(to be read with your tongue firmly in your cheek)
- Are you compatible with your pet? Please read on.
- Are you looking to purchase a new pet? Please read on.
- Do you have a sense of humour? Please read on.
20 JANUARY – 19 FEBRUARY
Should you desire a dog to pet, pamper, fuss over and cosset, then it’s best that you avoid an Aquarian mutt like the plague. That’s not to say that these social canines are unfriendly; frankly they’re quite the reverse. The problem is rather that the individualistic Aquarian needs so many friends that it’s impossible for him just to be loyal to you, his owner. Lacking in prejudice (some would say discrimination) the Aquarian will comfortably mix with the snootiest pedigree in the land or the scruffiest pavement special.
Some surmise that, due to a peculiar genetic confusion, Aquarian pooches have a feline strain in them. Like independent cats, they frequently disappear for days on end. For a new owner, the first time the dog vanishes can be quite disturbing, but don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to it. And when the Aquarian eventually trots back through your gate, you’ll be able to count all the precious cents you’ve saved on dog food. Regrettably, it’s about the only advantage there is to owning an Aquarian.
The Aquarian dog is an absolute delight for poodle parlours. Notoriously peculiar and invariably looking like a dog’s dinner, an Aquarian has to have his coat cut and styled in the very latest (and often outlandishly asymmetrical) trends. They still mourn the passing of the punk era, and are only grudgingly content with a brush-cut. One thing is for certain, if you put a blue ribbon in the Aquarian dog’s hair, he’ll disappear for good.
Strong points: Sociable, non-judgmental and individualistic
Weak points: Needy, scruffy and unreliable
Health: Robust on the whole but prone to blisters and bunions
Best owners: Gemini, Libra and Leo
20 FEBRUARY – 19 MARCH
Welcome to the world of doggy dementia! Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac so the malevolent gods dumped all the characteristics they forgot to give other mutts on these gentle creatures. Melancholic Pisceans are shy, sensitive and usually confused. These muddled and befuddled souls can get lost in a one bedroom flat. Don’t be too harsh on your watery Piscean when you rescue him from the SPCA for the twentieth time. His kindly nature probably took him out and about because he saw a lame dog that needed to be helped over a stile. With his good deed completed unfortunately it will have been totally beyond his comprehension to find his way home.
By nature the Piscean hates competition so you are throwing your money down the drain by buying a Piscean as a show dog. Furthermore, in a show he’s likely to let you down on another account. Though it’s not his plan to look like a bird’s nest, his messy disposition prevents him from ever looking well groomed.
Strongly averse to confrontation and ever anxious to avoid trouble, the Piscean is the most intuitive of all signs, so when you are safely tucked up in bed and your Piscean dog starts barking, take note, he’s telling you to investigate. He is, of course, far too scared to do so himself.
- Strong points: Sweet, peaceful and a good friend
- Weak points: Oversensitive, sentimental and unkempt
- Health: Liable to colds and liver trouble
- Best owners: Cancer, Virgo and Scorpio
20 MARCH – 19 APRIL
From the moment your loveable Arien pup is whelped it has one burning ambition… to be top dog! So rule number one with an Arien litter is quickly allocating the helpless fluffy bundles of joy to different homes before they start tearing out each other’s throats. In short, Ariens relish the title “Dogs of War” because they get into so many dog fights. And when there is no other dog to argue with, well, the postman will do very nicely thank you.
Once you own an assertive Aries pooch, you’ll soon be in great physical shape because the Arien is active… VERY active! Forget the notion of taking your Arien for a quiet gentle stroll because he will be dragging you from lamppost to lamppost in the direction he wants to go. When your bold Arien eventually decides to lead you home, it will be you that is dog-tired whilst he’ll be as fresh as a daisy, ready to play havoc in your home as he careens from room to room at break-neck speed.
But as with each sign of the zodiac, there are compensations. Owning a dog born under brave and courageous Aries eliminates the need for costly home alarm systems. Your Arien will be fearless in the defence of your property, confidently leading more timid dogs into any fray against man or beast.
- Strong points: Brave, independent and confident
- Weak points: Exhausting, quarrelsome and a bit of a bully
- Health: They suffer from selective deafness
- Best Owners: Sagittarius, Taurus and Libra
20 APRIL – 19 MAY
If your best friend spends his whole day sleeping in front of the fire, then the chances are that you own a Taurean dog. Let’s be honest, this dog isn’t just lazy, he’s actually perfected the art of being bone idle. Even chasing the cat is just too much effort for the sedentary Taurean. You see, Taurean dogs believe that life is to be enjoyed and that means good food, beautiful objects and comfortable surroundings. A prerequisite to owning him is that you have plenty of money so that you can pander to his every need. Tinned doggie food or pets mince? No chance! Fillet steak is okay though. If he has to wear a dog collar, then a little Harrods number studded with diamonds is just the ticket. And please, no tatty cast-off blanket in his basket; he really does deserve a natty goose down duvet with a hand-made liberty print cover.
The phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” was coined just for the Taurean mutt. Taurus is the sign of the bull, so of all the canines he’s the most steadfast and dependable to the point of being stubborn. Which means that if you want to teach him to fetch your papers and slippers, then you had better do it well before he reaches maturity. Once he is set in his ways, nothing, but nothing will change him. He expects you to be just as reliable as he is and needs his walk and meals at exactly the same time every day. His boring routine might drive you up the wall, but he’ll never stray from the fold as long as you indulge the Taurean with the standard of living he deserves.
- Strong points: Calm, loyal and discerning
- Weak points: Fussy, boring and stubborn
- Health: Tummy aches and stiff joints
- Best Owners: Virgo, Capricorn and Pisces
20 MAY – 19 JUNE
When the gods got fed up with churning out boring old Taurean dogs, they invented Geminis – the dogs with two personalities that absolutely refuse to grow up.
Variety is the spice of life for the restless, exuberant and versatile Gemini. Unless he is on the end of a lead, it’s doubtful that you will know where he is because Geminis are disgustingly nosey. If he’s not rooting through all your belongings and chewing the odd pair of socks or book, then he’ll be chasing birds in the garden or exploring the neighbourhood, checking out the local talent.
The Gemini needs constant change because routine doesn’t just bore him, it actually upsets him. As soon as a new brand of dog food comes on the market, try it on him – he’ll love it (well at least for three to four days he will). Want to calm his highly strung nerves? Pile him into the car and take him to town. He’ll be able to feast his eyes on hundreds of sights that are just too far away for him to reach on his own four paws.
The doggy Gemini’s human equivalent is renowned for being gossipy and over-talkative. This trait manifests in the canine as barking – a lot. During the day this can drive you crazy but in the depths of the night inquisitive Geminis will be the first to hear, investigate and tell you about any dubious visitors to your domain.
- Strong points: Interesting, unique and inquisitive
- Weak points: Highly strung, nosy and loud
- Health: Strained vocal cords and bee stings
- Best Owners: Libra, Sagittarius and Aries. (Over the years I’ve met hundreds of Gemini dogs and to this day I’m not quite sure who should be on tranquillisers… the dog or the owner!)
20 JUNE – 19 JULY
At the same time that you acquire a cuddly Cancerian canine it is imperative that you simultaneously buy one of those diaries that shows the phases of the moon… it will greatly aid your understanding of this moody, hypersensitive, insecure sign. With diary to hand at least you will be able to anticipate his baleful baying at the full moon and his mournful hangdog depressions at the new and quarter moons.
However, the beauty of owning a Cancerian is that you can take positive steps to bring out the very best in this warm and protective sign. Give him security and you’ll have him eating out of the palm of your hand. All he needs is a kennel of his very own! Don’t get me wrong, he’ll undoubtedly enjoy the comforts of your home but for him, being in his own doghouse is like being in seventh heaven. And if you really want to get on the right side of him, furnish the kennel with a blanket and a few playthings. He’ll probably be hoarding a few of your possessions anyway so watch out for disappearing bathmats and vanishing sweaters.
If you have a Cancerian bitch and are using her for breeding then aren’t you the lucky one! To her, motherhood is an absolute natural and she will nurture, pamper and protect her puppies, including the runt of the litter until that horrific moment (for her) of separation. So please… be gentle with her.
- Strong points: Family orientated, cuddly and nurturing
- Weak points: Moody, insecure and over-sensitive
- Health: Nervous twitches and bouts of melancholy
- Best Owners: Scorpio, Taurus and Leo
20 JULY – 19 AUGUST
Do you own a pooch that’s the proverbial “pavement special”, is ugly to boot, and yet has a regal bearing which outshines your costly cosseted pedigreed Afghan? I’ll bet you 10 to 1 that your Heinz 57 variety is a Leo. You see, the Leo mutt sees himself as the king of all dogs and knows that he is wonderful. Forget the silly notion that your home is your castle, in reality it’s your conceited Leo’s palace. Didn’t you notice that the first time you brought him home, he made a beeline for your chair, claimed it as his throne and has only moved from it under duress ever since?
If you want to win a prize at your local dog show then undoubtedly your best chance lies with a Leo (tho’ nothing short of supreme champion at Crufts will truly satiate his ego). His sense of showmanship can actually rival Liberace in his heyday, so for heaven’s sake ensure that he looks the part before the great event. Watch the swaggers as he hits the parade ring, see his theatrical posing whilst in the coveted limelight – watch him deflate like a pricked balloon when he only wins second prize! There must be some redeeming features about Leo dogs, I hear you saying. Of course there are; they are absolutely wonderful with children… that is, as long as you give them as much attention as the kids.
- Strong points: Self-assured, amusing and good with children
- Weak points: Egotistical, opinionated and a show-off
- Health: Entirely dependent on his placing at shows and the attention he gets at home
- Best Owners: Only folks with egos bigger that Leos would ever attempt it.
20 AUGUST – 19 SEPTEMBER
Heave a sigh of relief if your favourite canine gives birth to a Virgo litter – you’ve just hit the jackpot with the easiest doggies on earth. The Virgo dog is born with an innate sense of his place in this life… UNDERDOG! Labelled “wimps of the zodiac” these dogs are reserved and shy, with the more afflicted types even suffering from irritating nervous tics. But at least Virgo’s don’t try to take over YOUR territory and they know their station in your household… the bottom rung.
The worst thing that you can possibly do to a Virgo is not to give him discipline. He’ll wander around in a listless daze, totally at sea. However, show him who is boss and he’ll love you to bits. Obedience training – no problem! House training – what a cinch! With work as second nature, they make the perfect sheep dogs and are ideal for working trials (though they’ll need a bit of coaxing to handle being in the spotlight).
If you read all the dog stars I’m sure that you will know that each zodiacal sign has its drawbacks. You will have gathered that in a Virgo dog you haven’t got a fearless leader. Also you must prepare yourself for increased vet bills. In reality they don’t get sick more often that other mutts, they just THINK they are sick. He’ll actually allow you to wrap him in blankets and whisk him off to the clinic just to hear the vet intone the words “he’s in perfect health”. Do yourself a favour, avoid the expense by feeding him good wholesome food, doggy vitamins and Bob Martins.
- Strong points: Humble, eager to please and reasonably intelligent
- Weak points: Fearful, needy and a bit awkward
- Health: They are hypochondriacs with everything imaginable wrong with them on any given day
- Best Owners: Taurus, Capricorn and Pisces
20 SEPTEMBER – 19 OCTOBER
As a Libran owner you had better have plenty of spare time on your hands because you’re sure going to need it! What the Libran wants most in his life is for you to spend hours and hours grooming and beautifying him. Believe me, if each Libran dog had their way, doggie parlours would be gold mines because Librans would be packing them out every single day of the week. I must be fair however: lovely Librans have the most beautiful conformations and the glossiest of glossy coats. Regrettably they are also only too aware of their pulchritude.
You must always be sure that the Librans’ water bowl is close to hand and full of good clean fresh water. It’s not that they need to drink it but they do need to lovingly gaze at their own reflection. If you are a kind- hearted owner, then pander to the Libran’s vanity and purchase a personalised mirror for his kennel. It’s difficult to comprehend, isn’t it, that dogs can be kugels and bagels but Libran pooches achieve it.
Needless to say you’ll put up with the Libran vanity because not only are you certain to pick up a few show prizes but any Libran can charm the birds out of the trees. He wouldn’t dream of sitting in your favourite chair – such behaviour is just too discourteous and gross. Strongly disapproving of fighting, his peaceful nature gives him the ability to even live in perfect harmony with your cantankerous Persian kitty.
- Strong points: Attractive, charming and even-tempered
- Weak points: Narcissistic, shallow and very demanding
- Health: The more praise and recognition he gets, the better his health
- Best Owners: Gemini, Aquarius and Leo
20 OCTOBER – 19 NOVEMBER
Scorpios come with the formidable reputation of being sex maniacs – but it’s a reputation that is so easy for them to live up to. Take a long hard look at your apparently innocent Pom bitch. I know it’s hard to visualise but I can assure you she is actually a complete nymphomaniac. Her only saving grace is that she is ultra-secretive about everything, including her conquests – otherwise when she’s in season you would spend all of your time throwing buckets of water over her in an effort to stop her incessant romancing. Totally indiscriminate, the male of the species will mercilessly forge ahead in his quest to satisfy insatiable sexual desires. With such a high sex drive, Scorpios should be a breeder’s delight but regrettably they are not the most beautiful of signs and are frequently oddly proportioned.
No one is so loyal a friend, so dangerous an enemy, as the Scorpio dog. Inconsiderate owners sometimes die before their Scorpio mutt. Five years later the Scorpio is featured on the front page of the Sunday paper – he’s still loyally and mournfully guarding his former owner’s grave, until he too is called by Peter to the Pearly Gates. Well, that’s the theory – personally I’m convinced that all Scorpio dogs go to hell! But then perhaps I’m being harsh because should an adversary ever cross your path, your Scorpio will die for you…yes, literally die for you.
- Strong points: Interesting and loyal to the end
- Weak points: Loose morals, poor conformations and often downright unattractive
- Health: Vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy
- Best Owners: Cancer, Gemini and Pisces
NOVEMBER 23RD – DECEMBER 22ND
If you want to see the world or even just have a heck of a time in the comfort of your own living room, then get yourself a Sagittarian. An animal travel agency’s dream, the Sagittarian dog was whelped to explore and have fun. Should you, as the owner, fail to arrange trips and outings then, no problem, he’ll just trek off on his own to explore Planet Earth. Sagittarians take disgusting risks, crossing busy freeways, trespassing on army property and picking fights with Pit Bull Terriers. And heaven help us, the Sagittarian gets away with his dare-devil jaunts simply because he believes that he has a guardian doggy angel on his shoulder.
The only way to keep the Sagittarian home is to provide entertainment, although having him indoors is a mixed blessing. There may be a certain endearing clumsiness when he tramples your toes and knocks over the teacups but how are you going to feel when his tail dusts your Ming vase to the floor?
However, as the Sagittarian gets older, his journeys become shorter in length and frequency and he appears to be more careful around the house. In reality he still yearns for more active adventurous days but his excessive indulgence with food has expanded his girth so that regular movements become just too much effort. But to his dying day the motto of the Sagittarian mutt is encapsulated in the most popular Accapella song “Don’t worry, be happy”.
- Best Owners: Aries, Sagittarius and Libra
20 DECEMBER – 19 JANUARY
Capricorn dogs are a strange breed. As pups they appear wizened and old, yet as age gradually creeps up on them they steadily become more frisky and youthful. However, irrespective of age it’s not difficult to spot a Capricorn…just look out for downcast, sad eyes and a hangdog expression. Capricorns frequently succumb to black dog depressions that sweep over them because they just know that it’s a dog’s life. Even in their happiest moods there’s a faint aura of melancholy and seriousness surrounding these mutts.
Racked themselves by feelings of inferiority, the Capricorn will intuitively be able to sniff out the social standing of all your visitors, dutifully paying attention to the TV celebrity and insidiously ignoring the rest. Should a show judge visit your home, you’ll probably marvel as your stuffy, snobbish Capricorn transforms into a playful yet dignified friend. The Capricorn instinctively knows that the judge may be able to help him in the future. So why on earth would anyone want to own one of these cold, conservative creatures? Well, for a start, they are disciplined and hardworking. So if you yearn to win lots and lots of prizes in Obedience or Working Trials, then Capricorn is the dog for you. In fact, winning a prize is one of the few things that will raise the flicker of a smile in a Capricorn.
- Strong points: Committed, intelligent and sensitive
- Weak points: Manipulative, gloomy and self-absorbed
- Health: Given to the sulks and fits of dark depression
- Best Owners: Taurus, Cancer and Aquarius