Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hey, sexy hound... what's your sign?

Astrology is for the dogs, according to monthly column in New York newspaper

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Not all cats are lions, but some of them are Leos. For those who aren't horoscope fans, note that the Leo is the zodiac symbol of the Lion. While cats are related to this regal creature, do they understand when Mars is in the 7th house of Venus?

Me neither. However, if you follow Jennifer Angel's Monthly Pet Horoscope column in the New York Daily News, you might understand what she's talking about.

Many of us enjoy checking our horoscopes. To cheer me up, my parents occasionally read me my positive ones. Over the years, I've noticed that my sign seems to look for either a soul mate or a job opportunity.

As fun as human predictions may be, they don't appear to align with pet lives. Perhaps this is why Angel started her pet-focused column. Few dogs and cats long for the love of their life; most of them relish finding their love of the minute (although I know a few humans who seek that, too). And even fewer pets enjoy the idea of coming into wealth. Which, let's face it, if pets could earn money it would only increase the amount of unconditional love we'd offer them.

Horoscopes are rooted in Greek tradition. The History of Horoscope website explains that the "basic horoscope is related to a person's birth time, date, and year...." These are tied to one of the 12 Zodiac signs to predict your future. Your entire life is said to be pre-determined in relation to celestial bodies, such as the sun and the moon. Those who can read these signs also use them to explain both your positive and your negative attributes.

Even if you don't consult astrology, Angel's predictions are interesting. For instance, my dog, Bella, is a Virgo and according to Angel, June should be the month where Bella should place an inordinate amount of undivided attention upon me. While I like the premise, I'm a bit skeptical about the predictive nature of the comment. Bella always gives me her undivided attention. If I were a dog I'd follow me, too. I'm klutzy and drop food when I cook.

Coincidently, my husband is also a Virgo. I'll let him know that he should give me some extra attention. I'm not sure if this prediction corresponds to human horoscopes, but he doesn't have to know that.

While her prediction for Bella may be iffy, she may have been right about Pisces pets. She told owners that pets will do something they've never done before that will not only "shock, but aggravate you as well." My sister's new puppy was born in March and he shocks her daily with an accident or another act of puppy destruction.

There was a time when horoscopes were really popular; they were once common pickup lines at bars. "What's your sign?" became a cliché. If Angel's pet horoscope catches on, maybe it'll become a popular cliché in doggy daycares or dog parks. I can hear it now. Instead of asking fellow dog lovers what breed a dog is, owners would go up to strangers and say, "your dog runs like a Scorpio but plays like a Capricorn." You've already read what's expected for pets born under the signs of Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) and Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20). For pets born under the remaining zodiac signs, here are a few snippets of Angel's predictions:

-- Aries (March 21-April 19): Your pet could have a "frantic level of energy."

-- Taurus (April 20-May 20): "He's turned a corner behaviourally and dropped an undesirable habit."

-- Gemini (May 21-June 20): Your pets could get jealous, tire "them out completely before leaving them alone as you could see some spiteful behaviours appear."

-- Cancer (June 21-July 22): Beware pets feeling stress or anxiety could over-exert themselves.

-- Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Your pet may have "an almost insatiable urge to socialize with others."

-- Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): "Teach your loving Libra a few new tricks... start a new obedience class."

-- Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22): "Your Scorpio baby seems a bit out of sorts over the coming weeks, don't be alarmed."

-- Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 21): "A former fear or anxiety your baby had could disappear."

-- Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Your best bud could be extra active."

-- Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19): "It will seem as though your buddy has hidden his off switch."


News during the month of June has been full of stories of wayward body parts and the erosion of European economies. Like horoscopes or not, it's nice to scrutinize something that doesn't make you want to hide under your covers for a couple of years. Armed with Angel's pet predictions, life just doesn't seem that ruff. To view Angel's full pet predictions follow this link:

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 12, 2012 C5

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