Straight from Reader's Digest:
A time of celebration for sure, the winter solstice may also leave you longing for those "dog days" of summer -- the period between early July and early September when Sirius, aka the Dog Star, rises and falls with the sun (and temperatures follow suit). The term dies caniculares ("dog days") was coined in the 1500s.
Now when I look outside on a morning snowstorm and yearn for the dog days of summer, I'll actually know what I'm wishing for!
(And, as a bonus, I'll know what "Sirius" is; not only the Dog Star, but also the brightest in the night sky!)
Shine on, you old dog.
[photo via wikipedia]