Victoria Mouse

The Year of the Dog

2018 is the Year of the Dog.  What better time to launch my new series following the adventures of two mischievous dogs called Chilli and Pickles?

Chilli and Pickles
Chilli and Pickles playing with a rope toy

A bit of information about the Dog

Within the Chinese Zodiac, the Dog is a true companion, associated with loyalty, honesty, intelligence, and a strong sense of right and wrong.

In Chinese astrology, each year is related to a Chinese zodiac animal according to the 12-year cycle. 2018 is an Earth Dog Year.

Year of the Dog include 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, and 2030… The Dog occupies the eleventh position in the Chinese zodiac, after the Rooster, and before the Pig.

According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived at his party. Monkey, Rooster and Dog were in another country, helping a god defeat evil spirits. They could only come to the party after. Because they arrived together, the Jade Emperor went by the order they met the god in the other country. Thus, Dog became eleventh.

Chinese style illustration of a dog chasing a bird
Chinese dog chasing a bird

Chinese Dog names

In China, it is still popular to name dogs Wàng Cái (旺财). It means “prosperous wealth” and comes from dogs’ barking sounds (旺旺—wàng wàng).

Chinese writing
Dog in Chinese

Famous People born in the Year of the Dog

Winston Churchill 30 November 1874 a Wood Dog
Mother Teresa 26 August 1910 a Gold Dog
Elvis Presley January 8, 1935 a Wood Dog
Bill Clinton August 19, 1946 a Fire Dog
Donald Trump June 14, 1946 a Fire Dog
George Bush Jnr July 6, 1946 a Fire Dog
Steven Spielberg December 18, 1946 a Fire Dog
Madonna August 16, 1958 an Earth Dog
Michael Jackson August 29, 1958 an Earth Dog
Justin Bieber March 1, 1994 a Wood Dog

My favourite Dog books for children

I feel that as it is the Year of the Dog I should use the opportunity to suggest some other doggie books that children might like and are firm favourites of mine:

For younger children:

‘Harry the Dirty Dog’ by Gene Zion

‘Dogs’ by Emily Gravett

For the slightly older reader:

The Hundred and One Dalmatians Dodie Smith
“The Incredible Journey” by Sheila Burnford

Be warned though. If you are an incredible softie like me, The Incredible Journey will make you cry. It’s an amazing tale about the unwavering loyalty and courage of the three animals. Burnford based the fictional story on the animals she and her husband owned while living in Canada, but I always thought it was real and based on fact. Hence I cried a lot when reading the book and later watching the film. But as I said, I am an old softie 😉