Editorial: Obsession with weather; ‘working like a dog’

Published 1:58 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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You’re obsessed.

So am I. So are our neighbors.

About what? The weather. We can’t get enough of it.

Once upon a time, we printed a half page of weather-releated items in this newspaper in every issue, complete with forecasts. We received that forecast on Monday, and put it in Thursday’s newspaper. It was the prediction for the weekend’s weather.

About 75 percent of the time, that forecast was wrong. The other 25 percent, it was partially wrong.

But people still read it. It was one of our most popular features. Apparently, none of us care if a weather forecast is right or not, we just want – or maybe need – to hear one.

Is that need real?

It is for farmers, who need to harvest certain crops when it’s dry, or maybe even irrigate when it’s really dry. It is for builders, who deal with items that just don’t need to get wet. It is for many people who work outdoors.

Most people really don’t need to see weather updates daily, or hourly or minute by minute. The exception is with imminent severe weather; in these cases, forecasters can, in pretty much real time, predict where a storm will hit. It’s severity is questioned, sometimes, but they can predict where and when it will hit. Something about those radars, or maybe it’s how they read them, but what’s happening on the ground isn’t always what they’re looking at in the skies above us. Don’t let the talking heads scare you, just let them help you to prepare.

And don’t fret about tomorrow’s weather. It is going to be hot. There will be a chance of a thunderstorm. That forecast will be the same almost daily through August.

There, I saved you some time.

As the dog days arrive, let’s think about man’s best friend for a minute. If you want one, check with the Davie Animal Shelter first. These dogs need a home, give them a chance to save your life.

Dogs, it seems, may get more credit than they deserve. Sure, most of them were bred for a purpose, to work. It may have been killing mice. It may have been scaring bears. It may have been herding sheep. It may have been to pull sleds. But they were bred for a purpose.

But that was what seems like eons ago. It doesn’t work like that any more. With a nod toward dogs who help those who need it, most police dogs and herders who are doing what they love, dogs have become valued members of our families, much more than just a pet.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve never understood the saying “works like a dog.” I’ve never considered hiring someone because they “work like a dog.” Why? Most dogs I know of sleep for 18 hours a day. The other six hours are spent either eating or looking for food, playing, and relaxing.

Looking at reality, I’ve never “worked like a dog.” But I hope to. Someday. Yes, someday.

– Mike Barnhardt