On Friday, February 16, 2018, the Chinese New Year takes place with the Moon in Aquarius.  Year 2018 is the Year of the Earth Dog according to Chinese astrology.  The last time the Year of the Dog occurred in the Earth element was in 1958 (a cycle of 60 years).  There are five elements in Chinese astrology:  Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth.  The Earth element imparts the characteristics of patience, fortitude and stability, so people born in an Earth year are thought to be very practical, prone to work hard for what they get in life.  The Chinese Year of the Dog could well be a time when people are more inclined than usual to put their own best interests  ahead of the interest of others.


Among the animal signs of Chinese Zodiac, those born in the Year of the Dog are blessed with most of the finer traits of human nature.  The Dog is man’s best friend.  Dogs represent loyalty, justice, and equality.  These are the givers in life, prepared to sacrifice their own dreams, ambitions and desires for the sake of those they love.  They are always ready to jump to the defense of any member of their families or friends who is being attacked by either word or deed.  They are renowned for championing good causes as they cannot stand injustice.

Born with an innate sense of decency and a need for justice and equilibrium, Dogs strongly denounce injustice and wrongdoing, generously giving useful and effective advice to those around them.  They respect tradition, value honor and enjoy helping people.  They are very righteous and always are the first ones to speak out against injustice.  Their warm, empathy and genuine interest in others win them many close friendships.  Dogs inspire confidence in others, and the confidence is justified.  They will always do their utmost for others, and their dedication can go to the point of sacrifice.  They deserve to be held in the highest esteem.

Although, Dogs sometimes have trouble trusting others, they do make faithful, honest and loyal friends.  They will never let someone down.  They possess a keen sense of duty and have a deep sense of justice.  They tend to be generous and prosperous, yet they can also be stubborn, guarded, and defensive.  Because they feel they know best, they can sometimes appear bossy.  Since they try to do their best, they are excellent workers and their ideals are often profound and original.  They accomplish goals quickly, and their success are the result of their hard work and intelligence.

With their forthright honesty and true moral integrity, they soon become pillars of society, respected for their views and trusted by all who come to know them.  Because they have the knack of gaining backing from important and influential people, their careers are often brilliant.  They possess excellent instincts and are willing to work hard to achieve success.  Responsible and reliable, they inspire confidence in others by being trustworthy and keeping secrets when necessary.  The Dogs find it difficult to adapt to change.  They have a reputation for being innately pessimistic and expect the worst to happen.

The Dogs can also be very temperamental.  Mood swings characterizes its emotional life and often the Dog needs to run off to be alone in order to recuperate.  Part of the problems is the result of their load of irrational fears that turn into niggling anxieties that turn into hurt feelings and occasional grouchiness.  When the fears become reality, the Dogs go a little crazy.  The sensitive Dogs need to warm up to others over time and gradually learn to trust them.  Without that trust as a foundation, dogs can be judgmental and coarse.  The Dogs are agreeable companions when they are in good moods.  But, when panic strikes, they can turn nasty, and bark until they are tired.  They can be defensive and picky if you rub them the wrong way.  But, as long as you know how to pet and massage them, the Dogs make absolutely the best and most honorable companions.

The Dogs are introvert who rarely shows their true feelings.  When they do it’s only because they think it is absolutely necessary.  The Dogs do not like small talk, and are not good at socializing with friends because of their appearance of coldness and aloofness.  They give the impression of being cold fish because of anxiety related to mistrust of people they don’t know.  In fact, they are intelligent, caring and good listeners.  In love, they are loyal, honest and straightforward.  Personal relationships for the Dogs are the most essential and important components of life.  Without first having a loving partner by his side and a stable family and home life, other components of life (such as money, power or success) don’t mean a thing to them.  They often have a tough time finding the right match.  The Dogs are usually selective in the beginning stage of dating.  They enter relationships where they are the givers and the partners are the takers.  But, they will have romantice problems all their life due to their emotional instability and their eternal anxiety.  They can be so anxious and overwrought in the romance dance that they will stress their partners to the extremes.  Those born in the year of the Dog tend to marry early and usually stick to their partners through thick and thin.

The Dogs never really relax.  They are plagued by constant worry and a sharp tongue.  Despite appearing calm and at rest, their heart and mind are always jumping.  They are fault-finding and picky.  They take everything very serious, and can also be rather dogmatic, too.  When their narrow-minded or subborn side become apparent, or when an important issue is at stake, they have trouble staying light and calm.  The Dog’s discerning nature does make it an excellent business person, one who can turn the picky, guarded nature into a keen sense of the truth of another’s motives.  The Dog is happiest when he is able to be quite physically active.  At home or at work, the Dog will always be constructing something new or cleaning up in order to make things better.  The Dogs need to work on controlling their irrational worries and learn to lower their mile-high standards, which can sometimes wind up alienating the ones they love.

Of all the animals in the Chinese Zodiac, dogs are the least materialistic because they are unselfish individuals who care more about people than they do about money or success.  The Dog’s mantra seems to be:  Live right, look out for the little people and fight for injustice whenever possible.  The Dog is a symbol of future prosperity.  Dogs are born old and get younger as they age.  As they become older, the less they take their own criticism seriously.

Famous Dog People:  Ava Gardner,  Benjamin Franklin, Bill Clinton, Cher, Dolly Parton, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Lopez, Judi Dench, Judy Garland, Lara Flynn Boyle, Laura Bush, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Michelle Pfeiffer, Naomi Campbell, Sally Field,  Shirley MacLaine, Sophia Loren, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman, and Winston Churchill.

Dog Years: 02/10/1910 to 01/29/1911 (Metal), 01/28/1922 to 02/15/1923 (Water), 02/14/1934 to 02/03/1935 (Wood), 02/02/1946 to 01/21/1947 (Fire), 02/18/1958 to 02/07/1959 (Earth), 02/06/1970 to 01/26/1971 (Metal), 01/25/1982 to 02/12/1983 (Water), 02/10/1994 to 01/30/1995 (Wood), 01/29/2006 to 02/17/2007 (Fire), 02/16/2018 to 02/04/2019 (Earth).


Following are some of my Chinese brush paintings to celebrate the Year of the Dog.








(Spring Liao, 6/3/05)










(Spring Liao, Updated 11/27/2017)

I visited Hsi-Lai Temple on February 20, 2018 for the celebration of Chinese New Year of the Dog, which began on February 16, 2018.  The arrangements and displays are truly amazing.  This year, we welcome the Yang Earth Dog – a year of the Double Earth.  So, it is not a year to take risk.  Better to play safe and focus on doing things you are good at.  The following 2 images shows the beautiful scenes of celebration.  (02/22/2018)


(Spring Liao, updated 11/29/2017)