Actually, if a canicule were a small receptacle for baked beans I wouldn't mind the word so much.
No, the canicules are the dog days, the hot days at the end of summer in the Northern hemisphere when the star Sirius is bright in the sky as it follows the path of the constellation Orion the hunter (like a dog, geddit?).
The canicules are associated with heat, as I said, but also originally with drought, thunderstorms, lethargy, disease, rabies and bad luck.
Nowadays the dog days are mostly just associated with lethargy.
I always thought the dog days were the days when it was so hot that all you wanted to do was flop down on the floor like a dog and pant quietly until dusk.
And they are.
So dog days will do very well for me.
Sunday Rest: canicule. This word comes from the French, from the Latin canīcula, which means puppy.