By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Dogs are awesome! They come in so many shapes, sizes, and haircuts, and they have been working and living alongside humans for thousands of years. They do amazingly heroic stuff like jump into the sea to save a baby fawn from drowning off Long Island. They do heartbreaking stuff like going to the Shibuya train station to wait for their owner every day, even though the owner has died and is never coming back. They also do that cute thing where they huck your hand over their head when they want the pets.
People born in the Year of the Dog are also supposed to exemplify these traits of friendliness, faithfulness, loyalty, and bravery.
But do they really?
Based on how often pop superstar Justin Bieber goes back to dating former Disney Channel alum Selena Gomez, I’d say he’s loyal. The pair met in 2010, when Justin was about 16. Selena was an older woman, at 18. Their first date was at IHOP in Philly. A year later, they were official and Selena had to deal with death threats from Justin’s legion of psychotic and hysterical fans. Justin told his fans to chill and to accept her, putting himself in the line of fire, which I think makes him kind of brave.
Other 1994 dog people: Halsey (a pop singer).
For the uninitiated, Nicki Minaj is an envelope-pushing Trinidadian American rap artist known for her often suggestive clothing choices, her suggestive lyrics, her ability to crossover into pop music, and her unique-cadenced flow.
Her upbringing was reportedly turbulent, with her father using drugs and abusing her mother. Nicki has admitted in interviews that the reason she is so protective of her mother — a dog trait — and defensive of femalehood is due to witnessing these early bouts of abuse.
Dog people are also known for not switching careers easily. While Nicki has been working hard on becoming a performer and artist for decades, a little known fact is that she once worked at Red Lobster. She was fired from that job because she was rude to customers.
If there was a celeb on this list that is the embodiment of dog in human form, it would be Anne Hathaway. Her auspicious career kicked off with the Disney flick, “The Princess Diaries,” and progressed to her Oscar win in 2012 for her work in “Les Miserables,” after which we, the audience, started seeing her bright and happy face everywhere. And it drove us nuts.
Anne developed a reputation for being too earnest and for apparently wanting “it” too much — awards, accolades, roles, acceptance. When she accepted her Oscar, she cradled it in her hands, lovingly looked at it, and said, “It came true.”
Anne Hathaway seems to work really hard, is more than competent at her job, is beyond friendly and excited to see you, doesn’t seem to be hiding any secrets, isn’t “edgy” or “too cool for school” — and hey, some people don’t like her because of this, just like some people are inexplicably cat people.
Other 1982 dog people: Priyanka Chopra, Seth Rogan, Jessica Biel, Prince William.
Mariah was born in the Year of the Gold Dog — and this makes sense, because Mariah loves the bling, even though she likes to try and convince us she’s down to Earth. Reportedly, Mariah has her own personal limo for her dog, a Jack Russell terrier, because he needs to be places and she has so much money.
I’m not sure if Mariah exemplies conservative or cautious gold dog traits — she seems like she’s a risk-taker. However, during her marriage to Nick Cannon, she seemed to publicly grant him a lot of respect as a husband and patriarch, even as she massively outearned him year after year.
As for being always ready to help others, how can we forget the 1993 hit, “Hero,” a song about how we are all our own heroes, if we look inside our hearts and are not afraid.
Matt Damon, oh Matt Damon. Matt Damon used to be cool and used to be crush-worthy, but then he got old and started talking over female directors of color to tell them what diversity be all about and started saying stuff about sexual harassment, telling women about rape culture and what that be all about. He seems to have good intentions. Sometimes he’s sort of right, but not in like, a ground-breaking, novel way — just a normal way. His problem might be that he’s a bad listener.
And that’s like 50 percent of dogs we know, right? The dog that has attention deficit disorder and jumps on your faces to give you a slobbery kiss when you’re like, “NO! I DON’T WANT YOUR KISSES! GET DOWN!” and he’s like, “Whatchoo talkin’ about? Yeah, you want my kisses!”
Other 1970 dog people: Melania Trump, Queen Latifah, Taraji P. Henson, Melissa McCarthy, Tina Fey, Ted Cruz, Naomi Campbell, Uma Thurman, Kelly Ripa, Leah Remini, Tonya Harding.
Madonna is Madonna! She is worth $500 million, is the reigning queen of pop, and still has abs harder than the biggest diamond in the world! She also suffers from brontophobia — an intense fear of thunder. Just like our canine best friends!
It’s been reported that Madonna often requires regular weather reports when she’s on the road touring.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a badass. He spent years low-key hating on Pluto and was an accessory to its demotion from planet, tainting the childhood of any kid who has ever done a solar system diorama out of styrofoam. He was so annoyed at James Cameron for not getting the sky right in “Titanic” that he wrote the man and got that mess fixed before the 2012 re-release. He almost became an exotic dancer because he was short on cash in grad school and had killer dance moves, being a Latin ballroom dancer who won a gold medal in 1985. And he was recruited by Carl Sagan while he was still in high school.
How does this make him a dog? I don’t know. I just wanted to write about how cool he is. You can force your own parallels. Like, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s been married to his wife, Alice Young, who has a doctorate in mathematical physics, for more than 28 years. Loyalty, right?
Other 1958 dog people: Angela Bassett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark Cuban, Michelle Pfeiffer, Joan Jett, Sharon Stone, Drew Carey, Anita Baker.
Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush
Guys, how nuts is it that all of these guys were born in the Year of the Dog? Is it a coincidence or a conspiracy? (FYI, Obama was born in the Year of the Ox.)
Let’s revisit dog traits:
Dog people have a strong sense of justice. They are brave, forthright, friendly, and they have a drive to right wrongs. They are also fiercely loyal to the ones they love. They have great leadership ability.
Shortcomings include being easily angered and irritated. Dog people can also be stubborn and are fond of criticizing others, but can lack action and the ability to make judgements based on reality. They are sometimes suspicious, fussy, and short-tempered. And they love to use Twitter as a platform to complain and moan about how they are constantly getting mean-girled by the liberal press like they don’t have better things to do, like run an entire freaking country in between the tea party breaks they take with their bff, Vlad.
It should also be noted that people are thought to suffer bad luck, when it’s their zodiac year.
Other 1946 dog people: Dolly Parton, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Spielberg, Cher, Sally Field, Pat Sajak, Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Liza Minnelli, Danny Glover, Diane Keaton.
Stacy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.