Friday, January 24, 2014

Arty Farty Friday's Dog Talk (with a dash of astrology).

I intended to prepare a post on dogs in art, but having found it has been done many times already, I desisted. Something else deterred me too, it seems that artists who are also dog lovers (or maybe not) come over all twee when painting a dog. Many feel obliged to portray the dog doing decidedly undoggy things, or wearing non-doggy clothes. In many older, more serious paintings, often hunting scenes, dogs feature prominently, these have no appeal to me. Other vintage pieces depict dogs with children, a combination which tends to bring on the twee. If I'm going in a twee direction at all, I want James Thurber's dogs. Otherwise a straight portrait - like this gorgeous one by Pippa Thew.

Some of James Thurber's

We don't have a dog, mainly because we like to be free to take off at the drop of a hat. I do love dogs, even though I still have a small scar on my wrist where a fluffy little darlin' bit me when I tried to stroke him. I was only 5 or 6. He was standing with a co-dog owned by the same family, a Great Dane. I'd have been much safer petting the big dog!

In my youth we had a naughty little mongrel at home, Rex, the "runt" of a litter. He loved to run away and roll in cow dung in nearby fields, then come home stinking. Later my parents bought a pedigree Cairn Terrier, Kim. Spoiled rotten he was, became my mother's one-woman dog. Kim hated me, bit me more than once, just jealous I guess. After he died my parents, deeply affected by his loss, decided not to have another dog.

Over the years I've come to prefer the idea of big dogs, bigger the better. They do seem, on the whole, to have sweeter natures than the smaller breeds. I once, long ago, worked in a hotel where the proprietors kept a Doberman - Dobie, he was a darling. When the owners went away, leaving me in charge of dog and hotel, Dobie would let me know when he was hungry by gently putting his mouth around my wrist and physically pulling me to the room where his food was stored - this was a regular occurrence. He loved people, or to be accurate, he loved all people except the postman!

Different breeds definitely have their own characteristics, no doubt about it. It follows then that certain breeds of dog would suit certain astrological "breeds" of human better than others. The list below came from MSN Astrology back in 2008, the link, however, is now defunct.

The American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff for short) is a confident dog that makes a very loyal and devoted companion for the Ram. They have a rep for being slightly aggressive - something you can relate to! - but your dedication to training them correctly will make all the difference in their demeanor. Amstaffs are very trusting and amiable but can be stubborn at times; however, if you assert yourself like a true Aries can, they'll be your compliant companions.

Your ideal dog companion is the German Shepherd. This loyal and very intelligent breed is obedient and learns quickly, making them extremely easy to train; they also have a regal air about them that you admire. Some German Shepherds can be quite aloof and serious, like a lot of Taureans, but they are also known for being highly effective watchdogs, which helps put your security-conscious mind at ease.

The quick and agile Border Collie fits your personality perfectly. Highly intelligent and trainable, the Border Collie has lots of stamina and determination. They're also eager to please and very quick to learn, which makes them easily trainable and adaptable to your ever-changing world. Border Collies need a high level of mental and physical stimulation, just like you do, which is why they make a great companion for on-the-go Gemini.


The Labrador Retriever is your ideal dog, not only for its sweet-natured, loving, and loyal ways but also because they are wonderful family pets. Labs are extremely friendly and sociable with a mild manner and laid-back attitude, and because they love to join in a wide range of activities and have lots of love and affection to shower upon their family, they're the perfect companion to the family-centric Crab.

Grand in stature, the loyal and honorable Bullmastiff is your type of dog. This dog is huge, so you are sure to turn heads wherever you go, giving you both the attention you crave. But beyond their superficial appeal, they also have a great amount of loyalty and devotion and are cheerful, confident, and attentive pets - all characteristics that would make any Leo dog owner swell with pride.

The noble-looking Weimaraner (See THIS post) is perfect for the Virgo with discerning taste. Weimaraners are very strong-minded and independent dogs, and because they have boundless energy, they can really benefit from the punctual walks that most Virgo natives are willing to give them. Sticking to a precise schedule also helps keep these dogs away from destructive behaviors they are sometimes prone to; once they know that they can depend on you, you will be able to depend on them to reach their full potential.

Affectionate, gentle, and sweet, the Whippet is a charming dog with a peaceful demeanor. Whippets do like to run around and play, but they are also happy enjoying the creature comforts of home; this adaptability makes them more comfortable with your indecisiveness than other breeds may be. These dogs love the attention of their owners, enjoy interactive play, and will be sure to appreciate your creativity when it comes to finding activities you can enjoy together.

Perhaps, as a strong and powerful Scorpio, you don't picture yourself with any of the toy breeds, especially a Chihuahua, but you may be surprised to find that they are quite a good fit with the Scorpio personality. These little dogs are curious, full of confidence for their size, and they are very loyal to their families, demonstrating quite a jealous streak if another pet or person is getting more attention than they are. Sound familiar?

You need a dog that will roll with the waves, one who is as happy at home as they are on a road trip with you, and that dog is a Golden Retriever. This breed is popular for many reasons, among them being their social personalities and real passion for life. If you're up for doing it, so are they! Just make sure to enroll them in doggie daycare or get them a human or canine companion if you are gone a lot and can't take them with you as these pups do not like to be left alone.

The Pug is tenacious and devoted but also has a cheerful way about him, much like the typical Capricorn. These dogs do not need a lot of grooming or maintenance and can get along fairly well without a big yard in which to frolic, which allows you to be a responsible dog owner and still keep your hectic work schedule. Although Pugs can be quite willful at times, they will respond well to your methodical training methods.

OK, so you aren't the most likely of all the Sun Signs to own a dog, but those of you who crave a dog to call your own will want to consider the gracious Rhodesian Ridgeback. This is a breed of intelligence, which you can appreciate, and is also very independent and willing to follow the road less traveled with you. Just keep in mind that they have very intense sight and sound triggers, so they will wander off if something stirs their curiosity.

Faithful, affectionate, and maybe just a little lazy, the Saint Bernard is a huge dog with a huge heart - in other words, your perfect pooch. Saint Bernards are typically very calm, quiet, patient, docile, and loyal, traits with which Fish can identify. These dogs do need the companionship of their owners and are not suited to people with hectic, busy schedules, but compassionate Pisces is more willing than any other sign to accommodate the Saint Bernard's needs.

Regarding suggestions in this list, #1 I'd swap the Taurus dog with the Leo dog.

#2 I'd give Gemini a Jack Russell instead of a Border Collie. Jack Russells are live wires, sociable and highly intelligent, my husband's elder son has one, Casey (in the photo on the right), we keep her company sometimes when son and family are away from home. I suspect that Border Collies would be a little too biddable for Airy Gemini!

#3 Oh, but Scorpio with a Chihuahua? No! Scorpio needs a big black dog, any breed as long as it's big, black and looks a little fierce.

My favourite breed, the Irish Wolfhound - a big, big gangling, hairy monster would suit Sagittarius - excess on legs, they make you smile just to look at them and, by all accounts, they can be such sweeties.


mike said...

My mother was very lenient when it came to family pets...we always had a dog and cat, sometimes several of each. Pets didn't last long back then, as most people didn't take their animals to the veterinarian and most pets ate table scraps, which was often did not contain the essential nutrients required for proper health.

I avoided pets of any kind in my adult years, since I always worked very long hours and traveled for business often. Pets of friends and neighbors worked for me.

That all changed eight years ago when a friend had to assist his cancer-stricken mother and travel a distance to perform the duties. I was left with a Yorkie named GiGi to tend to for what was thought to be a month. My friend never returned for her. GiGi is my baby...I can't imagine life without her. She loves people and is very social, gentle, and intelligent.

When I arrived in Corpus, there was a cat that I thought was feral, because he seemed so unkempt, was tailless, and had an always-shut eye, with attendant blood. About a year later, he made friends with GiGi and claimed us as his. Turns-out he previously lived in the next block, but refused to return home when his sister was struck and killed by a car. His name is Junior and he's a purebred Manchurian Manx and quite a character. GiGi and Junior play, play, and play...I love watching them go at it. Junior is a trickster...loves to set-up "games" for the two of them to play. Junior's previous humans adore him and have made many appointments the past seven years to come visit him...Junior is fairly indifferent to them, sadly. His eye problem was eliminated with good, nutritious food.

I'm exceedingly pleased that these two came into my life...I'll be a mess when they depart...they're both ten years old, so time is precious with them. If dog and cat years do equate, then the three of us are about the same ages! Having the two of them has been an affirmation that animals are sentient and intelligent beings, probably more so than us humans.

Thanks for giving me the chance to dote about my kids, Twilight!

LB said...

Twilight ~ I'm allergic and we live in a *very* small place so caring for a dog is out of the question . . . then also, there's my independent Aquarius Moon to consider - probably why I'm more of a "cat person". *But*, if I could have a dog, I might choose either a Golden Lab or a Chinese Crested. Both breeds are very intelligent, sweet and loving. I appreciate dogs (and cats), they're like angels.

mike ~ I envy you your furry family.:) It sounds like they're as lucky to have found you as you are to have found them. It's great to be loved so unconditionally. When my favorite childhood cat died (before I developed allergies), I was devastated and still remember and sometimes miss him.:(

Twilight said...

mike ~ I enjoyed reading your "dotes" very much. Gigi and Junior sound like wonderful friends to have.

Yorkies are cute wee things, the are supposed to have originated in my own home county, but I'm suspicious of many dog title with place names involved. Airedale Terriers also carry a Yorkshire name - nothing at all like Yorkies though. Staffordshire Bull Terriers - supposedly from the midland area of England; Scotties, Westies, and Cairn Terriers from Scotland, etc.etc.
Once upon a time, decades or centuries ago perhaps these breeds were more prevalent in certain areas and so named, or were more usually bred there then elsewhere.

I don't dislike cats, but don't have much experience of them. The cartoons "Simon's Cat" always make me laugh though. :-)

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes that independent streak cats are said to have does appeal to me too - and to my Aquarius Sun, but dogs are loyal and more loving - I think I like that better. :-)

Being allergic to pets has to be awkward. I am allergic to pollen and changes of air pressure, maybe other things too - which means non-stop anti-histamine tablets. Never was allergic to anything before coming to Oklahoma though.

R J Adams said...

I see you've paired me with a border collie. During my time as an Inspector for the RSPCA I was probably bitten more times by border collies, than any other breed. I was even bitten by one owned by the head nurse at the animal hospital where I was based. Mind, I won't say what I was doing with that lady at the time!


Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ No, RJ - I didn't do that - the list came from a defunct astrology website. I did correct it lower down - saying that Gemini would be better matched with a Jack Russell.
LOL - Oh you ol' Jack Russell you!

mike (again) said...

LB, there are several cat (and dog) breeds that are considered hypoallergenic. Additional factors:
"Males produce more allergenic secretions than females
Intact males produce more than neutered males
Dark cats tend to produce more than light-colored ones (no one knows why)
Kittens produce fewer allergens than adults

So, a light-colored female cat might work out better for people with cat allergies."

The above is from

Go to that site for a list of acceptable cat breeds. Many sites on the internet cover the topic.

Anonymous said...

You know that expression about looking like your dog. Princess Anne has some sort of terrier, bull I think and they look just like her. Gen Patton had the same breed.

I prefer cats , especially red ones and I have have three,four until last year. I love all animals but cats are less work and remember, you own a dog,but a cat owns you.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ LOL! Yes, it's a peculiar phenomenon. Yet nobody ever looks like their cat - far as I know. :-)

mimi said...

looks like a lot of astrology readers are cat people. Count me in too. My Scorpio son balked at the idea that he should have a ferocious black dog, he admitted a chihuahua was more his speed.

Twilight said...

mimi ~ Hmmm - That does surprise me.
Maybe I've been bitten by Scorpio in the past and have a misunderstood view of the sign. ;-)