At Chapman, these really are the dog days of summer

If you find yourself whining and barking about the heat, it’s no wonder. These are the dog days of summer, after all. Around Chapman University, though, many of our better-behaved canine pals are year-round visitors. We celebrate that tradition in the photo gallery below.

But first, a history lesson about the dog days. It’s more than just a turn of phrase, says William Cumiford, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Chapman, and a scholar of ancient civilizations, the world where the expression had its cultural beginning. Read on for Cumiford’s quick take on the mythology, astronomy, history and even, ahem, chicken droppings that are all part of the dog days story.

“The mythology apparently extends to ancient Egypt with the rising of the star Sirius, the brightest in the heavens. In Greece and Rome, the star was considered a harbinger of bad omens, including heat, storms, lethargy, drought, bad luck and mad dogs. In Homer’s Iliad King Priam mentions “Orion’s Dog” (Sirius, appearing on 19 July) bringing a portent of evils, including fevers. Hesiod, in The Theogony, opined that the Dog Days occurred before the rising of Sirius.

The Romans, as usual, continued the legend when Virgil in The Georgics, a poem in praise to the pastoral life, cautioned vintners before planting to beware the Dog Star fires scorching the Earth. The Roman writer Pliny, in his Natural History, noted that dog attacks increased in July and August and recommended that they be fed chicken droppings to thwart this tendency!”

And now, here are just a few of the dogs of Chapman that charm us year-round. We’re sure none of them will require the Romans’ particular snack to keep them in line this summer.

woman and dog
At Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law anyone in need of a furry friend can look forward to “Tail Wagging Tuesdays” when Juneau hangs out in the office of Jayne Kacer, associate dean for Student Affairs and Administration. Law students can enjoy a quick study break or even borrow the white Polar Labrador for a head-clearing stroll around Old Towne Orange.


Poppy, left, is joined by a community member’s dog, in a romp on the Bert C. Williams Lawn. Poppy belongs to Arleen Bejerano, Ph.D., instructional assistant professor, in the School of Communication.


woman and dog
Karsten is a loyal and helpful working dog that assists Kimberly Whitlock ’08, a departmental assistant in Information Services and Technology.


woman and dog
Genie looks tough, but this Boston terrier and certified therapy dog is a love bug. The retired show dog was adopted by Roxanne Greitz Miller, Ed.D., director of the Institute for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. She accompanies Miller to campus on Thursdays, their scheduled day to visit at Sisters of St. Joseph .


professor with dogs
Regular visitors to Chapman University’s Economic Science Institute are the two Australian shepherds belonging to Steven Gjerstad, Ph.D., a Presidential Fellow in the Economic Science Institute.


professor and dog
Ollie is both companion and helper to Art Blaser, Ph.D., a professor in the departments of Political Science and Peace Studies.


worker with dog
Kat White, a depot coordinator in Chapman University’s facilities and maintenance warehouse, takes Elroy for a quick stroll around the West Palm offices. White is a Marine Corps veteran and Elroy’s presence helps ease symptoms of her post-traumatic-stress disorder.



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Dawn Bonker

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