From dramatic BFFs to your health: here's what the Year of the Dog has in store for us

By Beth Cooper Howell

This year is set to be filled with canine energy and enthusiasm. But just like our four-legged friends, we need to value loyalty and trustworthiness above all else

By Beth Cooper Howell |

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The Year of the Dog (February 16-February 4 2019) calls for a balanced, no-nonsense attitude over the next 12 months.

If you’ve ever owned a pet dog – or wished that you did – you’ll know why loyalty and friendship are key in this year’s horoscope: a dog’s compassionate energy brings joy and stability to every aspect of life.

It’s no surprise that dogs are popular pets, even with our city’s notoriously small living spaces; Hongkongers are embracing the health benefits – physical and emotional – of having a happy hound around. But thankfully, if you don’t have a canine companion, these next few months should fill that gap.

The wide-eyed positivity and ear-flapping enthusiasm innate to the Dog is going to rub off on us this year, whether we like it or not. No matter how bleak things look on the surface, there will a pup-shaped silver lining around all our dark clouds.

That’s all well and good, but don’t be lulled into laziness, or think that you’ll be miraculously rescued from avoidable disasters, like forgetting to finish your geography project. In other words, be

loyal to your responsibilities.

The consequences of being disloyal to yourself (or to friends, family and goals) are more marked this year, as dogs are sticklers for loyalty. Essentially, stick to your promises, do your best, and keep your word – no excuses.

Another effect of a Dog year is that boring meets unpredictable, and exhaustion runs alongside boundless energy. You may feel more confused than usual, as though your head’s full of fluff. If you’ve ever watched a dog’s daily routine, you’ll understand the paradox: action, action, action, followed by a nap.

To combat this, you may want to give your own routine an overhaul; if you’re candle-burning at both ends and generally living on the edge, be aware that this could result in some health hitches.

Focus on protecting your physical and mental health. Try to make time to relax and get sufficient sleep, as difficult as this can be. You might also want to consider talking to your doctor about safe supplements to make up for any gaps in nutrition and boost energy.

Oddly, you might find yourself busier than ever this year, given the frenzied nature of a bouncy Dog on the loose. The difference, though, is that you will be given plenty of time to plan, so try to stay organised. And, as long as you keep your word (so important, that we’re saying it twice), things should run smoothly.

Neglecting your relationships is a no-no this year. Even a wisp of gossip will backfire spectacularly, causing upset and hurt feelings. Rather than finding yourself with your tail between your legs, avoid being a hypocrite and focus on sincerity, not shallowness.

We know this can be tricky, because sometimes it does feel as though the world is out to get you, or your BFF is being a drama queen, or your parents just don’t understand. Don’t worry – just flow with it. Allow the angst to wash over you, like a passing thunderstorm. Conserving energy during negatively-charged moments is like saving money; you won’t reap the benefits if you spend it too soon, or unwisely.

All gifs via GIPHY

Breaking bad habits is going to be much easier this year. The Dog values any efforts to take action, do something new and stick to a plan; so, if you’ve been eyeing a fitness app, but haven’t taken the plunge, download it today. If you’ve been meaning to learn a new skill, sign up for a class or buy a book. Under the supportive eye of the Dog, your efforts will be rewarded.

Socially, you’ll rock it, as group gatherings are a typical feature of the Dog year. Expect more parties, new people and exciting places in the coming months.

The backbone of everything that happens during this auspicious year, however, should be attention to detail and careful preparation. Anything that seems impulsive or in-the-moment is really just dogged determination to do stuff properly and take care of business.

In a dog-eat-dog world, being a mascot for puppy love and dependability is all the Dog asks. And honestly, that’s not asking too much, is it?

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge