Technically, this isn’t an editorial because it doesn’t express any opinions, and technically, Baxter isn’t my dog since I gave it to my sister, but I think this makes for an interesting article nonetheless.
J. K. Rowling has said that the four Hogwarts houses roughly coincide with the four “major elements”: earth, wind, fire, and water. Earth coincides with Hufflepuff, wind with Ravenclaw, fire with Gryffindor, and water with Slytherin. For Christmas my sister received a dog training magazine, in which there is an article about dog personalities. The article’s author uses three of the four elements to categorize dog personalities: wind, fire, and earth. I’ve included only a few sentences from the section of the article that best describes Baxter, our family dog: Fire Dogs.
Some dogs are like fire: bright, quick-tempered, responsive, hard-working, confident and jealous…
These dogs are the elite of the dog-training world. However, they have certain failings. They may be under the impression that they are your leaders, not the other way around. When poorly trained, these naturally dominant dogs can become aggressive.
Fire Dogs are so self-confident that frankly, your praise doesn’t mean much to them. They’d rather play…
While no dog should be treated roughly or unkindly, Fire Dogs respect strength and leadership, and do not respond well to weak, wishy-washy owners.
Let’s start from the beginning and make some comparisons with our three favorite Gryffindors, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.
Bright: Hermione fits the bill with this one, having been called an “exceedingly bright” witch.
Quick-tempered: both Harry and Ron can be given this description, having been at each other’s throats several times throughout their adolescence (e.g. during Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows, especially). Hermione is both responsive and hard-working (i.e. studious), while Harry can often be seen as a very confident character.
Both Harry and Ron show signs of jealousy throughout the series, though this is easier to see in Ron as he destroys the locket in Deathly Hallows. He is exceedingly jealous of Harry, because of his money, his fame, and his talents. Harry is also likely jealous of Ron’s large family (as Harry has none).
Leadership: this is another quality that Harry has in abundance. We can see especially in Order of the Phoenix that Harry is a natural leader and teacher. Despite that he was reluctant to start Dumbledore’s Army, it’s obvious that he’s the best one for the job. Hermione also proves to be a skilled second-in-command. Dominant and aggressive: once again, I look to both Harry and Ron for these qualities (see quick-tempered, above).
Rather play: I can see this with Harry and Ron, definitely. While Harry is a natural on the Quidditch Pitch, and his talents are “in his blood” (since his father James was also a Seeker), Ron on the other hand knew about and loved the game of Quidditch long before Harry did, having grown up with it. They’re both more fond of sports than of tests and homework.
On the other hand, Hermione doesn’t really fit this one. She thrives on praise, which makes sense, as her boggart (and her greatest fear) is Professor McGonagall telling her that she has failed everything. This not only shows that Hermione fears failure, but even more, she fears the opposite of praise, being told that she’s failed by a teacher. Otherwise, her boggart could have simply been a parchment with a list of her classes and big red “F”s (or “T”s for “Troll”) next to each one.
Respect strength and leadership: I truly think all three of our “heroes” do respect strength and leadership, especially in Headmaster Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, who are both strong leaders in the series. I believe all three students have the highest respect for both professors. Certainly, other characters in the series also deserve and receive high respect for their strong leadership.
What do you think about Fire Dogs/Gryffindogs? Leave your thoughts in the comments!