Dear Diary,

OMG! Summer is officially here.  That explains the 98-degree heat and the 95% humidity. It also may explain the air conditioning bill and why walking from the house to the car is like a stroll through Hell on a particularly humid day.  I must take steps to address this:

1. Shave the dog so she’ll stay cool in the heat.

2. Go up into the attic and remove all of that stifling insulation.  Maybe pull some of the   

    shingles off the roof, cut a vent, let the place catch a breeze.

 3. Take off all my clothes and throw away that SPF 1200 sunscreen to unleash the cooling  force     

      of my sweat glands.

 4. Shave my head to reduce pesky, overheating hair.

 Done! I feel cooler already and the dog is certainly looking interesting, though not necessarily like a dog.  Off to the beach!


Dear Diary,

This is not working out exactly as planned. Why?

It is about a bazillion degrees hotter in the living room than before I removed the insulation and I can no longer use the couch since that unexpected summer thunderstorm appeared directly over the ventilation hole I chopped in the roof.  21/2 inches of rain in 18 minutes followed by hail the size of golf balls. Sheesh! Maybe there’s something to that Climate Change thing after all.

Also: The dog and I look like we have been tanning on the surface of Jupiter. All those places where she used to have luxurious hair are now bright red and my own skull looks like I am Billy Idol except the white hair is actually folds of dead, crisp skin.  I am considering putting clothes back on except it is too painful to do so. Have slathered myself in unguents (SPF 20,000). I’d go up on the roof to cover the hole but fear neighbors will call police.


Dear Diary,

The dog refuses to come out of her crate or look at me. If I try to pet her she growls or runs away.  How was I to know that giving my dog a summer haircut actually reduces her ability to stay cool? I guess this is like that attic thing, why they call it insulation.  When my vet and his staff appeared at the door last night for the intervention (also to beg me to put on some clothes) they said that dogs shed exactly the right amount of hair to keep them cool (geniuses! How do they know?) and all we have to do is brush out that dead hair.


Dear Diary,

Am able to put clothes on again at last. Blue tarp on roof.

Not such good news for the dog, though.  Her undercoat came back in pretty much okay but her once gorgeous outer coat looks like moths have been nesting in it.  Veterinarian says this is about as good as it’s going to get. Also called me unprintable name, questioned my intelligence.  Can hardly wait till fall.  May have to add hair to dog.



About Gallivan Burwell, CTC, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Gallivan Burwell is a graduate of The Academy for Dog Trainers (CTC), a Certified Pet Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), CertifiedBehavioral Consultant Canine -Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) and a Mentor Trainer for Animal Behavior College. He offers group & private Force-free dog & people training through his company, Upward Dog Training & Counseling. He lives & works in New Orleans, La.
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