Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Black Dogs & Hellhounds


Who let the dogs out?
[What, too cheesy?]
The dog is the oldest domestic animal, "man's best friend" and all that, its relation to humans can be traced all the way back to the Paleolithic period.

Early literature implies that dogs have a connection with the Otherworld. This is not unique to hounds though, as many species of animals have clear associations with the spirit realm. However, archaeological evidence and mythology brings recurring examples of a very specific role for dogs. They seem to be the "psychopomps" or guides on the paths to the Otherworld.

Black dogs are almost universally regarded as malevolent, and a few are said to be directly harmful. Some, however, like the Gurt Dog in Somerset and the Black Dog of the Hanging Hills in Connecticut, are said to act benevolently.
The nocturnal apparition commonly known as the Black Dog, is often said to be associated with the Devil and its appearance, regarded as an omen of death. Supposedly, they're larger than normal dogs and often have large, glowing eyes.

They are frequently associated with electrical storms, crossroads, places of execution and ancient pathways.

The origins of the Black Dog are difficult to discern. It is impossible to ascertain whether the creature originated in the Celtic or Germanic elements in British culture. Throughout European mythology, dogs have been associated with death. Examples of this are the Cŵn Annwn, Garmr and Cerberus, all of whom were in some way guardians of the underworld.
To feed the association with evil, or hell as the case may be, I'll single out Cerberus, Hades' guardian at the gates of the underworld in Greek mythology. The three headed monstrosity that made sure that no wayward souls ever escaped the river Styx.
Hellhounds, on the other hand, though similar in all their attributes, stand on their own. In my research, I've found that most of the myth is actually deeply rooted in Christian beliefs. Almost everywhere I looked they were referred to as the dogs of hell.

I stick with that theory - clearly biased by full seasons of Supernatural and my love for Dean Winchester [surely, you know Dean] and his plight on the third one. I've often said that being so hot should be a sin, but that thing with the hellhounds dragging him to hell was ridiculously dramatic, Sam or no Sam.
[*grumble* Stupid deal]

It seems a bit unfair though that even if they are a ghostly essence, they can still cause physical harm to their target. Poor Dean never even saw them coming, the mangy bastards!!!

Wouldn't blame him if he got stuck with some degree of PTSD and freaked at every black dog he saw after that.
Back to the canine profile used to portray either of these entities and their rabid ways. In all the information I found, none of it mentions a motive or a cause behind it. What do you think, lack of love and care?

*ding* Light bulb moment!
Let's experiment, shall we? Someone [that isn't me] adopt a Black Dog puppy and raise it with tender loving care and all that other fluff. Maybe then the end result would differ, save a few lives and whatnot.

Who's up to the challenge?! o.O
Excuse me if you're one of those, "must love dogs", people. But, I can't help to find some of them creepy.

[Remember that resurrected zombie dog from Pet Sematary 2? That scene where the kid wakes up in the middle of the night and finds it sitting on the rocking chair gave me nightmares. No dogs coming into my bedroom after that, no siree!]
The fact that I was bitten by one that sneaked behind me doesn't help their cause. Sure, it was old and had only two frail fangs left in its mouth, but still, it hurt like hell and the huge bruise it left marred my calf for weeks.

It was sort of funny because it was this round purple nasty looking thing with only two little holes on each side. I told people that I got attacked by one of the vampire dogs from Blade Trinity.

What's ironic is that just this morning I was followed home by a stray puppy. At first I was all like, “don't look at its eyes, don't turn your back on it, crab step away from it, sloooowly”, but it never stopped following me.

It waited outside my door all freaking morning and evil Elmyra that I am, I took pity on it and fed it. Now it won't leave my house and it keeps wagging its tail while it looks at me with those huge happy eyes.

It is so CUTE and I am so screwed...

But don't start hating dogs on my account, there are a few lovable figures out there, you know, like: Benjie, Marmaduke, Underdog, Beethoven, Marley, Krypto, Buddy, Padfoot, Cujo... wait...

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