A Dog and Proud of It

Why being born in the year of dog is the cat’s ass

By Brian Reynolds

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Astrology is a strange thing. Most people take it with a grain of salt, seeing it as little more than silly entertainment (if not ignoring it altogether). However, some people strongly identify with their astrological signs. While the stars present on your date of birth ordain your sign, are we really bound to the traits and qualities associated with being an Aries or a Virgo or whatever? If we’re going to give any credence to Western astrology, we should also take note of the Chinese zodiac, because instead of a set of twins or a scale (WTF?), they have the coolest astrological sign available: the dog.

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Dogs are celebrated in many cultures, but only the Chinese have bestowed upon them the honor of being made into an astrological sign. For a year every twelve years, a new generation of people will be born to the sign of the dog. The Chinese zodiac has twelve different animals and not all of them are admirable. I don’t imagine anyone strongly self-identifying as a snake or a rat; calling someone one of those is a good way to start a fight or to get murdered in prison. Goats, sheep and pigs are all domesticated animals that provide food and wool. Who wants to identify as an animal that gets shaved down to make good hiking socks or killed for meat? Not this guy. Aside being a tiger or a dragon, no other animal in the Chinese zodiac is anywhere near as badass as being a dog.

The qualities people supposedly gain from being born in the year of the dog include being straightforward, loyal, honest, kind, courageous and capable of leadership—all excellent qualities anyone would be proud of. I’m glad I wasn’t born in the year of the monkey; they may be the closest relative to humans of all the signs in the zodiac, but they still fling feces.

The Chinese zodiac has been entertaining and influencing people for thousands of years. I don’t believe myself to be tied to the signs I’ve been given, but as far as I’m concerned, being born in the year of the dog does give me some bragging rights.