It is six thirty in the afternoon of June 21, 2017.
Another heat record has been broken. I’ve been watching the clock for a few hours. At one point the temperature was 121. That was according to the inside clock temperature. I have an ‘atomic clock’ in the office. I was cool because the office is air conditioned.
I got up from my chair and walked outside to check the actual temperature at the gauge I’ve mounted on the back-house wall. The needle was pegged at 120. That was the last number on the dial. Close enough.
I’ve been waiting until seven o’clock. I might wait until seven-thirty. I’m waiting for the temperature to drop lower.
I take Bernie and Chris out twice a day for their exercise. This morning we left the house at five o’clock. It was 82 degrees. It was a beautiful cool morning, just before the sun rose. In Surprise, Arizona the humidity is very low. Even when the sun boils the air, the low humidity keeps me from sweating.
But the heat bakes the ground and the asphalt roads and the cement sidewalks. The dogs can burn their paws. That’s one reason I exercise them in the early morning. It’s also the reason I wait until almost sunset.
The ground will still be very hot and so will the asphalt and the cement. But the dogs need their exercise. Their exercise period will be fairly short, probably not more than ten minutes.
In the morning, the dogs are frisky and play-fight and race around. In the evening, the oppressive heat will affect their behavior. They will be more docile. The will do their business. For once, they will be patient and wait for me to walk back to the car and open the back door for them to jump in. They will jump in, anxious to get out of the heat. Anxious to go home and lap up water.
One more glance at the clock. Seven o’clock and the temperature has dropped slightly. It is 112 degrees.
I’ll wait another fifteen minutes. Both dogs have their bodies glued firmly to the cool tile in the bedroom. I will give them a few more minutes of that cool luxury.