Sirius Facts
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky and has been collectively labeled as the "Dog Star" by numerous civilizations throughout the history of the world. It is also the prominent star in the constellation Canis Major. It's most common reference in the Western World is the connection with the Greek hunter and giant, Orion.

Sirius' Hunt

Sirius, as loyal, brave, and faithful a dog as any hunter could ask, was in a panic. His master had left him many times before when the two had lived in cities or when his master went wading through the sea, but this was different. Before, Sirius had always been able smell Orion's presence in the world. He could pinpoint the hunter's location and fly to Orion's side at the faintest whistle.

Now, his master was just...gone.

Not dead, Sirius didn't think. He had smelt death before, and even then he could recognize the underlying scents the creature had had in life. Of Orion, there was nothing, as if his master had never existed.

True to his training and consumed with love for Orion, Sirius put his nose to the ground and flew zigzagging across the world as he searched for his master's scent. He tore through streets of cities and villages, pounded through forests and meadows, blew straight through mountains, and cut seas in his hunt. He did not fear the fury of hurricanes and tornadoes and outran their winds easily. Everywhere he went, he left a trail of devastation and ruin, and his great, keening whine preceded his coming and lingered in his wake for weeks.

At great length, hungry, weary, and more frantic than ever, he came to the forest of Artemis the Great Huntress, Goddess of the Moon and close friend of Orion. Even the sanctity of that place could not still his troubled heart, for he had found no sign of Orion.

Sirius, blinded with the fear of never seeing his master again, sank his teeth into the nearest tree and yanked it from the ground, roots and all, to look beneath it. He then did the same to neighboring trees and stripped them of their branches. He broke his teeth on the rocks he tried to split, and rerouted rivers with his digging.

 Sirius' Hunt


"SIRIUS!!" the Goddess' familiar, commanding, alto voice penetrated the fog of his mind. He ceased his mindless destruction and stood before her, quivering and whining in his worry for Orion.

He couldn't force his body to remain still for long, no matter how he ached. In less than a second, though it felt like an eternity, he broke into a lope and ran pacing circles around Artemis. In no time, the ground he traveled was soft from the rivers of foaming saliva hanging off his muzzle and from the blood of his torn and raw paws. He had cut a path around Artemis that was six inches deep in under a minute.

Quick as the deer she hunts, Artemis leapt forward and seized his hot, saliva-soaked body. He shied from her touch and tried to bolt, but she held on, looping one arm around his girth and snaking the other under his chest as she dug in her heels. She held him fast, close to her body with her cheek pressed to his neck, preventing him from continuing his pacing.

His body quivered in her grasp, but gradually over the course of several days and under her calm influence, the fog surrounding his mind receded, his loud keening shortened to softer high-pitched whines, and his pumping legs quieted to twitching. At length, Artemis loosened her hold and Sirius sank to ground brokenhearted and despondent.

"Oh, Sirius," Artemis whispered as she massaged the clenched muscles around his jaws, behind his ears, and down his neck. "He's gone."

Sirius shifted his great head to look into her glistening eyes. He sensed the grief in her voice.

He laid there, panting, whining, and trembling, while she groomed his now wasted form and tended to his swollen and shredded feet. When she spoke again it was growing dark and her voice was strong:

"Orion has been taken into the sky, Sirius. He is immortal now, but he won't be coming back to Earth."

Sirius let forth a long, sighing whine.

"Let me finish! Orion is in the stars now; you can see him just coming up now there," she pointed, "in the east. Three stars close together mark his belt."

Sirius' eyes followed her arm eastward and found his master locked in the heavens with sword and shield drawn before mighty Taurus the Bull, guardian of the Seven Sisters. Sirius, forgetting his weariness and injuries, leapt to his feet, alert, tail wagging and danced in little tight circles. He barked and howled joyously at Orion, his whole body wagged, but Orion did not come nor even turn from the bull.

As quickly as it came, the euphoric feeling fled when Sirius realized he could not get to the stars, and his howling once more became piteous crying. Artemis grabbed him again before he worked himself into a new frenzy.

"Alright," she sighed, "I was going to keep you here with me, but I think I can make a case for your memorable and courageous crying-- er, devotion to your master, rather, and convince the Gods to put you in the heavens with Orion."

And so, Artemis took Sirius with her to the Gods on Mount Olympus and stated his case before them. The Gods, moved by Sirius' faithful and selfless devotion to his dead master, took pity on the great hunting dog and placed him in the heavens forever at his master's heels. Right behind him, the Gods placed his hunting companion, Orion's other dog that resided with Artemis while Sirius searched the world.

For his undying love and loyalty, Sirius was given the brightest star in the night sky to serve as his keen nose that he used to search for his master. His appearance in the sky every year marks the hottest days of the year to set all the dogs panting and is known as "the dog days of summer."

***Please note, some artistic license, and a lot of understanding of canine behavior, has been used to exaggerate this tale from the original version.***

Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Professionals

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