'm glad that Mom says there is no way she is going to dye any of her dogs or cats!



Saturday, July 30, 2011

AN ARTIST NAMED GEORGE CALEB BINGHAM

Self Portrait of the Artist

March 20, 2011 was the 200th birthday of a famous Missouri artist named George Caleb Bingham.  I think that 200 is a fine age to be, and it should be celebrated in a big way, unless you are already dead, which I'm sorry to say, is the case with Mr. Bingham.  But even though he is not here to do his own celebrating, lots of other people have been thinking about him and looking at his artwork and doing all sorts of Bingham-y things this year.

Shooting for the Beef
There are FOUR dogs in this picture!

So anyway, that's why Mom and Aunt LaDene went to see an exhibit yesterday of paintings by George Caleb Bingham.  And this exhibit was at the Truman Presidential Library and Museum, which is in Independence.  Mom and Aunt LaDene liked seeing the paintings, and after Mom told me that Mr. Bingham puts dogs in his paintings sometimes, I looked him up on the internet and sure enough, there were a bunch of paintings with dogs in them!

Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers Through Cumberland Gap

One reason why Mr. Bingham maybe liked to put dogs in his paintings is because he painted pictures of life on the frontier along the Missouri River, and a lot of people who lived there probably had dogs.  And I also hope that Mr. Bingham just happened to like dogs.

View of Pike's Peak
I think the man would not enjoy the view as much if he didn't have his trusty dog with him!

Anyway, George Caleb Bingham was born in Augusta County, Virginia, and he was the second of seven children.  When he was 7 years old, his father lost a bunch of money, and the family moved to Franklin, Missouri, which is near the middle of the state.  Missouri was kind of unsettled back then, so land was cheap.  After George's father died of malaria at the age of 38, George's mother opened a school for girls.  George worked as a janitor in the school, and then when he was 16, he became an apprentice with a cabinet-maker.

Fur Traders Descending the Missouri
That black animal really, really looks like a cat to me, but Wikipedia says it is a bear cub.

For a while, Mr. Bingham thought about being a minister, but then he started painting portraits.  He found out he could sell these for $20 apiece, and he could paint them pretty fast, like one every day.  So he was able to support himself just by painting.  He never had any kind of art lessons.  He just taught himself how to paint.  His style is called luminism, which is a word that art critics use to talk about some American paintings that were made during the 1850s through the 1870s.  Artists who use this style paint landscapes that have a lot of light in them.  They often have a hazy sky and water that reflects the sky and mountains.  When you look at these paintings, you feel happy and calm.

Eliza Thomas Bingham

Mr. Bingham had three different wives, but not all at the same time.  He and his first wife, Sarah, lived in Arrow Rock, Missouri.  They were married for 12 years, had 4 children, and then she died in 1848 when she was only 29.  The second Mrs. Bingham was named Eliza, and she was married to George Bingham for 27 years.  But sadly, she ended up having to go live in a mental asylum, and she died there in 1876.  Mr. Bingham's third wife was Martha Lykins, and she lived 11 years longer than he did.  They are both buried in Kansas City at Union Cemetery.

The Bingham house in Arrow Rock

The Bingham family moved to St. Louis in 1845, and in 1848 Mr. Bingham got elected to the Missouri General Assembly.  You could tell that he was interested in politics because he liked to paint pictures of political subjects such as candidates giving speeches and people going to vote.  Most of these political paintings have dogs in them, so that makes them pretty interesting, in my opinion.

Stump Speaking

In 1856, Mr. Bingham, his second wife Eliza, and his youngest daughter went to Europe.  First they lived in Paris and later in Germany, where Mr. Bingham met lots of artists and studied the works of old painters who were already dead by then.

When they got back to America, Mr. Bingham started painting more portraits, because that was the best way for him to make money to live on.  Also he got into politics again, and during the Civil War years, he served as State Treasurer of Missouri.  In 1874, he was appointed president of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, and he was also appointed as the first Chief of Police.  Then in 1875, the governor appointed Mr. Bingham the Adjutant-General of Missouri, and after that, people liked to call him General Bingham.

Washington Crossing the Delaware

George Caleb Bingham died on July 7, 1879.  Not long before he died, he became the first Professor of Art at the University of Missouri in Columbia.  But he was already very sick by then, so he was only able to see a few students before he died.

A photo of George Caleb Bingham later in his life

Mr. Bingham almost never signed his paintings, and he didn't keep any kind of record of them, so it's hard to know what he painted and what he didn't paint.  There are over 500 pieces that the art experts now think were definitely painted by Mr. Bingham, and 460 of them are portraits.  After he first died, people sort of forgot about him, but then in the 1930s, his work got popular again, and now he is thought of as one of the greatest American painters of the 19th century.

Horse Thief
People only just recently figured out that Mr. Bingham painted this.

I think it's good that Mr. Bingham put dogs in some of his paintings, but I think he could have put even more in.  And when he was doing all those portraits, he could have let people pose with their dogs.  Or better yet, he could have painted portraits of just the dogs without the people, like Maud Earl did.  If Mr. Bingham had done that, he could have been a truly perfect American artist!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Expensive New Meds!

This morning I took my very first half of a Lycodern tablet, and it was all hidden inside a huge lump of dogfood, so that made it really yummy.  The lump of dogfood had to be big because the pills are big, and even half of a pill is big, so that's the reason why.  The pills I'm taking are 500 mg, and they cost Mom $6.20 each, but she only had to buy 10 of them so far.  At least they didn't cost $7.50 each, like the price we saw on the internet.  I get to take another half of a pill with my supper, so that will be fun.

The nice pharmacist told Mom that she shouldn't touch the pills with her bare hands, and that is because she is not supposed to get the stuff they're made of inside her own body.  It's only supposed to be inside MY body.  So Mom put on some rubber gloves and split all the pills last night, and then this morning she figured out a clever way to get one inside a dogfood meatball without actually touching the pill.

Anyway, what this drug does is it destroys part of my adrenal gland, and it's the part that makes cortisol.  So after that, when the tumor on my pituitary gland tells my adrenal glad to make more cortisol than I really need, my adrenal gland won't be able to do that.  And that's a good thing.

But the tricky part is that we have to make sure that just the right amount of my adrenal gland gets destroyed by the pills and not too much of it, because if we go too far, then I will have Addison's Disease instead of Cushing's Disease.  This is all very confusing, but I'm just telling you what I understand about it. Also I wonder if all those old-time doctors like Dr. Cushing and Dr. Addison were proud to have a nasty disease named after them.  Oh well, I guess we can't ask them because they are dead now.

So now Mom has to watch me for the smallest sign that I am not wanting to gobble all my food down instantly at every meal, which would mean that it's time to do that $250 test to find out if enough of my adrenal gland is gone, and I can start being on a maintenance dose of the Lycodern stuff.  And when I'm on a maintenance dose, I will only have to get it maybe a couple of times a week, and I won't be drinking water all the time, and my hair will grow back.  But not for four or six months.

So okay, that's all for now.  Except I will just say that Mom has decided she might be able to afford to buy dogfood after all, even when she has to pay for such expensive medicine for me!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

UPDATE! by Mel

I asked Piper if I could write in her blog today because two Horrible Things happened to me yesterday, and I wanted to complain about them.  Piper said I was welcome to write my complaints in her blog, if I would also put some of her complaints in, too.  I said I'd be glad to do that, and so here I am writing.

First of all, I will tell you about the Horrible Things that happened to me.  The first Horrible Thing was that Mom gave me a bath!  Mom hardly ever gives us dogs baths because she is too lazy, and also because we don't like to have baths.  But I have been shedding a bunch lately, and Mom is tired of seeing all these clumps of my undercoat sticking out.  Whenever she tries to brush me or pull the loose hair out by hand, I snap at her.  I just do not like people messing with me, especially anywhere on my back end!  Sometimes Mom puts a muzzle on me and tries to brush me anyway, but I dance and twirl and try to make it as hard as possible for her to do this.

So anyway, that's why Mom got the idea of giving me a bath because she thought that would loosen up a lot of hair and she could get it out while I was having the bath, since I don't usually try to bite her when I'm getting a bath.  Oh, and Mom also decided she would give me a bath OUTDOORS, using the garden hose, which she has never done before.  Usually we get our baths in the bathtub.  But Mom did not want a bunch of dog hair going down the drain.

First, before Mom gave me a bath, she mowed the back yard, which really, really needed mowing, even though we haven't had much rain lately.  But the weather has been blistering hot, so Mom has been avoiding doing anything like mowing.  However, she finally bit the bullet and mowed the back yard.  Then after that, she was all hot and sweaty, so she sprayed herself with the hose to show me that it feels really good, but I didn't believe her.  And after that, she gave me a bath.  She got some of my loose hair out, but there is still a lot of it left.

Anyway, after that traumatic event, I thought I could just relax the rest of the day.  But I was wrong, because then the second Horrible Thing happened, which was that Mom took me to see Dr. Patricia!  This was just kind of a general checkup, and also we had to see if I could get less prednisone.  So of course, I will have to have blood tests and a urinalysis and a fecal flotation.  In fact, I have to go there this morning before breakfast to have my blood drawn, so that won't be any fun, but at least I get to come home and eat afterwards.

Mom told Dr. Patricia that she has that same nagging feeling about me that she had about Piper, thinking that something is wrong with me.  But I don't even have any real symptoms, like Piper has.  Mom doesn't know if I'm just getting old or if I'm getting sick.  Lately I like to hang out in some of my really special, safe places -- the ones where I usually go during thunderstorms.  These are places like under Mom's computer desk or under the bed (where I sleep most nights now).  So anyway, that's why we have to do all that bloodwork and stuff.  But really I think there's nothing wrong, and Mom just worries too much!

Okay, so enough about me.  I promised to talk about Piper, and I am now going to do that because she's a pretty nice little sister, at least most of the time.  On Monday, Piper went to Dr. Patricia's office, and the radiologist came and did an ultrasound.  And what the radiologist found out was that Piper's adrenal glands look fine, and her kidneys look fine, and her liver looks fine.  So this means that Piper's Cushing's is the pituitary-based variety.

So the next thing that has to happen is Piper will get a special medicine for a week, and this medicine is called Mitotane, which is the generic name, and the brand name is Lysodern.  I think it's confusing when there are two names for every drug, but nobody asked me what I think -- not that the opinion of a little omega dog would matter.

Anyway, this Mitotane stuff is very powerful, and it's what people sometimes use when they have cancer and are getting chemotherapy.  Also this drug is very expensive.  Mom looked at some prices on the internet, and they range from $2 for one 75 mg capsule to $7.49 for a 500 mg tablet.  And of course, Piper will need to take a bunch of these pills, so when they cost that much apiece, it will add up pretty fast!

We don't know right now what dosage Piper will be getting, but Mom will find out today when she picks up the prescription.  There are lots of possible side effects from Mitotane, such as vomiting and diarrhea and loss of appetite, so Mom has to watch Piper to make sure she doesn't get any of these side effects.  Because if she gets any, Mom is supposed to stop the Mitotane and give Piper some prednisone to make the side effects quit.

Then after Piper has been on the Mitotane for a week, she has to have something called an ACTH stem test, and that will take a couple of hours, and it will cost $250.  Also it may have to be done at Mission MedVet because Dr. Patricia's office might not be able to get the right kind of gel stuff that is needed for the test.

Anyway, once Piper's levels of ACTH are good, she will stay on a maintenance dose of Mitotane (or a different drug, if she can't tolerate that one), and every 3 months she will have to get re-tested with the $250 test.  So this is what Piper wanted me to complain about, and Mom said she would like to complain, too, because this whole Cushing's thing is turning out to be a very expensive illness, and she just hopes she will still be able to afford to buy us dogfood.  Plus she also hopes that there is nothing wrong with me -- especially nothing expensive, like Cushing's!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Horse Named Reckless

This is the true story of a horse who fought in the Korean War with the U.S. Marines.  She served very bravely and when she retired, she had the rank of Staff Sergeant.  But the funny thing is that she did not even start out to be a war horse.  In the beginning, Reckless was named Morning Flame, and she was a race horse.  She belonged to a Korean boy named Kim Huk Moon, who loved her very, very much.  But then Kim's older sister, Chung Soon, lost her leg when a land mine exploded, and the family could not afford to buy her an artificial leg.


Meanwhile, the Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marines was looking for a horse to carry ammunition to the front lines, and they ended up buying Kim Huk Moon's mare for $250, which they paid with their own money and not the Marine Corps' money.  The men of the platoon gave Flame the new name of Reckless because "Reckless" was what they called the recoilless rifles that she would be carrying.  Then they trained her to carry stuff and also to stay calm and steady during the noise of a battle.


The men loved Reckless, and they let her just wander around their camp without being tied up.  She entertained them with the silly things she did, like eating hats and sticking her head inside their tents to get warmed up by the stove.  They fed her barley, sorghum, hay, and rice, but she also liked some very weird things such as cake, Hershey bars, Coca Cola, and beer.  For breakfast, she liked to eat scrambled eggs, shredded wheat, pancakes, and coffee.  If she thought she wasn't getting enough attention, she would also eat things like blankets and poker chips, or she would rummage around in the men's tents to find any kind of yummy goodies that might be there.

Drinking beer with the guys

But when there was a battle, Reckless got serious, and she was very brave.  In March of 1953, there was a huge battle at Outpost Vegas, and it lasted for five days.  During that time, Reckless made trip after trip from the Ammunition Supply Point to the places where the Marines were firing at the enemy.  She had to cross a "no man's land" of rice paddies and go up steep mountains, and all the time there were bombs and machine guns and all sorts of horrible things happening.

Reckless made most of these trips alone, without a soldier with her.  And by the time the five days of fighting were over, she had carried 386 rounds of ammunition, which adds up to more than 9,000 pounds.  She walked over 35 miles, and she was wounded twice, but that didn't stop her.  And besides that, she shielded several Marines who were trapped when they were trying to get to the front lines.  So that's why, after that battle, Reckless was promoted to Sergeant.


When it got to be time for the Marines to leave Korea, they didn't know what to do about Reckless because they didn't want to leave her behind, but the military didn't have any money for transporting a horse.  But then after an article about Reckless was published in the Saturday Evening Post, a cargo line offered to ship the horse home for free.

Sgt. Reckless arrived in San Francisco on November 10, 1954.  A whole big crowd of people and reporters were there to give her a hero's welcome.  The day she got to America was also the 179th birthday of the Marine Corps, and she was an honored guest at the party.  This meant she got to ride up in an elevator to the 10th floor of a hotel and eat cake with the rest of her unit.

Reckless eating a flower arrangement

After that, Reckless went to live at Camp Pendleton, which is sort of between San Diego and Los Angeles.  She did some publicity for the Marines, and she had four foals.  Two of these were colts, and they were named Dauntless and Fearless.  I don't know what the fillies' names were.

In 1960, Reckless officially retired with the rank of Staff Sergeant.  She was awarded this rank by Gen. Randolph McC Pate, who was the Commandant of the entire Marine Corps.  Which just goes to show how important this little horse was.   She had full military honors and wore a red-and-gold blanket with all her awards on it.

Here's a list of the awards that Staff Sergeant Reckless won:
2 Purple Hearts
Gold Conduct Medal
Presidential Unit Citation with star
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation


Reckless was granted full quarters at Camp Pendleton's stable for life.  She never could have anything besides a blanket on her back again.  When her caretaker exercised her, he had to just run alongside her until she got tired.

When she was 19 or 20 years, old in 1968, Reckless suffered a serious injury and had to be put to sleep.  She was buried with full honors behind the stable at Camp Pendleton, but there is no marker where the actual grave is.  On the stable wall, there is a plaque that tells about Reckless.

Sgt. Reckless now has her own website, and a book is being written about her.  Also some people are making a movie about her, and they are trying to raise money to put a memorial marker on her grave.  If they get enough donations, they would also like to have a statue made of Reckless, and maybe it could be part of the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.  If it can't go there, another place might be at the Marines Headquarters in Quantico, VA or at Camp Pendleton.

A book was written about Sgt. Reckless before, and it's Reckless, Pride of the Marines, by Andrew Geer.  I think this book is out of print because I only found one copy of it on amazon.com, and it costs $95.  I don't know when the new book and movie will be done, but if you go to the link I gave you in the last paragraph and click on "Movie," you can see a short video about Reckless.  Also if you want to donate to help with the grave marker and the statue, you can do that, too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

WEREWOLF SYNDROME

I am not making this up!  There really is such a thing as werewolf syndrome, and the real name for it is hypertrichosis.  This is not like in the movies, where a person turns into a werewolf every time there's a full moon.  No, this is different.  It's where a person has a whole bunch of hair growing on them, like for instance all over their entire face, where you would not expect a human to have hair.

There are two ways you can get hypertrichosis, and one is that you are born with it, and the other is that you get it later in life, like because of some drugs you are taking or because you have cancer or maybe because of an eating disorder.  If you have this second kind of werewolf syndrome, it can usually be treated, but if you are born with it, you are pretty much stuck with it.

Luckily, it's very rare for people to be born with this condition.  The first case ever recorded was in 1648, and the man who had it was named Petrus Gonzales.  He lived in the Canary Islands.  In the Gonzales family, there were also two daughters, a son, and a grandchild who had hypertrichosis.  Since 1648, there have only been about 50 cases of people born with hypertrichosis, so it really doesn't happen very much.


In the past, a lot of people who had werewolf syndrome got jobs in circus freak shows because they looked so strange.  One of these people was Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Man.  His real name was Fedor Jeftichew, and he was born in Russia in 1868.  Mr. Jeftichew's father had hypertrichosis also, and they both toured with French circuses until the father died.  Then P.T. Barnum brought the son to the U.S. when he was 16.

Mr. Barnum made up a story about how Jo-Jo and his father had been living as wild animals in a cave, and a hunter captured them, but the father could never be tamed.  Mr. Barnum pointed out to everybody how much Jo-Jo looked like a dog, and he said that when Jo-Jo was upset, he would bark and growl.  Then Mr. Fedor would bark and growl to please his boss and scare the audience.  But really Mr. Fedor was a very civilized man who could speak three different languages.


Stephan Bibrowski was called Lionel the Lion-Faced Man.  He had hair all over his body that made him look like a lion.  When he was born in 1891 in Poland, his mother thought her son had all that hair because while she was pregnant, she had seen her husband get mauled by a lion.  She couldn't really stand having the boy around, so when he was four, she gave him to a German showman named Meyer.

Mr. Meyer started exhibiting Stephan all over Europe.  By then, the boy's hair was 8 inches long on his face and 4 inches long on the rest of his body.  The only places he didn't have hair were the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet.

In 1901, Lionel came to the U.S. and joined Barnum & Bailey's Circus.  He did gymnastic tricks and spoke to people in a gentle way to show them he was a very nice man, in spite of looking like a ferocious lion.  He wore stylish clothes, was well-educated, and could speak five languages.  He settled in New York City in 1920 and worked at Coney Island for several years.  Then in the late 1920s, he moved back to Germany.  He died of a heart attack in 1932 at the age of 41.



Julia Pastrana was another person with hypertrichosis who made a living in sideshows.  She was born in Mexico in 1834.  Besides having lots of hair, she also had a double row of teeth that made her mouth stick out, sort of like a gorilla's.  A man named Theodore Lent discovered Julia Pastrana and purchased her from a woman who might have been her mother.  He taught her to dance and play music, and she also learned to read and write in three languages. Mr. Lent took her on a tour all over the world.  He called her the "Bearded and Hairy Lady."










Eventually, Mr. Lent married Ms. Pastrana.  While they were on tour in Moscow, she had a baby that also had hypertrichosis, but sadly, the baby only lived for two days.  And five days later, Ms. Pastrana died, too.  But Mr. Lent did not want to stop touring, so he got a professor at a Moscow university to make mummies out of his wife and son.  Then he mounted them in a glass cabinet so people could still come and see them.  After a while, he found another hairy woman.  He married her and changed her name to Zenora Pastrana.  Finally, Mr. Lent was sent to a mental institution, which was probably a good place for him.



Meanwhile, the mummies disappeared for a while, but then they showed up in Norway in 1921.  They were on display there until the 1970s.  Then somebody thought they should come to the U.S. for a tour, but lots of people said this was a very bad idea.  So after that, the mummies weren't shown to the public anymore.  In 1976 some vandals got into the storage area and damaged the baby's mummy, and after that it got eaten by mice.  Julia Pastrana's mummy was stolen in 1979, but then it got found again.  Now it is in a sealed coffin in the Department of Anatomy at Oslo University.  In 1994, the Norway Senate said they thought the body should be buried, but the Minister of Sciences decided to keep it so that research could be done if scientists wanted to, but you have to get a special permit if you want to study Ms. Pastrana's body.





Now I will tell you about a modern girl in Thailand who has werewolf syndrome.  Her name is Supatra Sasuphan, and she is 11 years old.  Her classmates used to make fun of her and call her "wolf girl" and "monkey face," which made her really sad.  But then a special thing happened.  Supatra got into the Guinness Book of World Records as "The World's Hairiest Girl," and now she is very popular and has lots of friends.

When Supatra was born, she not only had a lot of hair, but she also had very small nostrils that were only one millimeter wide.  So she had to stay in an incubator and have surgery twice, just so she could breathe.  Then she had to have another surgery when she was two, but now she can breathe perfectly well.  The doctors did laser treatment on her hair, but it didn't make the hair go away.  It just grew back even thicker.  When it gets too long, her mother trims it for her so that it doesn't get in her eyes.



Supatra likes to do the same kinds of things that other girls her age like to do.  What she loves most is swimming, dancing, playing with friends, and watching cartoons on TV.  She says, "I like to study maths so I can be good at it and teach it to younger children so they can do it too.  I want to become a doctor so I can help patients when they get injured.  I want to help people who get hurt and help cure people."













Anyway, that is the story of werewolf syndrome.  There are some other famous people in history who had it, but I didn't have time to write about all of them.  I'm just glad that people don't have to be treated so much like freaks nowadays if they have something different about them such as hypertrichosis.  And if any of those people want to give up some of their extra hair, I'd be glad to have it to use in some of the spots where my hair is getting so thin!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

IT'S REALLY, REALLY HOT! by Nicky

Mom says I am heat intolerant, and she is so right about that!  I just do not like being outside when it is so darned hot out there!  You would think that the heat would not bother a short-haired dog like me, but it does.  I would much rather go stand outside in the snow for half an hour than stand outside on a hot day.

So, how hot is it? you may ask.  Well, it is so hot that the Heat Index has been way over 100 degrees a whole bunch of days lately.  The Heat Index is a very important measurement that takes the temperature and combines it with the humidity level in some kind of mathematical formula and then tells you how hot it really feels, which is usually hotter than the actual temperature says it feels.

Anyway, I was trying to think of ways to tell you how hot it is besides just using the Heat Index, and Mom said I should go to the online Thesaurus and look for some words and descriptive phrases.  So I did that, and I found lots of good words that mean "hot."  For example, instead of just saying it's very hot, I could say it's baking, blazing, blistering, boiling, broiling, burning, fiery, like an oven, parching, piping, roasting, scalding, scorching, searing, sizzling, steaming, sultry, sweltering, or torrid.

And then besides just some words that mean "hot," I found a whole list of very colorful phrases about hot weather.  Except that some of these phrases were so colorful that Mom said I shouldn't put them in a family-friendly blog.  So I won't, because there are plenty of other good phrases, and here's a list of them, starting with a few that most people have already heard.

It's so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.

It's hotter than blue blazes.

It's hotter than Hades.

It's hotter than a pepper sprout.

It's hotter than a $2 pistol on the Fourth of July.

It's hotter than two rats making love in a wool sock.

It's hotter than two bears fighting in a forest fire.


It's so hot the chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs.

It's hotter than a snake's butt in a wagon rut.
   (This one doesn't make much sense, but it's fun to say!)

It's so hot that I saw two trees fighting over a dog.

It's hotter than a fire cracker lit at both ends.

It's hotter than the hinges of Helena.

It's hotter than Georgia asphalt.

It's hotter than high noon in Death Valley.

It's so hot I could spit fire.

It's hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch.

It's so hot that the trees are creeping around looking for shade.

It's hotter than a steel playground at noon.

It's stupid hot!

It's hot enough to cure tobacco.

It's hotter than a pair of sweat pants full of barbecue.

It's another one of those aluminum foil sweater days.

It's so hot that it makes me want to take off my skin and sit in my bones.

It's so hot that I tied my mule in a field of corn, and the corn started popping and the mule thought it was snow and froze to death!








So anyway, if you ever want to tell somebody how hot it is, now you have a nice list of descriptive words and colorful phrases to use.  But reading through the list makes me start panting, so I think I'll just come back and read it again in the middle of January!