Aloha to the dog days

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Erin Baxter
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs

The dog days of summer, officially from July 22 through August 22 every year, are thought to be the hottest days of the year. The term surfaced from the ancient Romans, naming the part of the year in respect of their dog constellation, the cluster Sirius.

 While Hawaii’s temperatures remain relatively consistent year-round, Hawaii service members celebrate the dog days 365 days a year with their pets. 

“I’ve had Pudgey, that little rascal, for 10 years,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rusty Bryan Frank, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency forensic photographer. “He helps me keep the mindset that whatever life throws at you, you can power through and deal with it.”

For many, their dogs keep them resilient and level-headed and are always there to be a friend or a guard.

“Zeus is a 110-pound Shiloh Shepherd who was trained by a police force K9 trainer,” said U.S. Navy Sonar Technicians Submarine 1st Class Christopher Carr, Naval Submarine Training Command Pacific instructor. “While I’m deployed or even just at work, I know Zeus is there to protect my family if need be, and he gives me peace of mind.” 

A dog can’t understand the struggles or troubles of the family but can be there for emotional support.

“We’ve been through a lot with this little guy,” said Frank. “Some good, some bad, but he’s helped me keep the attitude that I can’t give up on anything. I can’t fail my wife, and I can’t fail him.”

Both Frank and Carr see their dogs as their best buddies and understand the importance of having that extra family member, and the care, that comes along with it.

“Dogs require a lot of care, love, and attention,” said Carr. “If you can’t commit to that, don’t get a dog. The bigger the dog, the more attention they need, the more exercise they need, and the more food they eat.”

“When you have a dog, you have to have the right mindset,” Frank added. “You can’t always put yourself first, because you have to think of what’s best for them. It’s sort of like being in the military, sometimes you have to put the Air Force before yourself, and sometimes my wife and I have to put the dog before ourselves.”