2013-09-12 / Columns

Along These Lines

Astrology Going To The Dogs

If you’re a regular reader of weekly online horoscopes, you might be just a little puzzled when one site advises you to avoid jumping over fences because you have delicate legs. And when it’s suggested that you have a tendency to hide under the bed and shiver uncontrollably during a thunderstorm, you may doubt the sanity of your virtual soothsayer.

But don’t panic, your astrologer hasn’t been hit on the head with her crystal ball. It probably means you’ve stumbled upon the doghoroscopes.com web site. So bark off! Because these horoscopes are intended for dogs only!

No, I’m not pulling your paw. “Doghoroscopes” is a real web site that provides weekly, monthly and birthday readings exclusively for pooches. The site has developed a large following, drawing millions of virtual visitors from all over the world.

The horoscopes are produced by a woman in Connecticut. While she emphasizes that the readings are meant for entertainment and fun, rather than for making any life decisions regarding pets, many visitors seem to take the site very seriously.

For instance, people flock to the site’s owner-dog compatibility guide to “predict” if a new dog will get along with its owner. That’s an interesting idea – if only there was a comparable site for humans to reliably weed out potentially incompatible spouses.

The woman who created the website actually keeps a low profile, preferring her more visible canine partner, ‘Newf,’ to take the spotlight. Newf is a beagle/dachshund mix who has become the web site’s mascot. His cheerful image appears throughout the site, as he watches visitors on their virtual trip through the Doghoroscopes’ zodiac links.

But Newf is no ordinary dog star; he was also the inspiration for creating the site.

From the very first day site’s creator brought Newf home, she noticed that they both had astrological similarities in temperament, likes and dislikes, and moods. They also shared the same birth month and day.

Both are also homebodies, fiercely protective of their home, and abound in nervous energy. What’s more, they hate thunder, lightning, and water. While Newf’s owner admits that when it comes to bathing, she only goes somewhat reluctantly, the pup is far more stubborn and has to be dragged from his hiding spot under the bed.

It would seem, too, that the Moon influences their intertwined lives. This is not to say that they both head for the backyard when the Moon is full and howl in unison towards the heavens. But Newf does tend to whimper during a full Moon, while his owner admits she can become weepy.

The dog horoscopes have also been published in dozens of dog magazines and newsletters all over the world. Newf and his owner have even been invited to do “paw readings” at various venues, and they receive requests to read at psychic fairs and at numerous dog events and dog shows.

So what does little Newf think about all the attention his big website gets? Well, he’s very philosophical about the fame and was quoted as saying simply it’s “ruffff!”

Another question often posed is where does Newf’s owner get the insight for the horoscopes? But that’s a secret she’s not sharing. And apparently Newf ain’t telling, either!

But Newf’s owner will reveal the origin of his unusual name. Since Newf is just a little guy, he was given a big dog name so he would always think big. Along these lines, he was called Newf as an abbreviation for the Newfoundland dog breed which, according to Wikipedia, are known for their “giant size, tremendous strength, calm dispositions, and loyalty.”

Sorry to disappoint if you were thinking the name had something to do with a former Republican presidential candidate.

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