I am patron of the Dogstar Foundation for stray dogs in Sri Lanka. Because every dog deserves to be healthy and happy.
Dogs – like people, buildings or countries – also have horoscopes. We draw up the astrological chart for the time, date and place they arrive. This may be their actual birth, if you are there when the pups arrive, checking the time.
In most cases, it’s the moment the dog leaves the cage at the pound and runs to glorious freedom with you, that you can cast a dog horoscope. Please keep a record of the time, day and year when you turn up at the pound to find your new friend.
I realise that with everything else you have to remember, trying to reach back in time for a distant memory like a dog’s exact release (or date of birth) may be a big stretch. If you can remember the day, though, you’ll know your dog’s Sun Sign.
The Aries Dog
This dog is a fighter, not a lover. Aries is a barker, a chaser, a growler and a snapper.
It is in this dog’s nature to compete fiercely with other dogs and to do battle with the neighbourhood cat. At the same time, you will never have a better guard dog. If this dog was a man, it would be hosting Top Gear. They are car chasers and can hit high speeds. All the Aries dogs seem to have hairy chests. Even the females can seem a little – blokey.
Little dogs who were born or released from late March through late April seem bigger than they really are. These born-again Aries types puff themselves up and bare their teeth. It’s Small Dog Syndrome. The big dogs also do it and they do love to chase a football (and burst it, if possible). If you want a dog as a personal trainer, choose an Aries animal. They have go-faster stripes and want you to keep up. If you admire courage, then this is the dog for you. Aries shines in emergency situations, police or military work and search-and-rescue. They love balls and Frisbees. They also dig an argument, either with you or a passing cat. They look good in red collars and coats, too.
The Taurus Dog
When the bone arrives, the bone is buried, rather than eaten. It’s an investment! Taurus dog has a fine collection of buried treasure in the garden and if you have an apartment, this animal will find a special ‘vault’ under the bed or their version of a safe, behind a pot plant. They are the Goldman Sachs of the bone and toy world, forever investing and hoarding. This dog is a fine judge of good dog food and cheap dog food. Free-range chicken or budget biscuits? There is no contest. Please, don’t insult them with your cheap rubbish.
The Taurus dog is stubborn. Do not expect the dog toy to be handed back, any time soon. If your socks are between the Taurus jaws, you may have to give up on your socks forever. The Taurus dog is capable of winding you around in a circle, while they stand firm in the middle and hang on tightly to your underpants. Lots of them look like little bulls. They plant all four paws on the ground and dig in, if they are threatened. They Shall Not Be Moved. They are down-to-earth, grounded creatures who like to lie flat on the grass with their feet splayed out, as if they were actually growing, like little plants or trees. Taurus is an earth sign. They do love rolling in unspeakable substances. A pile of Autumn leaves is heaven.
The Gemini Dog
Blah, blah, blah. This dog does not do ‘Woof’, this dog does a whole range of expressive noises and grunts. They all secretly want to be YouTube sensations with their own channel. Eventually, your dog may learn to imitate you, and make a sound that might just be ‘Hi’ when you come home. Gemini dogs like to talk. They also know how to listen. Watch their ears. These dogs have Snoopy levels of intelligence and understanding. You could swear they sometimes have thought bubbles or speech balloons. Jilly Cooper’s classic book on dogs, Intelligent and Loyal references what I would call a lot of Gemini type dogs, adopted from homes. It’s that look in their eye.
Talking of Snoopy, this is the original laptop dog – as opposed to a lap dog. If you are reading this on your computer at home and a paw has just slid across the keyboards, you will know you definitely have a Gemini dog. They fantasize about opposable thumbs, so one day, they too can write a Dog Blog. They like watching television, too. Especially news stories about cats being stuck up trees. Oh, how they laugh. They scoot across your home when the phone rings and like to be the first to answer. They’d really like a Twitter account.
The Cancer Dog
Born to have puppies! If he/she can’t have puppies (your apartment is not Battersea Dogs’ Home after all) then give the Cancerian tiny toys as puppy substitutes. Your animal friend will be delighted to adopt anything from an old Barbie to a small knitted duckling. They love to nurse – and will also nurse you, if you’ve had a hard day. Cancerian dogs adore a cuddle and are fiercely protective, too. This is the dog who barks the place down if the postman so much as brushes past the front door. Your home is their castle.
They need a family to thrive and will fit right into your Christmas or Thanksgiving photograph line-up and obligingly wear the stupid reindeer antlers for the camera. Some Cancerian dogs are such important family members they work as bridesmaids (complete with white ribbons) at weddings. Don’t lift your leg on the Christening font! This is the dog who loves her pack, no matter if it’s canine or human. If they grow up with a cat, it will be treated like a brother or sister, or perhaps an annoying cousin. The Cancer dog ‘buys’ real estate by peeing on it. Repeatedly. Manhattan is currently crumbling because of Cancerian dogs. They are loyal and territorial.
The Leo Dog
These dogs hold themselves proud and tall and see themselves as Queen or King of their domain. The fluffy ones look like the dear old Queen Mum and are very impressive in a tiara or even a Christmas cracker paper crown. They dislike dog beds and prefer chairs – how very dare you send them to a piece of mere pet furniture!
When they bark, it is an instruction. They just want you to obey orders. Even the tiny Leo dogs are commanding. When you photograph them, they pose. They are tremendously dignified and have great poise when they trot down the street. Head up, shoulders back. If any mere cat crosses their path they will be outraged. Secretly, they like pedigree breeds too. They can be snobs about what they consider to be the lower orders in the dog world. Crufts interests them greatly.
Leo dogs need a throne and will proudly occupy the lovely armchair with the good cushions, until you elbow them off it (drawing haughty, offended looks). They make brilliant parents, guiding their pups by example. This is the dog who will try to get through the door ahead of you, or lead when you walk – don’t forget Leo is a royal sign. You are Prince Phillip, walking behind with your hands clasped behind your back, Leo Dog is HM the Queen, in front.
The Virgo Dog
Meet your new personal trainer. This dog instinctively knows that fitness equal happiness. They love a clean patch of soft, new green grass to eat. They’re Mother Nature’s sons and daughters. Join your Virgo friend outside as often as possible. Long walks are this dog’s idea of perfect happiness, not only because of the exercise, but also because of the joy that comes from detailed sniffing of cross-sections of trees and tiny crevices in brick walls. Virgo rules both the small stuff. They have forensic levels of attention to parks and can spend a good hour, walking round and round a McDonalds container like Father Brown seeking clues. All Virgo dogs are detail freaks.
This dog needs a routine – desperately. Where possible, try to make vacations as much like your dog’s lifestyle at home, as possible. Better still, take Virgo away, but organize walks and food at the same time. As creatures of habit, these dogs are also great for your own efficiency as they operate like little furry alarm clocks. I have heard that many of them wake up automatically on their usual appointed breakfast hour, even when camping (no clocks). Rather you than me. These dogs are great when you are ill and have a soothing, healing presence. Calling Doctor Dog! They have extreme reactions to the vet, either galloping happily into the waiting room or over-reacting. Virgo rules health and healing.
The Libra Dog
This dog needs a partner. It may be you (it could become awfully romantic, though, so don’t let Libra hump your leg on the first date). Libra is one of those dogs you take to the park who matchmake for you. Why? Because they will insist on gazing gooey- eyed at the only other single dog (with single owner) in reach. These are intensely sociable creatures who will make you sociable too. Hey, it may even be a four-way wedding.
Libra is only rattled by unfairness. Don’t single out other animals for special treatment at Libra’s expense. It works the other way around too. If other dogs are around, make sure they both get equal amounts of affection. The female Libra dogs tend to look Disney-feminine, with long eyelashes, curls and sweet little smiles.
Male Libran dogs are metrosexuals. They all love a good roll in something horrible. It’s their version of Chanel. These dogs love pairing off with partners in crime, then working the power of two against a common enemy, like a car (or a cat). They are never really happy being single and if you can’t find them a mate in the park, at least, you may have to offer yourself up as their perfect match. They like to see themselves in those heart-shaped photo frames. Humour them.
The Scorpio Dog
These dogs are obsessively affectionate, you may have to pull Scorpio off your bed when your lover or partner wants to get in. This dog can also develop mad crushes on other animals, too. What Scorpio wants, Scorpio usually tries to possess, and you have to admire their intensity. This is the bottom-sniffer par excellence of your local park. You can’t stop them. It’s part of their sexy Scorpio identity. They are passionate, somewhat obsessive dogs who fall helplessly in love with other dogs, humans and sometimes even toys.
This is an unknowable creature who can slink away for long periods of time, unseen. Thus, it may sometimes feel as if you have an invisible dog. When the time is right, Scorpio announces himself/herself again. Your household will change with a Scorpio arrival. The usual pecking order, or balance of power, will shift. Questions about who/what is top dog at your place will surface immediately. Scorpio dogs can feel like the Dark Lords of your household even if they are tiny. They see bones, toys and treats as currency and have their own canine version of Wall Street going on at home or in the local park. They’re players.
The Sagittarius Dog
He’s a wanderer! He’s the Jack Kerouac of the dog world – the furry exchange student, forever trying to take up residence next door, or maybe in another suburb. Open the door to the car and Sagittarius is sitting in the front seat before you are. Pack your suitcases or backpack and the longing looks will be unbearable. If there is one dog to take on holiday, it’s Sagittarius. They like to be in all the tourist selfies, too. Me at the Eiffel Tower! Me at The Sydney Opera House! Their greatest sadness is not being allowed into places. They don’t understand why they can get on the plane and walk straight into a London pub, but not be invited into a Sydney bar. One day, they fantasize, they will be allowed everywhere.
They have foreign blends in their doggy DNA. So, you might have a French poodle mixed with a sturdy British breed. Alternatively, they fall helplessly in love with exotic breeds from far-flung places and height will be immaterial to the act of courtship.
American Sagittarius dogs see a Welsh Corgi and attempt what many breeders would say is impossible without a stepladder, ropes and pulleys. Do not coop this dog up.
Sagittarius was made for big parks and better still – hiking or long walks.
The Capricorn Dog
This ambitious creature wants to be Top Dog and will spend a very long time plotting and planning to be number one with you, or leader of the pack. These patient, solid, tireless animals basically want to be human, because they know that’s where the action is. They will spend a long time trying to occupy your chair or bed, eat what you eat – and so on. They know that only people get to be CEO and want to know how it’s done – you know – the ‘being human’ thing.
I have seen quite small Capricorn dogs manage to outrank bigger dogs, merely by crafty moves. Ambitious! These animals, who are born (or arrive in your life) from late December to late January are often Christmas dogs, given as presents. Don’t give up on them, because they will never, ever give up on you! In times of great change in your household, it is the Capricorn dog who stands firm and keeps it all together. They respect the boss. That’s you. If they could salute you with their paws, they would. They like high places and enjoy peering out of windows, looking down on the action below. It’s their version of being Boss Dog in some corporate skyscraper.
The Aquarius Dog
They have one or more packs and like to rub noses with the crowd – and other bodily parts. It’s not sexual, it’s just friendly. This is the dog who inspired the phrase ‘Man’s Best Friend’ and you will find Aquarius likes to get involved in dinner parties, cocktail parties – and particularly big group gatherings, like the Million Paws walks. This dog is a good mixer at dog gatherings in the park, too, and is not a snob about pure breeds versus mongrels. Aquarius likes them all equally – the Crufts champion or the rescue animal. All for one, and one for all!
Aquarian dogs love communal drinking bowls or park fountains. Have you noticed? This is the sign of the water-bearer, after all. They really need a community and do not thrive as lonely dogs in small apartments. Think carefully before you take them away from other animals (and people) as they are a joyful part of any group scene. Lots of them look as if they should be in dog rock bands.
The Pisces Dog
Those eyes! Pisces dogs stare into space at invisible beings, extra-terrestrial craft and fairies. They marvel at the sky, ignoring the real world until somebody puts down non-dog food for them. Pisces dogs love non-dog food, because it’s an escape from the mundane, for them. They really don’t do the ordinary, everyday world particularly well. They want the fantasy. Try them with chilled vegetable soup, some time. The kind you might find in a chic hippy restaurant. Offer them fish. They love exotica. Biscuits are so mundane.
Pisces dogs are psychic and know when you are coming home. They are prime candidates for Rupert Sheldrake’s famous experiment, where video cameras were set up to record dogs anticipating their owners’ return home. Pisces reads your heart and mind, by gazing steadily into your eyes. They are very special dogs, extremely sensitive, who feel things very deeply. If there is trouble brewing at home, take them for a walk to help them escape from the atmosphere. These dogs are big dreamers, too. Dreams are real to them! They are the only dogs who understand theoretical physics.
Extracted from 2020 Astrology: Your Five-Year Horoscope Guide by Jessica Adams. Available on Amazon.com here.