Each year, the sun moves into Aquarius on Jan. 20 and stays there through Feb. 18. This means that right now it’s time to shine the celestial spotlight on Aquarians, the zodiac’s water bearers.
Happy Aquarius Season, Dogsters!
My cosmic niche is exploring how peoples star signs are revealed in their lifestyle choices I writeTraditional Home magazine’s Star Style column on astrology and lifestyle/design. Living with dogs is a lifestyle choice (and a brilliant one, in my humble opinion), so Im fascinated by the different ways people of different signs display affection for beloved pets. And when it comes to their dogs, Aquarian Dogsters show downright dazzling displays of affection.
This amazing air sign is the forward-thinking futurist of the Zodiac, always seeking boldly creative new expressions in science, music, design, art you name it. That tirelessly thoughtful innovation extends to the way Aquarians treat their dogs. Many of history’s most illustrious, ahead-of-their-time Dogsters were Aquarians. Charles Darwin, dog lover, is a textbook Aquarius and remember, his famous vessel was christened …HMS Beagle!
Now consider Edith Wharton, pictured at left with two of her best friends. Always a passionate animal lover, the great author supported many animal charities, including helping to set up the ASPCA, America’s first humane organization, in its early days. The Mount, her estate in Massachusetts, was also home to the many dogs she adored in her lifetime. Decidedly a lover of small breeds, Wharton is remembered for these immortal lines:
My little old dog:
At my feet.
Those cute little K9s must’ve had a blast running around on the Mount’s terrace. But Wharton wasn’t the only literary light to immortalize dogs. Aquarian Virginia Woolf she of the decidedly Dogsteresque surname penned a biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s spaniel; titled Flush, it’s one of Woolf’s most captivatingly insightful and eye-opening works.
In 1808 George Gordon, aka Lord Byron, penned perhaps the greatest poem ever dedicated to a dog: “Epitaph to a Dog,” written in honor of his Newfoundland, Boatswain, who died of rabies. When Boatswain contracted the disease, Byron nursed his beloved pet without any fear of becoming bitten or infected. The poem is inscribed on Boatswain’s tomb, which is larger than his owner’s, at Newstead Abbey, Byron’sestate.
As it turns out, the first two stanzas were written by the poet’s friend John Hobhouse, the first Baron Broughton; Byron had planned to use just the last two lines as the tomb inscription. Here’s the poem in its entirety; I dare you not to be moved to tears, and recommend you keep Kleenex at the ready:
Epitaph to a Dog
Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.
This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
BOATSWAIN, a DOG,
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808.
When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown by Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptors art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Masters own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on it honors none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friends remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one and here he lies.
Another excellent example of the Aquarian gift of gab, especially when the topic is dogs, is a famous speech delivered by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Much like our current commander-in-chief, Barack Obama, FDR was obliged to respond to heaping helpings of Republican criticism, and he did so with great flair at his 1944 campaign dinner address to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. To wit:
These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family doesn’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog.
Because Aquarians take dogs very seriously,they are highly sensitive to canine suffering, and they tend to be visionaries when it comes to the humane treatment of all animal species. Aquarius Buck Brannaman, subject of the documentary Buck, invented a revolutionary method of training horses. In the film, he recalls his childhood dog with great fondness and appreciation.
Aquarius Linda Blair, the actress renowned for her unforgettable role in The Exorcist, has dedicated herself to dog rescue, forming the nonprofit Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation; while they await their forever homes, LBWF adoptables live with Linda at her ranch in Acton, California.
Aquarius Oprah Winfrey is a visionary in so many ways, but Dogsters especially appreciate her for the kind attention she pays to pets in need through her steadfast support of her local animal shelter, Paws Chicago. Ever the trendsetter, Oprah never forgets dogs in need, and encourages her loyal fans to follow her lead.
Did you know that everything has a Zodiac sign not just people and pups, but places, buildings, companies? And it so happens that Crypton Super Fabrics, the ultimate dog-friendly textiles, used in the manufacture of dog beds that keep their good looks even after taking a punishing pummeling from pouncing paws, was incorporated under the sign of Aquarius. Resistant to stains, moisture, odors, and bacteria, this revolutionary, futuristic material has made living with dogs a lot easier and more stylish for millions of Dogsters.
Aquarian Dogsters and friends/lovers of Aquarian Dogsters, we’d like to hear from you, so please share your thoughts in the comments.
Image at top courtesy of Musewear Flip Flops