Another yojijukugo using the rare “dog” character that we saw last week:
Literally: dog – child / (zodiac) rat – Buddha – nature / gender
Alternately: “Does a dog have a Buddha nature?” – a classic zen koan.
Notes: This apparently comes from a Buddhist dialog recorded in a Chinese text. Keep in mind that koans are not supposed to be answered; they are intended to confound the mind with unanswerable questions until it is freed from the need to answer, thus gaining distance from the material world.
Note that 狗子 in its entirety is another word for “dog”; the second character does not add meaning.
仏 can be replaced with its older form 佛 without any change in meaning or pronunciation.