The “dog days of summer” may be upon us, but here in Santa Barbara the weather is tame and temperate, just like our power animal for August: the Poodle!
“Awwww, come on now, Ms. Amy” you might be thinking. “It was bad enough when you made us swallow the Dung Beetle as our totem beast, or when you asked us to embrace our inner Rat, but now you are pushing Poodle Power?”
YES! Poodles possess the poise of majestic royalty, the sweetness of lovers, the peacefulness of monks, and the brilliance of chess masters. Sure, sometimes their owners groom them to look silly, but poodles are like devoted fathers who allow their giggling daughters to stick hair curlers and pink barrettes on their heads: they are secure in their masculinity AND good natured enough to play the role of Barbie Doll every now and then!
Actually, the coiffed look of poodles stems back to their noble history as “water dogs” in Germany. Hundreds of years ago, this breed was known for being the best of swimmers. They were employed to retrieve ducks during hunts and then as mushroom gatherers in the wetlands. They had such great staying power in the chilly lakes of Northern Europe that hypothermia became a concern, so their people started grooming them to have more warm hair around their vital organs.
Poodle Power is a great balance to other, fiercer canine energies. Have you been possessed lately with: the hunger of the Wolf?, the rage of the fighting Pit Bull?, the hyperactivity of the Chihuahua?, the stubbornness of the Bull Dog? If so, imagine yourself shape shifting into the amiable but well balanced Poodle.
Perhaps you have found it difficult holding your tongue around your family members, or you keep losing your job when before you have created something better. While Poodle isn’t going to win battles by outwardly fighting a Cerberus-type (the three-headed hound of hell) he might just be able to charm it, or outsmart it.
Poodles were employed by Circuses for centuries because of their intelligence and willingness to perform. While some need to allow their inner rebel to run free as a Coyote, others of us could use a dose of conformity now and then to help move us toward our higher goals. Poodle can teach us how to balance uniqueness with fitting in and creative artistry with the dependability of everyday routine.
Poodle people can express affection without slobbering all over others. They rarely bark, and never “beg.” They simply “request” with grace, staying power and cuteness! Poodles do get excited on occasion, but overall, have a calm demeanor and they are best friends to all. If God has a pet up in heaven, it is surely a curly-haired poodle, waiting patiently for us at the pearly gates.