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Astrologers offer
insight into
canine personalities

The pickup line "What's your sign?" has been replaced. The 90's version: As cosmic as it sounds, it's a down-to-earth question for some astrologers who hope to give dog owners insight into their pooches' personalities. Animal horoscopes show up everywhere, in magazines, at bookstores and on the Internet, a medium perfected for unconventional ideas.

But are animals, like people affected by the positions and vibrations of the planets?

Of course, believers say, "Dogs, like everything else, have personalities; they are just not as intense as human personalities," says Nancee Belshaw, astrologer and psychotherapist based in Los Angeles. "The planets affect them in subtle ways."

Because astrological charts can be drawn for almost any event--they're based on the time, place and date of an occurrence.They can be created for dogs, advocates say. If you tell astrologers your dog's birth statistics, they can chart your pet's horoscope, tell you the sun sign and discuss effects on your dog's disposition.

For example, Belshaw's Welsh Terrier is a typical Pisces; she loves water, she said. The terrier jumps into empty bathtubs to lick the drips from the faucet and dumps her water dish on the floor so she can sit in the puddle. What's more, the terrier has a "Capricorn moon, meaning that at the time of the dog's birth,

the moon was positioned in the section of the zodiac ruled by the constellation Capricorn." Capricorns are "stable, serious and persistent," according to astrology books.

The moon is said to be the planet that forms habit patterns. Combine the two and you have a Felix Unger personality, Belshaw said. "Everything [in her life] has to be in order."

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So let's get this straight. The position of Jupiter at the time a dog is born can help you understand your dog's personality?

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Belshaw runs a World Wide Web astrology site and charts $80 horoscopes for dogs. Her customers use the information for everything from selecting a dog to understanding its idiosyncrasies. "If you have a nice clean house, you wouldn't want a digger [earth signs]," she said, "or if you are an older person, you might not want an air sign because they are so hyper and are always barking."

Prescott, Arizona resident Laura Vasquez hired Belshaw a few years ago to chart her three cats. Now her family wants a dog. At her next appointment with Belshaw, Vasquez will have a basic family chart done to find out the breed that best suits them.

With two children and one on the way, Vasquez wants to

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