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Things are looking up for dogs

Look up into the sky for a vision of celestial canines.

LOOK up into the sky for a vision of celestial canines. On view this month are four canine constellations, says Joe Rao, skywatching columnist on Keep an eye out for sparkling Sirius, the "dog star," the brightest star of the constellation Canis Major (Latin for Greater Dog). Procyon, known as "Little Dog Star," is one of two stars that make up Canis Minor (Lesser Dog). It rises about 20 minutes before Sirius. Finally, look for the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici), Chara and Asterion, which, according to myth, were placed in the sky to assist Bootes, the Bear Driver, as he pursues Ursa Major (Great Bear).

* You might have heard that all calico cats are female. If you were to make a bet that a particular calico is female, you would probably win, but there's no guarantee: About one calico in 3,000 is male, thanks to a genetic oddity known as "Klinefelter syndrome." Those cats have X and Y chromosomes, making them male, but they also have an additional X chromosome, which allows for the expression of the calico coat pattern.