It’s probably no surprise that dog lovers like myself believe that the very best way to invite good fortune (and serendipity) into your life is to share your home with a dog. Big or small, bouncy or laid-back, a dog who learns to love and trust you shares that love a thousand times over with companionship, adventure, and laughter.
Since dogs have walked alongside us for millennia, their habits have entered our mythology in surprising ways as harbingers of luck. Even their poop (which isn’t usually considered highlight of our doggie partnership) has found a positive place in myths, traditions, and even science.
So, to ring in a lucky New Year, here are a few ways dogs – and their poop – can bring good fortune, according to folklore from around the globe! It’s the various traditions around the world that make even the simplest aspects of life so rich.
1. If you’re strolling the streets of France and step in dog poop, you’re headed for a bout of luck. It’s good luck for you if you happen to step in the stuff with your left foot, and bad if you trod down with your right. (The streets of Paris are legendary as a repository of dog waste. Finally, there are poop scoop laws in Paris, and that's definitely lucky!)
2. "Dog Shit Luck” mean to have a stroke of good luck, according to Chinese tradition. Allegedly it springs from the time when farmers fertilized their crops with manure from both animals and humans. Coming across a shit source – even by treading in it – was good fortune. 21st century science tells us dog poop on your crops can be hazardous to the environment and your health, so have fun with the phrase but don't follow the practice!
3. Good luck will come your way if you meet a Dalmatian, possibly because they are less-common pooches to encounter in your daily travels.
4. Some folks in parts of Europe and Scotland believe that it’s good luck if a strange black dog follows you home. That’s a welcome myth for dog lovers, especially here in the United States where some animal shelter workers believe it’s harder to market homeless black dogs to adopters. Perhaps more colorful pups are easier to photograph and catch the eye in online shelter marketing. So, let’s spread the good word that if you welcome that handsome black shelter stray over your threshold and into your home, you’ll have a lifetime of friendship and good luck.
5. We call someone a “lucky dog” if they have experienced sudden good fortune, and of course it’s common to bestow the name “Lucky” on a dog who has been rescued from misfortune and is adopted into a loving home.
6. A dog in your own home can give you a heads-up to danger. A poll found that 47% of people surveyed felt their dog had alerted them to impending bad news.
7. One study indicates that dogs poop on a north-south axis and avoid pooping in an east-west orientation. We could postulate that you’d be lucky if you happen to get lost in the woods with your dog at your side, as the direction they point when they poop could help you get your bearings. However, a trail map, compass or a fully charged cell phone are probably far more trustworthy navigation tools in an emergency.
8. Other lore tells us that if you dream of dog poop (or any poop at all) good fortune in the form of unexpected wealth is headed your way! Dreaming up the dooloop, (quite literally, it was a 4:00 am idea) certainly has brought me many riches. I’m rich in the many people I’ve met and the enjoyment my dooloop adventure has brought me. Hopefully the other type of riches will follow too, but it’s already been a gift.
From me to you: It’s in dreams that we imagine possibilities, solve problems, plan futures. Here’s wishing you and your beloved canine (and feline) companions good health and dreaming in 2023. Honestly, if dog poop can become a happy place for me, it’s clear there is no limit to other possibilities for you!
Together let’s spread peace, not poo. Dare to dream. If even dog poop can become a happy place, dogs are the very best template for a wonderful New Year.