Which Dog will we feed in the Year of the Dog?

Which Dog will we feed in the Year of the Dog?

March 2, 2018

In the final whole school circular before the break for Spring Festival, Dr. Gao shared some precious childhood reminiscences of feasts, games, and family during Chinese New Year celebrations in Northern China. At a time when Chinese families celebrated Spring Festival in comparatively modest fashion, I was struck by the strong feelings of keen anticipation experienced by Dr. Gao and his contemporaries. I hope that our students, returned this week, responded to Dr. Gao‘s challenge to savor the anticipation leading up to Chinese New Year‘s Eve and made the most of this culturally important and traditionally childcentered event.

As expressions of good wishes for a year of health and prosperity continue to reverberate around the globe, what can we expect in the Year of the Dog? The defining characteristics of those born in the Year of the Dog are well known: loyal, committed, intelligent, courageous, and honest. The downside is that Dogs can be argumentative, mercurial, stubborn, and dependent. Some of the more optimistic seers are predicting that the world will see some of the more admirable qualities of this zodiac sign prevailing in human affairs in 2018. Of course, others may offer more pessimistic predictions. I am of the view that we might all benefit from a greater collective pursuit of some of the more appealing characteristics of Dogs: the commitment and the courage to do what is right.

For those born in the Year of the Dog, there are the age-old warnings for those going through their birthsign year. Changes and challenges apparently await Dogs of all ages this year. Media reports have featured predictions of a challenging year ahead for one world leader, a 'Fire Dog', who is considered to be hot-tempered and unpredictable. Some of our Middle School students are also Fire Dogs!

As an 'Earth Dog', I can recognize some of these traits in myself, while others seem quite alien. I can see traces of these attributes, both good and bad, in humankind in general. I believe that what can make a substantive difference is not when we were born, but how we choose to act. In this Year of the Dog, we are all raising two dogs: one loyal and brave, the other stubborn and bad-tempered; which one will we choose to feed?


Dr. Malcolm Pritchard

Head of School

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