We are gathered here today to deconstruct the black dog of depression.
I figured that the black dog of deep dark misery might need more complex personification, allowing itself to be made into a sort of good-and-bad totem/spirit animal/symbol/whatever for whoever is interested. Sirius is the one (that I can remember) that is discretely* good or evil depending on where you are. You could choose negative or positive, or both, or a whole pack, or the whole pack. Remember that it is entirely possible to perceive any of them as both good and evil. You could kill it, tame it, offer it your fealty, dye it blue, or anything you can think of.
Please pretty please either comment on this post, or if you feel like posting it on your own blog, link to this post so that it’ll pinggg my blog, because I’d really like to reblog your post here. And you’re very welcome to tell me I’m talking crap, I will be fascinated and not remotely offended. Or ignore me, I promise to cry quietly.
Alrighty! For the purposes of this exercise, ‘dog’ encompasses all canine, lupine etc beasts, because they are all related. Interestingly, Anubis was thought to be a jackal until recently, when sombody discovered that the only doglike entity in ancient Egypt was an African strain of grey wolf. Boo (as they say in the classics) ya! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it did exhaust me, which I think is just as good. It’s also 02h00, I got up because my sleeping pill didn’t work and my eyeballs have been sandpapered by evil pixies. I am also interpreting the word ‘black’ rather loosely. Fenrir/Fenris, for example, is wolf coloured (grey/brown in Scandinavia), but usually portrayed as black in the fan art. And there was absolutely no way I was going to leave him out. I’m giving them each broadly defined attributes, so that some of them can be grouped together for ease of choice.
By the by, I would hate you to end up with ‘who let the dogs out’ as an earworm. *strolls away sniggering*
“Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of war!” (Shakespeare)
Wolves were generally revered by tribes that survived by hunting, but were thought little of by those that survived through agriculture.
Sirius (The dog star) – rainmaker, fertility
Nunamiut, Naskapi – teacher of hunting skills
Tanaina – guides and brothers
Chechen – mother, creation, pride, equality, freedom, loyalty, bravery
Plains Indians: the wolf represented the west
Pawnee: it represented the southeast, corn, bison
Asena – creation, mother, guide, spiritual powers
Mongol – good luck, healing
Boerte chino – creation
Japan – protection, fertility grain farmers once Ainu – creation
Medeina – creation, hunting
Serbia – symbol of fearlessness
Anubis, Cerberus, Garmr – guardians of gates of the underworld
Grim – bad omen, guardian of the gates of the underworld
Sirius – bad news
Fenrir/Fenris – Ragnarök (end times), attack, terror
Warg (Lord of the Rings) – transport, attack, terror
Shucks – omen of death, terror
Barghest – ditto
Kludde – attack
El Kadeejo – attack
Gwyllgi – attack
Keelut – ditto
Mauthe Dhoog – ditto
Big Bad Wolf, – attack, terror
Aziwugum – attack
The Morrigan – battle, strife, sovereignty (shapeshifter)
Werewolf – shapeshifter, attack, terror
Hellhounds – soul taker