the black dog of fill in the blank

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
Turkic –
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


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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

26 thoughts on “the black dog of fill in the blank”

  1. Sorry, but is there a dog to attack my beloved psychiatrist whom, it would seem, has not kept a single record of my care in the 15 years I have seen her? I may have to name him “Complaint to the College of Physicians and Surgeons” if that’s okay.


      1. I just sent an angry email and the insurance company is hounding her but I feel very upset. I told her I have less than $500 to my name, this is a matter of serious importance to me (you think?).


        1. It’s horrific and I hope something is done about her. She’s got people’s minds in her care, when she can’t even handle her own admin. Can you lodge a complaint? Can you sue somebody? I want to go stomp the cow flat.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I will contact the patient advocate tomorrow depending on her response to my angry email. Today I don’t feel like sitting home waiting for a call back. I am hoping the threat of a formal complaint will suffice. There is always the media but that would not be my first choice.


                  1. Chirp on little birdy! Brusk email received from Dr M saying she will fill out the forms and looks for records as soon as she is able. Her sense of urgency is not the same as mine as I saw fit to remind her ONE MORE TIME. Fuck!!!


                    1. Dr Mofo better straighten up and fly right … as soon as she is able is bs unless she is being held hostage by pirates or something. There’s just no excuse.

                      Liked by 2 people

    1. I think this post is just talking about the “black dog” being a metaphor for depression. just as bipolar often gets called a “roller coaster”. these are common things people compare mental disorders to in an attempt to get someone who doesn’t actually experience them to at least somewhat understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Exploring Alura and commented:
    I love this post. It feels like it speaks to my soul. I laughed all through my first reading, not quite understanding what I was reading but getting a very positive gust of appreciation from a glorious understanding of depression. And such a vivid way to describe it. Vivid and poignant.

    If it doesn’t make sense the first time around, read the comments, and give it another go. It’s the difference between being “Fenrir Greyback” or “Remus Lupin”. See if you catch my drift…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So, is the domesticated, subdued ‘house dog’ the somewhat banal, normal ‘in-between’ then??
    And can the dog be white if it’s being positively viewed?


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