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The Origin of 'Dog Days,' And Dealing with the Heat

Jon Katz, author of Dog Days, talks with Andrea Seabrook about the origin of the term "dog days of summer" — and how animals know better than humans how to deal with them.

Katz says the term dates back to the ancient Romans, who noticed that Sirius rose with the sun from July 3 to Aug. 11. As the major star of the "Big Dog" constellation, Sirius is often called the "dog star." It's the brightest star in the nighttime sky. The Romans assumed that the two stars were acting in league to create the "days of great heat." Katz said he got up early one summer morning to see for himself and was mesmerized to find that it's true.

He says the animals on his farm, including his dogs, share an interesting way of accepting the heat, gathering together in the shade and not moving. That's a departure from humans in the United States, who just go about their busy lives.

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