This article contains major plot spoilers! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days|
The book's official cover.
Abram Books (Amulet Books) (US) Penguin Books (Puffin Books) (UK)
US: October 12, 2009 Canada: October 13, 2009
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is the fourth 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.
- Frank Heffley
- Manny Heffley
- Rodrick Heffley
- Rowley Jefferson
- Susan Heffley (Main Antagonist)
- Greg Heffley
JuneThe story starts with Greg saying that in the summer, he wants to stay indoors playing video games, but Susan tries to shut it down and make Greg go to the town pool, but Greg is aware because at the start in the summer, he and Rowley go there since Rowley's family has a membership. They invite a new kid, Trista, but decides to hang out with lifeguards and not Greg and Rowley, which they are okay with and spend time together. Recently, the country club (which is where he and Rowley go) is not doing good, so then Greg complains and is not allowed to go anymore. Greg then complains that in the pool, he has to go through the lockers and see showering men. Since the family is poor, they can't go to the beach and wants to go to a cool ride and looks forward to his birthday and Lil' Cutie's final comic. Susan takes Greg to the hairplace where she and her mom goes to. Greg gets to read tabloids and Gramma does, but Susan does not let her do that.
The barber also tells Greg about the town gossip. Susan picks him up in the middle of a story of Mr. Peppers and his new wife who is 20 years younger than Mr. Peppers.
Later, Greg and Rowley have a sleepover together, and watch a horror movie called Hello, You're Dead, taken from Greg's older brother, Rodrick. After the movie, Greg and Rowley soon became scared and borderline paranoid of a muddy hand (from the film) that might strangle them. Rowley and Greg ended up sleeping in the bathroom with the lights on. Unfortunately for Greg, Susan finds out about the movie and starts a Reading Is Fun club because she thinks he needs to be well read, in which he is the only participant after several weeks. People were into this so they bring their favorite book, however, Susan disallowed all the books and gave them "classic" books instead as the books they brought aren't actually "real books". Afterwards, all the boys left the club until there is only one member left: Greg. The reading program, however, is put to a stop when Mr. Jefferson arrives with an $83 bill that Greg and Rowley spent on drinks at the country club, namely fruit smoothies, and he forces the two to pay it off. Greg, at first hand attempts to pay back the bill by mowing lawns with a team he calls the VIP Lawn Service, and their first customer is Mrs. Canfield. Greg and Rowley end up in some difficulties in operating, in ways such as the gasoline spilling over. Before the two boys start, Greg states that Rowley should clear it for him, whilst Greg starts working on his so-called "business plan". Rowley however, gets quickly annoyed at the idea, and states that it should be a 50-50 Greg tries to find a chance to manipulate Rowley, but then Rowley, unable to tolerate Greg's way of working, decides to leave. Greg clears the lawn individually, although he struggles over the areas covered in dog poop. Greg finishes the clearing of the lawn, but Mrs. Canfield finds the service "lousy" and refuses to pay Greg the thirty dollars she promised, and Greg gets frustrated that Mrs. Canfield won't even drive him home. Greg, tries to find other ways to pay that bill, and tries to contact Rowley about them, but Rowley was at the movies with his father, and Greg became very annoyed that Rowley did not tell him he was going to take the day off.
After Greg's fight, Greg's mother quickly gets to know about the conflict and attempts to make Greg happy. This, however does not please Greg, as his mother tries to make Greg happy in ways such as inviting Fregley over, a person Greg isn't fond of at all, and encouraging father-to-son bonding, something that also displeases Greg, the same amount if not more. 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. Greg says that he's seen Rowley and his father together playing tennis and other stuff. The last time Greg and Frank had a father-son bonding, it ended up with Greg having to pull him out of Rappahannock Creek.
For Greg's birthday, all of his relatives come over. Unfortunately, Susan confiscates Greg's birthday money to pay off the $83 bill for Mr. Jefferson. Greg is also frustrated that his relatives have not given him a single gift that he wanted and received all gifts he doesn't like very much, such as books he doesn't read and clothes he doesn't really need. Greg also gets a "Ladybug" cell phone but it is far from what he expected, as he views the Ladybug cellphone as junk and not a "real" cellphone because the Ladybug only allows him to call home and 911. Greg goes to the next room to cut the cake, but becomes even more upset when Uncle Joe's dog, Killer eats his cake and vomits it in front of Greg, thus making his birthday a bit of a disappointment all around. After Greg's birthday, Greg's mother allows Rodrick and Greg to each get a fish for a pet, to make Greg feel a bit better after Killer ate Greg's cake. Greg picks out an angelfish and Rodrick decides on a fish, because it is labeled "aggressive." Manny picks out fish food, but eats half the container before they get home. When the family goes to the Slipslide Water Park, it begins to rain and then they leave. Susan had a headache so she lay 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. Afterward, Rodrick's aggressive fish ate Greg's Angelfish.
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 proper name, but Manny can only thing of Elephant or Zebra aka Zeb, Rodrick wants to name the dog Turtle or "Turd" for short and Greg wants to name him Shredder or Ripjaw as he thinks those names are cool, but Susan thinks they are too violent and 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.
JulySweetie 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 tells about being in the baby pool whenever there was a rest break but stopping when he hears a toddler claim 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 cancelled because the fireworks got soaked the 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 went to college, so their long-distance relationship will never work out.
AugustThe Heffleys run into the Jeffersons and Greg's mom agreed about the idea about taking Greg on a beach trip with the Jeffersons and then says Greg would, 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 read, which he dislikes. On the bright side, he also finds out about how great the dinner was, but dessert he found awful as there was 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 8pm (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." 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 candy for him. Then they went to the store to camp, so Greg decides to do shifts, but Rowley does not want to, so Greg is forced to watch. Greg eats energy bars and play 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, but Rowley wins. Greg 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.
- 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.
- Even though Greg receives a "Ladybug" cellphone in this book, he reveals he didn't bring it to school in The Ugly Truth. This implies Frank may have confiscated it 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 4th book in the series.
- 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.
- Trista makes a cameo at the beginning of the book.
- Greg’s Gramma mentions Rodrick Rules, in which they raked leaves and dead grass was left all over her front yard.
- This is the last book that takes place during the Summer until The Long Haul. All the books between these two take place during the same year.
- 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 any 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 months July and August.
- Rodrick lies to Greg about being shipped away because Frank is mad about the Rowley thing. What really happens is that Rodrick goes downstairs and wrote on August 22 saying "Sell Greg." He then leaves and go to Greg’s room and tells him what is going to happen.
- Greg best friend Rowley becomes an ex-best friend in 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. The book's color is Yellow, which may be 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 was released the same year as The Last Straw.
- This is the second book to feature Greg’s trademark frown on the cover.
- This is the second book where Greg does not mention his Diary.
- The words in the owners manual on page 59 means "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.
- 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 while in 2019.
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 4 - Greg gives his account on what happened on his July 4 from the next day.
- August 22 - 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.
Here is the video for Dog Days (book version).