Poor Fergus is not really enjoying the summer so far. Even after a haircut he is still very warm and we try to plan our days to accommodate the fact that he is suffering, after all he feels the same heat we do plus he is wearing a fur coat. Alas Fergus is not a normal dog - what is normal anyway? Irregardless of whether this is our fault (yes I know that it is usually the owner at fault) or not... he doesn't always behave like a dog. I am not sure he thinks he is a dog. Perhaps he just sees himself as a different member of the family, and to be honest, we quite often think of him like that too.
In an effort to escape the 40C plus temperatures we have been several times to our favourite lake - Proserpina.
Fergus is not fond of water. He rarely goes anywhere near it by choice. He would stand in the shallows and bark at us in the hope that we would come out of the water... but we had other ideas.
Dogs seem to know instinctively how to swim. If we lower him into the water slowly, he starts paddling before his paws even touch the surface, its often hard to tell if he is enjoying himself or not, his face becomes a mask of studied concentration as he strikes out purposefully for the shore. Whichever way you turn him he always swims for the shore. He was quite happy to sit on the airbed and not go into the water...
So I gave him a little help...
Once on land there is customary shake followed by jumping onto the loungers and rolling among the absent swimmers towels and neatly folded clothing.... thanks Fergus!
He managed to keep his top knot totally dry.
We also look for ways to keep cool, After all housework continues whatever the weather.
Luckily the washing dries really fast... I mean REALLY fast!
And the chinese hat is of course perfect for this weather.
Other tips for keeping cool in extreme heat:
If you are using a fan but the air is still very very warm, wet a face cloth with cold water, wring it out and put it on your chest or neck and position yourself in the draft from the fan. Works really well.
If sleeping at night is an issue. Wipe yourself with a damp cloth and lie still letting your skin air dry. A mixture of alcohol and water works well for cooling - the skin cools as the liquid evaporates... but I am not sure I would want to smell of vodka or gin ... but its a thought.
Wearing less clothes is not always a good idea... sweaty skin sticks to sweaty skin and you just feel uncomfortable - wear natural fibres, cotton is excellent and don't worry about it getting wet from sweat...
Drink lots of room temperature water. Staying hydrated will help you cope with extreme heat.
Put a frozen gel ice pack (wrapped in a tea towel) around the back of your neck - works a treat.
Plan your day so that you do the most active things in the coolest part of the day, which here is very early in the morning. Do not assume that noon when the sun is at its height is the hottest part of the day, quite often the late afternoon is even hotter.
Avoid alcohol if you can - if you can't, compensate by drinking twice as much water as you do alcohol.
If there is no breeze, or the breeze is warm, keep your house closed up, windows and doors and curtains too, all firmly closed during the day and open it up at night when it is cooler - this keeps the heat out during the day and lets trapped heat leave during the cool of the night. Not a very British way to cope with the summer but very effective when the temperatures are really high.
When outside... wear a hat, wear sunscreen and stick to the shadows - who needs a tan? I'd rather be pale and interesting than brown and wrinkled before my time (or worse). Stay safe in the heat everyone!