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Diary of a Wimpy Kid Wiki
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is the 4th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It was released on October 12, 2009, in the US and October 13, 2009, in Canada. The cover, title and release date were revealed on August 31, 2009. The cover depicts Greg and an ice cream cone, with the actual ice cream melted on the ground.

Main Characters

See minor characters

Synopsis

It's summer vacation, the weather's great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So, where's Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.

Greg, a self-confessed "indoor person," is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg's mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and "family togetherness."

Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything?

Plot

June

Image of Greg playing video games inside with the curtains closed

Greg playing video games inside.

The book opens with Greg Heffley stating his preference for spending summer indoors playing video games. Despite Susan Heffley's attempts to persuade him otherwise, Greg is adamant about staying inside to protect his skin. At the onset of summer, Rowley Jefferson invites Greg to the country club daily. They later include a girl named Trista, but her attention shifts quickly to a lifeguard she just met.

According to Greg, the country club's quality is on the decline, citing instances like the sauna being too hot and a waiter forgetting to include an umbrella in his fruit smoothie. Attempting to address these concerns with Mr. Jefferson proves futile, as he ignores Greg's complaints. After a few days, Rowley is no longer allowed to invite Greg to the club, likely because Mr. Jefferson wants to avoid hearing Greg's grievances.

On Saturday, Susan wants to take Greg to the town pool, but he is irritated that he has to go through the locker rooms. Since the Heffley family is on a tight budget, they can't go to the beach. Greg is disappointed he won't be able to ride the Cranium Shaker there, but he looks forward to his birthday and Li'l Cutie's final comic. Greg explains that lil' Cutie is the worst comic in the paper and how both he and Frank can't stand it. The character is actually based on the author's son when he was little but since the author's son is an adult, he can't come up with new material. Susan takes Greg to Bombshells Beauty Salon where she and Gramma go. Greg likes it as they have tabloids, TVs, and gossip (which is the best part). Susan picks him up in the middle of a story of Mr. Peppers and his new wife twenty years his junior.

The boys are traumatized after watching Hello, You're Dead

The boys are traumatized after watching Hello, You're Dead.

Later, Greg and Rowley Jefferson have a sleepover together and watch a horror movie called Hello, You're Dead taken from Greg's older brother, Rodrick Heffley. After the movie, Greg and Rowley become scared the Muddy Hand (the film's antagonist) and fears that it might strangle them. Rowley and Greg end up sleeping in the bathroom with the lights on. Unfortunately for Greg, Susan finds out about the movie and starts the Reading Is Fun Club, because she thinks boys play too many video games. She invites lots of other boys in the neighborhood to join and Greg guessed by the looks of them they were forced to join as well. Susan is disproving of the books the boys bring as they are either graphical, violent, or video game related. Instead, Susan gives them classics to read like Little Women.

Reading's only fun if you're reading the Wimpy Kid.

Susan Heffley starts the "Reading is Fun" program with boys Greg's age.

Afterwards, everyone except for Greg and Rowley leaves the club, who both bring books Rowley brings a book on finding fairies and one about games to play. Greg brings a book he thought his mother would approve of because it's long and has no illustrations. Susan however does not approve of any of the books especially Greg's book because of how the cover depicts women. The next day, Rowley bails out of the club and leaves Greg as the remaining member. Susan assigns Greg to read Charlotte's Web which he thinks will involve either the girl or the pig dying in the end. When Greg does not take it seriously, Susan forces him to Greg to finish the first three chapters in the kitchen. The reading program is stopped when Mr. Jefferson arrives with a $83 bill from the drinks Greg and Rowley spent on at the country club. Greg attempts to pay Mr. Jefferson back by mowing lawns under V.I.P. Lawn Service. Their first customer is Mrs. Canfield. Greg and Rowley have some difficulty operating the mower. Before they start, Greg tells Rowley that he should clear the lawn, while Greg starts working on his so-called "business plan". Rowley sees through Greg's manipulation and leaves. Greg does a poor job clearing the lawn as he won't mow anywhere near dog poop. After Greg is done, he asks Mrs. Canfield to pay him, but she refuses to because he hardly mowed her lawn. Frank Heffley comes to pick up Greg and mows the rest of Mrs. Canfield lawn for him. Greg is upset that Frank didn't ask Mrs. Canfield for his payment and tries to find other ways to pay Mr. Jefferson's bill. He tries to contact Rowley, but he finds out that he is at the movies with his father.

A dog! Yeah!

Greg imagines having a dog.

Greg expresses how much he wants a dog for his birthday. Over the next days, Susan makes him do all sorts of stuff. This, however, does not please Greg, as his mother tries to get him into things that he isn't fond of such as inviting Fregley over, and encouraging father-son activities.

Susan takes Greg to the Bombshells Beauty Salon again, and Greg's hairstylist, Annette, who is a friend of Mrs. Jefferson heard that Greg and Rowley had a huge falling-out, and that Rowley was "heartbroken". Greg says that he has seen Rowley and his father playing tennis together and other stuff like it was his new best friend. The last time Greg and Frank did something together, it ended up with Greg having to pull him out of Rappahannock Creek.

A birthday's only happy when you're not spending it with Susan Heffley,

Susan Heffley takes Greg's birthday money to pay off Mr. Jefferson.

For Greg's birthday, all of his relatives came over. Susan confiscates Greg's birthday money to pay off the $83 bill for Mr. Jefferson. Greg received a Ladybug from his parents. which was unexpected, but he views the cell phone as junk because it only allows him to call home and 911. Everyone went to get eat cake but Joe Heffley's dog, Killer, had already munched his cake and vomits it below the table. The next day, Susan took Greg and his two brothers to the mall to get a "makeup" gift. She ended up allowing the boys to spend five dollars each at the pet store. Greg and Rodrick both spent their money on a fish, with Greg getting a colorful Angelfish, Rodrick's fish being labelled as "aggressive." and Manny getting fish food which he eats.

A chance to hit it big time! Oh- I wanted to make a comic called "Funny Ferret" ):

An ad in the newspaper for new comics to replace "Li'l Cutie".

One day there is a help wanted ad that is looking for someone to write a funny one panel comic strip to replace Li' Cutie. The rules say any comics with animals will be discarded because of a comic character, named Precious Poochie who stars in an old comic with his name. The comic has been in the paper for a long time, in fact the author had died a long time ago and whenever they try to get rid of it fans come out and protest. Greg sees this as a job opportunity and comes up with a comic called Hey, People! which acts as both a comic and an advice column. The next day the family takes a trip to Slipslide Water Park, mainly because there is a family discount there. When the family gets to the waterpark, it begins to rain and then they have leave. On the ride back Manny tries to cheer everyone up with some jokes, but after a while they become stale. During the ride, Susan had a headache, so she lays down in the back. When they got to a gas station, Greg's mom left the car to go to the bathroom, and the Heffleys forgot about her until they came home. After some thinking, they went back to the gas station where they stopped for gas, where Susan was there. After arriving home, Greg is shocked to discover that Rodrick's aggressive fish ate Greg's Angelfish, as it turns out Rodrick wasn't cleaning his fish's bowl and it was getting disgusting, so Susan put his fish with Greg's fish.

The next day is Father's Day, so the Heffleys visit Leisure Towers to spend the day with Greg's grandfather. Greg felt bad about his dead fish. There, Frank tells of how his dog named Nutty ran away to a butterfly farm. Greg's grandfather reveals that he had actually accidentally ran over the dog in the driveway. Greg's father takes off in a state of anger and then buys a dog. Manny, Rodrick, and Greg try to give the dog a name, Greg wants to name him Shredder or Ripjaw, as he thinks those names are cool, but Susan thinks they are too violent. Manny and Roderick wanted to name the dog after another elephant like Zebra or Turtle. So, Susan names the dog "Sweetheart" and shortens it to "Sweetie", to Greg's dismay, as Greg views that the dog is actually male not female and thinks the name is for girls. Frank sends Rodrick to the mall to buy a dog bowl with Sweetie's name printed on it, but Rodrick comes back with Sweetie's name misspelled "Sweaty". Even though Greg wanted a dog for a long time, he quickly becomes annoyed at Sweetie, who drools on his pillow, sleeps on his bed, interrupts his privacy in the bathroom, and won't stop barking at the television unless a certain advertisement with gophers comes on. Frank however loves the dog and tries to get it to kiss him, but Sweetie doesn't like Frank. The one person Sweetie really loves is Susan, but she barely pays attention to him.

July

Frank X Sweetie

Sweetie with Frank.

Sweetie finally kisses Frank; Greg thinks it is because Frank had potato chips on his breath. On the 4th of July, the Heffleys go to the town pool. However, it is way more crowded than it was last year. Greg also talks about being on the swim team last summer and would spend time in the baby pool whenever there was a rest break, but stopping when he hears a toddler claiming to be peeing, and jumping on the diving boards when Rodrick said there was a clown up there. They go to the picnic area where they hand out free watermelon, which Greg also has a fear of, because Rodrick said a watermelon will grow in his stomach if he swallows the seeds, which is not true. When the fireworks were about to start, the show was canceled because the fireworks got soaked last night in the rain. However, the fireworks at the country club started then. Greg also finds a Back-to-School advertisement in the newspaper leaving him concerned and put out about a near-future all-day shopping trip with his mom. Greg later tries to impress Heather Hills, but he failed. When someone randomly vomited under Heather's chair, there was Heather waiting for Greg to do something, but that was way ahead of what Greg thought he was supposed to do. Greg never went to see Heather again. At the end of summer, she would be off to college, so their long-distance relationship will never work out.

August

Place- Cranium Shaker- Dog Days182

Greg riding the Cranium Shaker.

The Heffleys run into the Jeffersons, and Greg's mom agreed to the idea of taking Greg on a beach trip with the Jeffersons and then says Greg would come before Robert Jefferson could shut the idea down. When Greg gets to Rowley's beach house, he notices that there's nothing fun to do except reading, which he dislikes. On the bright side, he also finds out about how great the dinner was, but dessert he found awful from the spinach in the brownies. He had a nasty surprise when he notices they have to share a bed, and Rowley knocks him out of bed by having scary "chicken dreams". The next morning, Greg fiddles with Mr. Jefferson's computer, sending an email to his mother that said, "HELP HELP GET ME OUT OF HERE THESE PEOPLE ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY." Mr. Jefferson is angry at Greg for sending that message. Mr. Jefferson got a repeat message saying that family vacations are challenges and asked if Greg was being good (most of his bad behavior was on the e-mail). Later on, Greg went on the Cranium Shaker, which made him feel dizzy and queasy, while Rowley rides kid rides, and then after spending time in the arcade went pranking people with a one-dollar bill, but then a random kid caught it. Greg went to bed with Rowley before 8 pm (and before the sun goes down), and then shocked Rowley with a zap of static. Rowley got revenge by zapping Greg back. Then later, he got Rowley again with a rubber band, and then the Jeffersons called Greg's parents.

Frank is mad at Greg for wasting four hours due to the long car drive, though Greg's mom says that the event was just "horseplay" and that Rowley and Greg are still friends, devoid of the fact that their friendship may be slipping. Then a newspaper article shows that Bob Post's son Tyler Post will continue doing "Li'l Cutie," Tyler Post wasn't really doing anything and thought he'd give it a shot. After seeing the first new Lil Cutie Greg is certain it'll be worse than ever. Susan convinces Frank to take Greg to a baseball game, even though Greg is unaware of this. His father tries to keep it a secret, but Greg overhears his father talking about getting rid of someone, and Greg believes that his father is trying to ship Greg off to somewhere, especially considering that his father was willing to ship Greg to a military academy before. Rodrick tells Greg that his father is going to sell him, as he shows him clues in his father's planner, on Sunday, August 22, he will be sold. Greg, however, notices that the poor-quality handwriting is Rodrick's but is uncertain whether this is actually going to happen, as Greg thinks Franks unpredictable. He calls the police using his Ladybug when he realizes they were on Bayside Street. He then realizes that his Frank was actually talking about giving Sweetie away to Grandma and was going to take Greg to a baseball game. Due to a long talk with the police, Frank is no longer in the mood to watch a baseball game and gave the two cops the tickets, since he becomes extremely disgusted with Greg's actions and takes Greg home without a word.

Greg's Game Hut is having a competition for a winner and gets to go to the country's playoffs and the winner gets $1,000,000. Greg tells Rowley they can go but can't because Linda and Robert banned him from seeing Greg, so Greg then promises to not use electric powers and promises candy for him. Then, they went to the store to camp. Greg decides to do shifts, but Rowley does not want to, forcing Greg to stay up for the night. Greg eats energy bars and plays a prank on Rowley, thinking it was the muddy hand, but Rowley smashes Greg's hand. Greg gets angry at Rowley for doing that, but then the clerk came and told him about the contest. But it was not set up yet, so they can play in the backroom to win, resulting in Rowley winning due to Greg's hand being to soar to use the controller properly after Rowley smashed it. After winning, Rowley had two prizes: either he could sign the paperwork and go to the championships or take home a box of chocolate covered raisins. Unsurprisingly, Rowley chose the second prize, Greg says that he did not see Rowley after the contest and did not talk to Frank ever since Greg almost got his dad into jail. After Susan finishes the photos, it was incorrect.

Film Adaptions

Dog Days was made into a film/movie titled Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days that was released on August 3rd, 2012. This was the final appearances for the original cast before they were replaced for The Long Haul. The flick also has storylines and segments from The Last Straw as the two books were merged into one script.

Trivia

  • The book's cover picture is replaced with Greg explaining something to his mom in the German version.
  • Even though Greg receives a "Ladybug" cell phone in this book, he reveals he didn't bring it to school in The Ugly Truth. This implies Greg may have had it confiscated by Frank due to the fact that Greg nearly had him arrested due to calling the police, lost it at some point, is not allowed to bring it to school, or simply left it to avoid being humiliated or forgot about it. It later reappeared in Hard Luck.
  • This is the final book to be released in the 2000's decade.
  • This is the (currently) last book to use exclamation points in paragraphs.
  • This is the first book to mostly feature stories that aren't in the online version.
  • Greg's Gramma mentions Rodrick Rules, in which they raked leaves and dead grass was left all over her front yard.
  • When Susan makes a "Reading is Fun" club, Greg brings the book "Magick and Monsters: Dark Realms Volume 9 Shadowdoom" and Susan doesn't like the way it portrays women on the cover. From what Greg can remember, there aren't many women in the book.
  • This is also the second appearance of Magick and Monsters. The first was in Rodrick Rules.
  • This is currently the only book to have the month of July.
  • This book reveals that July 4th fell on a Monday, meaning that the book takes place in 2005 and Greg entered middle school in 2003. However, since April fool's day was on Thursday that year as revealed in The Last Straw and the whole entry on April fools is told in the past tense, it probably means that the book takes place in 2004 and Greg entered middle school in 2002.
  • Greg's best friend Rowley becomes an ex-best friend at the end of this book. This continues in The Ugly Truth until Greg and Rowley become best friends again.
  • Presumably, Greg has his "big fight" with Rowley after the log cabin holiday. This is hinted as towards the end of this book, they are on uneasy terms, meaning they already had their big fight, although the actual fight isn't mentioned until The Ugly Truth.
  • Rodrick's trick of selling Greg may have been done, because it would scare Greg quite a lot, due to the events in The Last Straw.
  • This is the second book where the color of the cover bears a resemblance to the story, the first being The Last Straw, and the third being Hard Luck. The book's color is yellow, which maybe because it's summer, and yellow is often associated with summer.
  • In the front page, Susan is not in her original look, but wearing a dress and holding a camera and is also slightly taller compared to her other appearances on the front pages.
  • This was the only book to not come out in the first 6 months nor November until the announcement of The Meltdown.
  • This is the second book to feature Greg's trademark frown on the cover and spine.
  • This is the second book where Greg does not mention his Diary.
  • The words in the owner's manual on page 59 mean "CAUTION!"
    • Improper use can result in serious physical injury or death.
    • Always keep your feet and hands away from the mower blades.
    • Never use the mower during thunderstorms.".
  • It's the second book released in 2009, with The Last Straw being the first.
  • This is also, so far, the only book to be released in the same year as it's predecessor (if you don't count Rodrick Rules and Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book, The Ugly Truth and The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, Cabin Fever, The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book and and The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: Rodrick Rules, The Third Wheel and The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: The Story of All 3 Movies, Hard Luck, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Writer's Notebook and Diary of a Wimpy Kid Your Best Ideas, The Long Haul and The Wimpy Kid School Planner, The Getaway, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Blank Journal and the Cheesiest Edition, Wrecking Ball and Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal, The Deep End and Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure, Big Shot, the 3D+ Disney book, and Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories, Diper Overlode and the 3D Rodrick Rules, No-Brainer, the 3D Cabin Fever book, and Awesome Friendly Kid 4, and the Australian copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Rodrick Rules).
  • This is the first book with 3 months each book. The Ugly Truth was the second book that has 3 months.
  • The scene where Frank says "Good one, Manny!" became a meme for a limited amount of time in 2019.
  • When Greg and Frank go to a baseball game, it could mean Plainview is in California, Arizona, Washington, Texas, or any other states with an MLB team or MiLB team.
  • On page 96, where Greg is talking about a reality show about a nanny, he is referencing the TV show Supernanny.
  • In television commercials for this book, pages from Greg Heffley's Journal, Rodrick Rules and The Last Straw are animated, but not a single drawing from Dog Days is seen.
  • In the UK version, the line 'where I don't have to check a fizzy drink can for wasps' on page 5 is changed to 'where I don't have to check a fizzy drink for bees' for unknown reasons.
  • On Australian copies, the line 'before I could finish dialing 911' is changed to 'before I could finish dialing 000' due to differences in police hotline numbers.
  • The drawing on the cover is referenced in The Ugly Truth when Greg is talking about how Christopher Brownfield is an excellent mosquito magnet.

Goofs/Errors

  • In one UK shipping soon after the release, there was an error with the book - the cover was flipped, so that if the cover was the right way up, the pages inside would read upside down.
  • June is 6 weeks long.
  • On page 5, Greg ends his sentence to make room for a drawing, but he continues the sentence as a new one. ("But for some reason Mr. Jefferson never passed them on to the clubhouse manager. Which is kind of weird.")
  • On page 74, in the Australian version, a line break error leads to the sentence "And those kids don't buy the gifts, their MUMS do." being placed underneath the preceding illustration, with the exception of the italicized word. This was likely caused by a poor localization effort.

References To the Date

In the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, the actual date of events isn't usually given, as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is meant to be timeless and could have happened at any time. Here are dates that are mentioned in the book:

  • July 4th - Greg gives his account on what happened on his July 4 from the next day.
  • August 22nd - This date is seen in Frank's planner as the date that he will "sell Greg". It turns out to have been a baseball match and the "selling Greg" was a ruse added by Rodrick.

Gallery

See Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days/Gallery

Video

Diary_of_a_Wimpy_Kid-_Dog_Days_by_Jeff_Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

Here is the video for Dog Days.


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