Ancient Black Dogs & Hellhounds:
Breeds, Names & Types
Dog Mystical Books, Facts, Legens & Stories
Dog Greek & Chinese Mythology
Myths about Dog Phantoms
Chinese Foo Dogs
Ancient Dogs: Cerberos, Anubis, Argos, Sirius
Ancient Greek Hemanubis Legend
Ancient Dog Tattoos Meaning
Greek Mythology Dog Names
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A hellhound is a supernatural demonic dog,
found in folklore.
Hellhounds are beasts of the supernatural, which are known to serve demons. Described as demonic pitbulls, hellhounds are ferocious, terrifying entities that inspire fear in humans, demons and even angels.
With time they became tasked with collecting the souls of humans whose deals are come due. In such circumstances, hellhounds can only be seen by those whom they have come for, making them a sort of Reaper of the damned. In later seasons, hellhounds are seen working for other demons (not just Crossroads demons), usually acting as foot soldiers, guard dogs and/or assassins. According to Crowley, no demon knows the hounds better than him.
Hellhounds are voracious, tenacious, and intelligent. Once a hound has the scent of its target, it has it for life and will never give up the hunt until one or the other is dead, or unless its master calls it off. They can be clever, almost impossible to trick or distract, and are not disinclined to improvisation in order to get to their prey. Hellhounds will often physically rip their victims to shreds in order to collect their souls. In some cases, however, their mere presence is enough to literally scare people to death. Other times, the victims will be driven to commit suicide.
They appear as ferocious black dogs with red eyes.They vary in size, ranging from standard large sized dogs, to that of a small horse. They generate some kind of black aura around themselves, making them appear made of shadows.
As dogs, they are loyal, and answer only to the demons they serve - they cannot be swayed or bargained with, either. Not even Crowley could devise a way to throw them off, short of using a bigger hound of his own to kill them.
Exactly how they are controlled is unclear. They have been shown to understand verbal commands, but sometimes they have stopped simply because the demon they serve changed their mind.
They are generally invisible unless the human they are after made a crossroads deal or is looking at them with an object scorched with Holy Fire.
Any demon can command a hellhound, but very few of them can overpower one, or at least many at the same time. It is unknown if any demon or even angels could overpower one without the use of certain weapons. In the episode The Devil You Know, it is revealed that Crowley has his own hellhound that he keeps as a pet. This hellhound is bigger than most other hellhounds and Crowley uses it to fight off another, smaller hellhound.
POWER & ABILITIES
Invisibility - Hellhounds are invisible to humans, except under special circumstances. However, many supernatural creatures, such as demons and angels, can see them. They can also be seen by the humans they are assigned to hunt and through an object scorched with Holy Fire.
Invulnerability - Hellhounds cannot be killed by conventional means or weapons. However, weapons like Ruby's Knife, or an Angel blade, can kill them.
Super senses - Just like any supernatural creature, their senses are extremely keen.
Super speed - They are naturally much faster than humans.
Super stamina - Once a hellhound has the scent of its prey, it will never stop hunting him or her, unless it is killed or called off by its master.
Super strength - A hellhound is able to overpower and kill humans and even demons and possibly Angels.
Body Manifestation - The power of a nonpysical being to become pysical.
Tracking - They can locate any human or demon they are sent after.
Hallucinations - When close to their prey, hellhounds cause their victims to experience hallucinations, so as to frighten them out of hiding and leave them defenseless.
Salt - serves as a barrier which they cannot pass. Shotgun rounds filled with rock salt can also harm them.
Goofer Dust - Can be used to create a barrier, like salt.
Devil's Shoe String - This herb can serve as a barrier preventing Hellhounds from passing through a door it's placed over.
Demon-Killing Knife - Ruby's knife can kill them.
The Colt - This gun proves the most effective, as Dean uses it to kill one in Abandon All Hope...
Angel blade - This weapon can kill one, as Meg demonstrates in Caged Heat.
Archangel Blade - This weapon can probably kill one, as it is even more powerful than a standard Angel blade.
Iron - Iron can harm and even kill Hellhounds, as demonstrated in the episode "Abandon All Hope..." in which Ellen and Jo sacrifice themselves to destroy the attacking Hellhounds by detonating a propane bomb filled with iron nails and rock salt.
A wide variety of ominous or hellish supernatural dogs occur in mythologies around the world, similar to the oft seen dragon. Features that have been attributed to hellhounds include black fur, glowing red, or sometimes yellow eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, foul odor, and sometimes even the ability to talk. Certain European legends state that if someone stares into a hellhound's eyes three times or more, that person will surely die.
In cultures that associate the afterlife with fire, hellhounds may have fire-based abilities and appearance. They are often assigned to guard the entrances to the world of the dead, such as graveyards and burial grounds, or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure.
In European legends, seeing a hellhound or hearing it howl may be an omen or even a cause of death.
Some supernatural dogs, such as the Welsh Ann Annwn, were actually believed to be benign. However, encountering them was still considered to be a sign of imminent death.
NAMES, BREEDS & TYPES
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There have been some attempts at classification; the folklorist Theo Brown divided the black dog phenomena into three separate types A, B and C.
(A) Being a shape shifting demon dog
(B) being a dark black dog calf sized with shaggy fur
C) a dog that appears in time with certain ancient festivals in specific areas of the country.
Katherine Briggs, the renowned folklorist, splits these further into demon dogs, the ghosts of human beings and the ghosts of dogs in their own right.
A wide variety of ominous or hellish supernatural dogs occur in mythologies around the world, similar to the oft seen dragon. Features that have been attributed to hellhounds include black fur, glowing red, or sometimes yellow eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, foul odor, and sometimes even the ability to talk.
Certain European legends state that if someone stares into a hellhound's eyes three times or more, that person will surely die. In cultures that associate the afterlife with fire, hellhounds may have fire based abilities and appearance.
They are often assigned to guard the entrances to the world of the dead, such as graveyards and burial grounds, or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure.
Anubis (Egypt, Ancient East)
Bau (Egypt, Ancient East)
Bogey Beast (Lancashire)
Bargheust of Troller's Gill (Yorkshire)
Banshee Dogs (Celtic Lore, England)
Bearer Of Death (Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana)
Black Shuck (East Anglia)
Capelthwaite (Westmorland (Cumbria)
Cadejo (Nicaragua, Costa Rico, Honduras)
Churchyard (Beast,Kirk Grim Sweden)
Cayutl (Mexico (Burchill)
Cu Sith (Highlands (Dark Green)
Fenrir, Vanagandr (Norsk, Odin poetry)
Dogs of Hekate
Dip (Catalan myth)
Caun Annwn (Welsh)
Gurt Dog (Somerset)
Hateful Thing & Swooning Shadow
Hairy Jack (Lincolnshire)
Huay Chivo, Huay Pek (Mexico)
Moddy Dhoo, Mauthe Dog (Scotland)
Old Shock or Shuck (Black Shuck) (Suffolk)
Oude Rode Ogen
Perro Negro (Spain)
Reindeer Dog (Norway)
Roy Dog (Portland)
Ronguer d'Os (Normandy)
Skriker (Lancashire, Yorkshire)
Surma (Finnish mythology)
Tchico (Guernsey, Channel Islands)
Tibicena (Canary Islands)
Yeth Hound (Devon)
Sometimes called "Hellhounds", phantom dogs are usually associated with death or the devil. Some claim these dogs accompany a black robed figure assumed to be the devil, while others believe these animals are shapeshifters, a disguise of the devil.
However, in most reports of phantom dogs, they exhibit supernatural abilities that suggest they are more than a stray animal. Dogs have always played a large role in ancient religions (the jackals of Egypt and Cerberus of Greek/Roman literature) and their image and symbolism is reflected to modern times.
Black Shuck or Old Shuck is the name given to a ghostly black dog which is said to roam the Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk coastline. Black Shuck is sometimes referred to as the Doom Dog. For centuries, inhabitants of England have told tales of a large black dog with malevolent flaming eyes (or in some variants of the legend a single eye) that are red or alternatively green. They are described as being 'like saucers'. According to reports, the beast varies in size and stature from that of simply a large dog to being the size of a horse.
There are legends of Black Shuck roaming the Anglian countryside since before Vikings. His name may derive from the Old English word scucca meaning "demon", or possibly from the local dialect word shucky meaning "shaggy" or "hairy". The legend may have been part of the inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
It is said that his appearance bodes ill to the beholder, although not always. More often than not, stories tell of Black Shuck terrifying his victims, but leaving them alone to continue living normal lives, in some cases it has supposedly happened before close relatives to the observer die or become ill.
In other tales he's regarded to be relatively benign and said to accompany women on their way home in the role of protector rather than a portent of ill omen.
Sometimes Black Shuck has appeared headless, and at other times he appears to float on a carpet of mist. According to folklore, the spectre often haunts graveyards, sideroads, crossroads and dark forests. Black Shuck is also said to haunt the coast road between West Runton and Overstrand.
In Catalan myth, Dip is an evil, black, hairy dog, an emissary of the Devil, who sucks people's blood. Like other figures associated with demons in Catalan myth, he is lame in one leg. Dip is pictured on the escutcheon of Pratdip.
In Welsh mythology and folklore, Caun Annwn ("hounds of Annwn") were the spectral hounds of Annwn, the otherworld of Welsh myth. They were associated with a form of the Wild Hunt, presided over by Gwynn ap Nudd (rather than Arawn, king of Annwn in the First Branch of the Mabinogi). Christians came to dub these mythical creatures as "The Hounds of Hell" or "Dogs of Hell" and theorised they were therefore owned by Satan.
However, the Annwn of medieval Welsh tradition is an otherworldly paradise and not a hell or abode of dead souls.
In Wales, they were associated with migrating geese, supposedly because their honking in the night is reminiscent of barking dogs. They are supposed to hunt on specific nights (the eves of St. John, St. Martin, Saint Michael the Archangel, All Saints, Christmas, New Year, Saint Agnes, Saint David, and Good Friday), or just in the autumn and winter. Some say Arawn only hunts from Christmas to Twelfth Night.The Caun Annwn also came to be regarded as the escorts of souls on their journey to the Otherworld. The hounds are sometimes accompanied by a fearsome hag called Mallt y Nos, "Matilda of the Night". An alternative name in Welsh folklore is Caun Mamau ("Hounds of the Mothers").
In other traditions similar spectral hounds are found, e.g. Gabriel Hounds (England), Ratchets (England), Yell Hounds (Isle of Man), related to Herne the Hunter's hounds, which form part of the Wild Hunt.
Hunting grounds for the Caun Annwn are said to include the mountain of Cadair Idris, where it is believed "the howling of these huge dogs foretold death to anyone who heard them". According to Welsh folklore, their growling is loudest when they are at a distance, and as they draw nearer, it grows softer and softer. Their coming is generally seen as a death portent.
Luison is a monstrous creature that is featured in the mythology of the Guaraní people, who live in south central South America. He was said to inhabit cemeteries and other burial grounds, and was noted to feast exclusively on rotten flesh.
Reindeer Dog Of Norway
A long, long time ago a couple of dogs sat on a hill chitchatting and watching humans who were desperately trying to gather up a herd of reindeer. Having looked at the idle yelling and running around for a while, the dogs decided: "We could do that better". And so did the reindeer herdsmen get an irreplaceable helper, a dog who himself wanted to help.
The Cerbura is the three-headed infernal dog of the Krishna legend and a faithful dog named Katmir remained alert and guarded seven Muslim boys while they slept for 309 years.
Early Sumerian people paid homage to the dog-headed goddess Bau and she has a close parallel in Anubis of Egypt. Bau, principal goddess of the Lagash area, was associated with healing, and her alter ego was a dog. (Her name is onomatopoeic, it sounds like a barking dog - try it!).
The Irish werewolf is different from the Teutonic or European werewolf, as it is really not a "monster" at all. Unlike its continental cousins, this shapeshifter is the guardian and protector of children, wounded men and lost persons. According to some ancient sources, the Irish werewolves were even recruited by kings in time of war. Known in their native land as the faoladh or conroicht, their predatory behaviour is typical of the common wolf, not beneath the occasional nocturnal ravage.
Anubis is portrayed as a man with the head of a jackal-like animal.
Unlike a real jackal, his head is black, representing his position as a god of the dead. There is a beautiful statue of him as a full jackal in the tomb of Tutankhamun.Anubis was a psychopomp, said to guide the souls of the dead for their judgement.This god associated with death and the liminal zone.
The Dogs of Hekate
You may meet a ghostly hound at the crossroads, for this is his natural place. The crossroads serves as a liminal space, as a threshold, where the veil between the worlds is thinner.The Dog is beloved of Hekate, and the pathways of Hekate are the pathways of the night. Accompanied by barking dogs, she leads a ghostly retinue, and awaits you at the crossroads.
Large Black Dogs with fiery, red eyes reportedly raided European churches several times during the middle ages. They would enter a church service, usually during a severe storm and appear to be searching for something or someone; and on August 4, 1577, in Bongay, England, a large black dog ran down the aisle of a church, killed two people in attendance and badly injured another.
Many reports in England and the United States report ghostly canines crossing roads in front of cars, then vanishing into thin air as the car approaches.
Barghest, Bargtjest, Bo guest, Bargest or Barguest is the name often given in the north of England, especially in Yorkshire, to a legendary monstrous black dog with huge teeth and claws, though in other cases the name can refer to a ghost or Household elf, especially in Northumberland and Durham (see Cauld Lad of Hylton). One is said to frequent a remote gorge named Troller's Gill. There is also a story of a Barghest entering the city of York occasionally, where, according to legend, it preys on lone travellers in the city's narrow Snickelways. Whitby is also associated with the spectre. A famous Barghest was said to live near Darlington who was said to take the form of a headless man (who would vanish in flames), a headless lady, a white cat, a dog, rabbit and black dog.
Another was said to live in an "uncannie-looking" dale between Darlington and Houghton, near Throstlenest. The derivation of the word barghest is disputed. Ghost in the north of England was once pronounced guest, and the name is thought to be burh-ghest: town ghost. Others explain it as German Berg-geist (mountain spirit), or Bar-geist (bear spirit), in allusion to its alleged appearance at times as a bear. Another mooted derivation is 'Bier Geist', the 'spirit of the funeral bier'.
The title character in Charlotte Brontn's 1847 novel Jane Eyre is reminded of a Gytrash when she first sees Mr Rochester's black horse Mesrour and his black and white dog Pilot. Illustration by F. H. Townsend for the second edition of the book. The Gytrash - a legendary black dog known in northern England, was said to haunt lonely roads awaiting travellers. Appearing in the shape of horses, mules, or dogs, the Gytrash haunt solitary ways and lead people astray. They are usually feared, but they can also be benevolent, guiding lost travelers to the right road. In some parts of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire the gytrash was known as the 'Shagfoal' and took the form of a spectral mule or donkey with eyes that glowed like burning coals. In this form the beast was believed to be purely malevolent.
The Bearer Of Death
The Bearer of Death is a term used in describing the Hellhound. Hellhounds have been said to be as black as coal and smell of burning brimstone. They tend to leave behind a burned area wherever they go. Their eyes are a deep, bright, and almost glowing red. They have razor sharp teeth, super strength and speed, and are commonly associated with graveyards and the underworld. Hellhounds are called The Bearers of Death because they were supposedly created by ancient demons to serve as heralds of death. According to legend, seeing one leads to a person's death. Sometimes it is said to be once; other times it requires three sightings for the curse to take effect and kill the victim. These factors make the Hellhound a feared symbol and worthy of the name Bearer of Death, The Hellhound has been seen several times throughout history, and it is not specific to any one place. The most recent sightings occurred in Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, and Vilseck, Germany, in or near cemeteries.
Numerous Black Dog sightings occur in cemeteries, and some speculate the phantom creatures patrol and protect the graves of the dead. These sightings appear to be concentrated in New England. Legends of headless or limbless graveyard dogs surround slave cemeteries in the South. While most encounters with these dogs are of a viscous nature, some mourners have claimed to have been comforted by these creatures.
The Moddy Dhoo, also referred to as Mauthe Dhoog, is known to inhabit only one locale, Peel Castle on the Isle of Man. The most famous interaction occurred between the dog and a guard. The guard, emboldened by alcohol, determined that he would find and deal with this haunter. So off he went alone down the corridors of the castle. Shortly thereafter, his screams were heard. When he was found, he mentioned only the dog. Several days later he died.
The gwyllgi compound noun of either gwyllt "wild" or gwyll "twilight" + ci "dog") is a mythical dog from Wales that appears as a frightful apparition of a mastiff with baleful breath and blazing red eyes. It is referred to as "The Dog of Darkness" or "The Black Hound of Destiny", the apparition's favourite haunt being lonely roads at night. It is said to resemble a mastiff.
The yeth hound, also called the yell hound is a Black dog found in Devon folklore. According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, the yeth hound is a headless dog, said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child, which rambles through the woods at night making wailing noises. The yeth hound is also mentioned in The Denham Tracts.
The Church Grim, Kirk Grim, Kyrkogrim (Swedish) or Kirkonvaski (Finnish) is a figure from English and Scandinavian folklore. They are said to be the attendant spirits of churches, overseeing the welfare of their particular church. English Church Grims are said to enjoy loudly ringing the bells. They may appear as black dogs or as small, misshapen, dark skinned people. The Swedish Kyrkogrim are said to be the spirits of animals sacrificed by early Christians at the building of a new church. In parts of Europe, including Britain and Scandinavia, a completely black dog would be buried alive on the north side of the grounds of a newly built church, creating a guardian spirit, the church grim, in order to protect the church from the devil.
The Black Dog of Hanging Hills
A particularly interesting legend of a supernatural black dog is found in the high-altitude forests of Hanging Hills, Connecticut. A friendly, small dog is blamed for the deaths of several experienced hikers and climbers in the area. Local legend warns: "If a man shall meet the Black Dog once, it shall be for joy, and if twice, it shall be for sorrow and the third time, he shall die." Although this sounds like a local legend to add mystery to the already spooky landscape, or to explain the tragedies of those who have died in the hills, documented encounters with the dog suggest there is truth behind the warnings. In the early 1900s, a geologist, W.H.C. Pynchon, encountered the little black dog and found it to be good company while hiking. Pynchon's second encounter with the dog was with a friend, who had seen the dog on two occasions. They were climbing to the summit of one peak and was surprised to find the little black dog waiting for them. It soundlessly barked, and Pynchon's friend suddenly lost his footing and plunged to his death. That was his friend's third encounter with the mysterious black dog. Pynchon soon learned of the legend of the black dog and related his story to the Connecticut Quarterly. Surprisingly, Pynchon returned to the Hanging Hills a few years later, and his body was later found near the same place his friend had died. Many speculate that Pynchon encountered the little dog a third and final time.
Banshees are spirits found in Celtic lore which appear to people as an omen of impending death or often are only heard wailing loudly after someone has died. Several reports depict Banshees appearing in the form of an ordinary dog.
One day, a large friendly German Shepard appeared in the backyard of an elderly Massachusetts couple. No one saw it arrive, but the grandchildren began playing with the dog and it seemed happy to stay with them, refusing to leave the property and staying close by the grandfathera's side. Soon after the appearance of the strange dog, the the grandfather suffered a heart attack and, after spending several days in the hospital, was beginning to fully recover. At home, however, the dog grew more and more agitated and moaned loudly, unable to be comforted. Unexpectedly, the grandfather suffered a second heart attack and died. The mysterious dog disappeared while the family was at the funeral and was never seen or heard from again.
ANCIENT & MODERN
DOG HISTORY & MYTHS
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Dogs have been associated with humans throughout the ages, and played a significant role in the transition from hunter-gatherer to an agricultural way of life. Without the assistance of the dog, humans may have taken longer to hunt successfully. Later on, dogs were used to guard homesteads and livestock and have also been used to pull carts, run alongside carriages and rescue people from the sea and snow.
Existing archaeological evidence indicates that the dog was domesticated in the Nile Valley by 7500 BC. In Egypt, dogs were used to herd and protect flocks, guard temples, and were also kept just as "lapdogs". Although the Egyptians developed distinct breeds of dog, the most well known of these is almost identical to the modern day saluki. The ancient Egyptians believed that all animals, including dogs, possessed souls and thus proper funeral arrangements were made and animals were mummified with humans.
One of the oldest portrayals of a dog in this society is the "Khufu Dog", appearing on the tomb of King Khufu also known as King Cheops, who lived around 3730 BC. It was King Khufu who was responsible for the building of the Great Pyramid. Dog worship originated in part from Sirius, the Dog Star, which was highly significant to this ancient culture. Another reason for the dog being held in such high esteem originated around the story of Isis, who was assisted by a dog in her search for Osiris.
After the Greek conquest of Egypt, Anubis, the dog / jackal-headed Egyptian god, was combined with Hermes the Greek god of travellers and later became known as Hermanubis. Thereafter the cult of Anubis increased in popularity and the temple in Alexandria was one of the richest locations in the ancient world. The sacred dogs were kennelled in the temple and were ritually fed by priests. The city of Cynopolis (Dog City) was the centre of this cult and it was considered murder to kill a dog within its boundaries.
Hermanubis had to change names to gain acceptance into the mainstream Christian faith. In Greek Orthrodox and Byzantine churches he became St Christopher, the protector of travellers, and is depicted as a man with a dog's head.
Originally dogs were considered to be the companions of the Goddess, and Cybele, Artemis, Diana and Hecate, were all accompanied by dogs. In Egypt and Babylon, dogs also featured as feminine symbols. In Babylon, four towns were given exemption from taxes in return for breeding Mastiffs for the army.
Dogs were also venerated in Japan because of their connection with the god Omisoto. When dogs died, they were buried in a standing position, with their heads left above the ground so that for days afterwards, people would come and lay food offerings beside them.
In India, Vedic records refer to the moon as the gate of death, ruled by the goddess Sarama and her two dogs. The term "son of a bitch" was coined to refer to a follower of the Goddess, and became derogatory when male dominated religions surfaced. The association with the moon goddess led to the dog being viewed as unclean and evil in Semite cultures.
Although dogs are mentioned in the Old Testament, they tend to be regarded with scorn and hatred by the Hebrews, who generally held them in low esteem. In Islamic culture, women and dogs are not allowed to approach holy shrines. In cultures such as these - the same as in Western culture, the word dog is used as an extreme insult.
The Berbers of North Africa on the other hand, believe that it is a sin to kill a dog and whoever does so, remains unclean forever.
Australian aborigines wore few clothes and used their dogs to keep warm at night. The temperature was measured in terms of how many dogs one needed to keep warm on a particular night.
According to Credo Mutwa, in African legend it was not humans who first tamed dogs, but dogs that adopted humans. Traditional Africans have long considered the dog to be a protector and saviour and have cared for them accordingly. If your dog became ill and died as a result of your neglect or cruelty, you would experience ten years of bad luck. There is also an old Zulu belief that if a person has a wart on their nose, it meant they had been unkind to dogs.
The status and role of dogs today
In different cultures and during different periods of history, dogs have suffered greatly. In China for instance, dogs are killed for various purposes, including for use in medicinal preparations. Unfortunately, in many parts of the Far East, dogs are seen as food and are accorded low status. The cruel treatment of dogs in Korea, China and Taiwan is difficult for most westerners to comprehend and continues today. Mao Tse Tsung viewed pet-keeping as bourgeois and did everything possible to outlaw this practice in China. Amongst other things, he instituted a heavy dog tax and later on employed "Dog-Squads" to round up and bludgeon people's dogs to death. Although the Chinese still have no animal welfare laws, the situation seems to be improving slowly as people become more urbanised and are increasingly exposed to global influences and practices, including pet-keeping.
In Thailand, some improvements have been made for the scores of stray dogs, and the government of this country recently initiated an innovative sterilisation drive for them. Unemployed people are paid a nominal amount to round up strays and bring them in for treatment. Buddhist monks also offer shelter and food to stray dogs in their temples. The King of Thailand recently wrote an inspirational book about his life with, and the lessons learned from, a once stray mongrel that was given to him as a puppy. Because the King is regarded in high esteem, this book has done much to increase the popularity and status of the dog in that country.
Throughout the Western world, dogs are generally well liked and remain popular as a pet of choice. They continue to be used as working animals and are used for service, rescue, sniffer and guide functions.
DOG GREEK MYTHOLOGY
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They are not only human's best friend, but also favorite pets of the gods. They are not as overpowering as Hercules, but their presence is far more consistent. Dogs find themselves in many of the Greek tales. Here they often serve a similar role as they do in our own society, but their symbolic value increases ten fold. Three, above all else, stand above the rest. And each represents a particular canine virtue we all cherish loyalty, perseverance, and determination.
Odyssey & Argos The Great Dog
Argus - the faithful dog of Odysseus, Argus is the first to recognize Odysseus upon his return to Troy. The dog has been exiled from the house and is an amazing 20+ years old. You must read Homer's text (Odyssey, Book 17) which is quite moving.
In Homer's Odyssey, Argos The Great Dog is Odysseus' faithful dog.
After twenty years struggling to get home to Ithaca, Odysseus finally arrives at his homeland. In his absence, reckless suitors have taken over his house in hopes of marrying his wife Penelope. In order to secretly re-enter his house to ultimately spring a surprise attack on the suitors, Odysseus disguises himself as a beggar, and only his son Telemachus is told of his true identity. As Odysseus approaches his home, he finds Argos lying neglected on a pile of cow manure, infested with lice, old and very tired.
This is a sharp contrast to the dog Odysseus left behind, Argos used to be known for his speed and strength and his superior tracking skills. Unlike everyone else, including Eumaeus, a lifelong friend, Argos recognizes Odysseus at once and he has just enough strength to drop his ears and wag his tail but cannot get up to greet his master. Unable to greet his beloved dog, as this would betray who he really was, Odysseus passes by (but not without shedding a tear) and enters his hall, and Argos dies. The simplicity of the relationship between Argos and Odysseus allows their reunion to be immediate and sincere.
As they were speaking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Odysseus had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any enjoyment from him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said: 'Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?'
'This dog,' answered Eumaeus, 'belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.'
So saying he entered the well-built mansion, and made straight for the riotous pretenders in the hall. But Argos passed into the darkness of death, now that he had fulfilled his destiny of faith and seen his master once more after twenty years...
This list highlights some interesting dogs
found in Greek mythology and literature.
Cerberus made faithful by Harry Potter, this is the three headed original watchdog Hound of Hades. Interestingly, his saliva is what created the first poisonous plants!
Hecuba, while not originally a dog, the gods turned Hecuba into a dog while she was snarling and cursing at Odysseus, allowing her to escape slavery, but only in the story Hecuba by Euripides.
Laelaps - the dog who always caught his prey, he was gifted to Europa by Zeus, then gifted again a couple more times. Unfortunately,Laelaps was sent to catch the Teumessian fox which could never be caught and Zeus grew tired of the never ending chase, turned them both to stone.
Marea - belonging to Icarus, Marea led Icarus's daughter to his slain body buried under a tree. A star is named Marea, which rises a little before the Dog star Sirius.
Sirius - Sirius was not originally a dog. The name comes from a Greek word meaning glowing or corcher. It is associated with dogs because it is the brightest star of the constellation Canis Major, the Great Dog. Ancient Greeks also thought this star affected dogs negatively.
DOG CHINESE MYTHOLOGY
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Dogs are an important motif in Chinese mythology. There are many myths about dogs. Chinese mythology refers to those myths found in the historical geographic area of China. These include myths in Chinese and other languages, as transmitted by Han Chinese as well as other ethnic groups of which fifty-six are officially recognized by the current administration of China. (Yang 2005:4) The motifs of dogs in Chinese mythology include a particular dog which accompanies a hero, the dog as one of the twelve totem creatures for which years are named, the first provision of grain which allowed current agriculture explained as having been by means of a dog, and claims of having a magical dog as an original ancestor in the case of certain ethnic groups.
Wolfram Eberhard points out that compared to other cultures it is "striking" that Chinese literature rarely has given names for dogs. (Eberhard 2003: 82) This means that in the context of Chinese mythology, often a dog will play an important role, but that it will not be given a proper name, but rather being referred to as "dog". As Chinese grammar does not require the use of definite or indefinite articles or marking for singular or plural number, there may be ambiguity regarding whether the reference to dog means "Dog" (proper name), "dogs", "a dog", "the dog", "some dogs", or "the dogs".
For thousands of years, a twelve-year cycle named after various real or mythological animals has been used in Southeast Asia. This twelve-year cycle which may be referred to as the "Chinese zodiac" associates each year in turn with a certain creature, in a fixed order of twelve animals, after which it returns to the first in the order, the Rat. The eleventh in the cycle is the Dog. One account is that the order of the beings of the year is due to their order in a racing contest involving swimming across a river, in the so-called Great Race. The reason for the dog finishing the race second from last despite generally being a talented swimmer is explained as being due to its playful nature: the dog played and frolicked along the way, thus delaying completing the course and reaching the finishing line. As of 2012, the next Year of the Dog in the traditional Chinese sexagenary calendar is February 19, 2018 to February 4, 2019 - Year of the Yang Earth Dog. The personalities of people born in dog years are popularly supposed to share certain attributes associated with dogs, such as loyalty or exuberance, however, this would be modified according to other considerations of Chinese astrology, such as the influences of the month, day and hour of birth, according to the traditional system of Earthly Branches, in which the zodiacal animals are also associated with the months and times of the day and night, in twelve two-hour increments. The Hour of the Dog is 7 to 9 p.m., and the dog is associated with the ninth lunar month.
There are various myths and legends in which various ethnic groups claimed or were claimed to have had a divine dog as a forebear, one of these is the story of Panhu. The legendary Chinese sovereign Di Ku has been said to have a dog named Panhu. Panhu helped him win a war by killing the enemy general and bringing him his head and ended up with marriage to the emperor's daughter as a reward. The dog carried his bride to the mountainous region of the south, where they produced numerous progeny. Because of their self-identification as descendents from these original ancestors, Panhu has been worshiped by the Yao people and the She people, often as King Pan, and the eating of dog meat tabooed.(Yang 2005: 52-53) This ancestral myth is also has been found among the Miao people and Li people.(Yang 2005: 100 and 180)
Erlang has been said to have a dog. In Journey to the West Erlang's dog helps him in his fight against Sun Wukong, biting him on the leg. Later on, in this novel, (Chapter 63) Sun Wukong, Erlang, and their companions fight a nine-headed insect monster, which the small hound of Erlang defeats by biting off its retractable head which pops out of its torso: the monster then flees, dripping blood. The author of the Journey to the West claims that this is the origin of the nine-headed blood-dripping bird, its descendent. Editor and translator Anthony C. Yu associates this bird with the ts'ang kaang. (1980: Volume III, 441, note 5 on chapter 63)
The Tiangou ("Heavenly Dog") has been said to resemble a black dog or meteor, which is thought to eat the sun or moon during an eclipse, unless frightened away.
Numerous statuary of Chinese guardian lions exist, which are often called "Fu Dogs" "Foo Dogs", "Fu Lions", "Fo Lions", and "Lion Dogs". Modern lions are not native in the area of China, except perhaps the extreme west; however, their existence was well known, and associated symbolism and ideas about lions were familiar;
however, in China, artistic representations of lions tended to be dog-like. Indeed, "[t]he 'lion' which we see depicted in Chinese paintings and in sculpture bears little resemblance to the real animal, which, however, plays a big part in Chinese folklore."(Eberhard, 2003: 164) The reasons for referencing "guardian lions" as "dogs" in Western cultures may be obscure, however the phenomenon is well known.
The "Fu Dog", a recurring theme in Chinese culture, has the positive attribute of bringing happiness and good fortune. A great deal of the dog's early domestication took place in ancient China. It is here, too, that the first pack-hunting dogs were bred.
REAL & LEGENDARY DOGS
Note that despite any fantastic myths from China about dogs, real dogs have been familiar throughout China since prehistorical times (unlike certain exotic animals, such as lions or other creatures, whose real attributes may often only have been known indirectly). Dogs also feature in various historical and legendary accounts or stories, found in the extensive literary records of China, although in some cases the lines between myth and ancient history are uncertain.
However, in many myths, legends, or other accounts of dogs in Chinese literature, the dog or dogs are presented in ways that in have no appearance of the fanciful or fantastic (as opposed to the way other creatures may typically be handled in mythology, such as in the case of turtles, snakes, dragons, or often even horses).
Other Caninedaes in Chinese mythology
Other members of the canidae family also figure in Chinese mythology, including wolves and foxes. The portrayal of these is usually quite different than in the case of dogs. Tales and literature on foxes is especially extensive, with foxes often having magical qualities, such as being able to shift back and forth to human shape, live for incredible life spans, and to grow supernumerary tails, nine being common.
HISTORY & ROOTS
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Art by Aya Francisco
Ancient Foo Dogs were carved from marble or granite, and the pose and appearance is varied. Foo Dogs, or more exactly "Imperial guardian lions", were traditionally placed at the entrance of Imperial buildings, as they were believed to protect the royal inhabitants. Foo dogs take their name from the Chinese word for "Buddha", which is fo, and they are also commonly known as the "lions of fo". Since lions were not native to China, Chinese sculptors originally modeled the lion statues after local dogs, such as the Chow Chow, which has a bushy coat that gives it a lion-like appearance. Together with other closely related Chinese dog breeds, the Chow Chow belongs to a group of dogs known as "foo dogs". So, the Lions of Fo statues were also referred to as "foo dogs". Lions of Fo always come in pairs, often depicting the male lion playing with a ball or globe and the female lion holding a cub in her paw.
The History of Japan's Mythical Lion Dogs
If you have ever been to a shrine in Japan, odds are you have seen a pair of dog-like lions flanking the entrance. If you have been to Okinawa you have seen them just about everywhere. In fact you can see some variation on these creatures in China, Korea, Myanmar, Tibet, and other East Asian countries, or even at Chinese restaurants in the West. They are variously known in English as lions, dogs, lion dogs, Fu dogs or Foo dogs. In Japan they are called komainu, and in Okinawa they are shisa. All these different names beg the question - "What exactly are they?"
Lion, Canine or Feline?
We will refrain from thrashing about the shrubbery and say right away that these animals are in fact lions. How then, did they come to be called dogs by some? We will come to that momentarily, but first we must look to India. There are also ancient lion statues in Middle Eastern countries, but India is the surest place to begin the lion statues' path to Japan, for it seems to have moved along with the Buddhist faith.
Lions appeared in Indian temple art and, as early as the third century, showed up in Chinese Buddhist art. In those times, the lion was a symbolic protector of the dharma - the teachings of Buddha. If it is good enough for Buddha, it's good enough for the emperor, may have been the line of thought, for, over time, they also became protectors of imperial gates.
Here the history seems to become a bit unclear. The Chinese word for lion - statues included is shi or shishi, but there was another creature that appeared in China at around the same time called the xiezhi. At some point between the third and seventh centuries, paired stone xiezhi also made their way to Korea, where the name was pronounced haetae or haechi. The haechi appears very lion-like, but often has a scaly body, a small horn on its head, and sometimes small wings.
By the Nara period (710-794), lion guardians had come to Japan as well. I found nothing to indicate whether the original source of their introduction was China or Korea. Early on, they were usually made of wood and only used indoors. In the ninth century, a change occurred, and the pair came to consist of one open-mouthed lion (shishi) and one close-mouthed, horn-bearing, dog-like komainu. The name komainu itself means "Korean dog."
Given the name and its horn, it would seem that the komainu, at least, came from the Korean haechi. By the fourteenth century the horn disappeared, and both animals of the pair came to be known as komainu. At the same time, people started making them in stone and using them outdoors.
Again, the history seems to be vague, and I found no sources to solidly confirm how komainu came to be ubiquitous at shrine entrances. This is only me theorizing, but I think it likely that lion guardians may have initially been associated with Buddhist temples. I say this because of the lions' Buddhist associations in China, and the early Korean influences on Japanese lions.
Buddhism having been introduced to Japan from Korea in 552 CE. If this was the case, the shift from temples to shrines could be explained by the fact that they often shared grounds and, in trying to spread the faith, Buddhists often drew parallels between characters and symbols of their religion and those found in Japan's native beliefs.
You may be wondering if anyone in pre-modern Japan had ever seen a real lion. It is a long way from the savannah, but there are Asiatic lions as well. Although their range is quite small today, prior to the nineteenth century they could be found throughout Persia, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and much of India. Captive lions were also known in China. I was unable to find any sources confirming or denying the presence of captive lions in Japan. However, during the Tokugawa periods, exotic animals were sometimes featured as part of festivals, so there is a possibility. Still, I think it's safe to say that the vast, vast majority of Japanese people had never seen a real lion prior to the modern age.
Open Wide and Say
When seen in pairs, both in Japan and Okinawa, one lion usually has its mouth open while the other's is shut. It's no coincidence, but rather Buddhist symbolism. The open mouth is meant to be forming the sound "a", while the closed mouth is forming the sound "un". Combined, they form the word a-un, the Japanese rendition of the Indian word om. Originating in Hinduism and adopted by Buddhism, om's meaning seems somewhat vague at times, but is sometimes described as the name of God or the sound of the vibration of the universe. At least in Japan, "a" and "un" are also symbolic of beginnings and endings, in the same way that Western countries use alpha and omega. It's also sometimes said that the open-mouthed animal is male, while the other is female.
Komainu: Popular Protector
In Japan lion statues are a fixture on shrine grounds, but seldom seen elsewhere. On the other hand, anyone who has been to Okinawa will know you can not swing a cat without hitting a lion, though you probably wouldn't want to do that. I'm sure the cat wouldn't appreciate it, and the lion might take offense at your mistreatment of his cousin. That said, lion statues are omnipresent in Okinawa.
In Okinawa lion statues are known as shisa, meaning lion. They are made of a variety of materials, though the signature regional choice is red clay. They can be found not only at areas of special spiritual significance, but on the roofs or at the entrances of homes and businesses. It's also easy to acquire your own shisa, as statues of all sizes are nearly ubiquitous among souvenir shops.
They may not be faster than a speeding bullet, in fact they are usually quite stationary, but a shisa's powers are nothing to be trifled with. A Chinese envoy brought a gift for the king, a necklace decorated with a figurine of a shisa. Meanwhile, at Naha bay, the village of Madanbashi was being terrorized by a sea dragon that ate the villagers and destroyed their property. One day, the king was visiting the village, when suddenly the dragon attacked.
Is it a bird? A plane? No! It's Shisa-man!
All the people ran and hid. The local priestess had been told in a dream to instruct the king when he visited to stand on the beach and lift up his figurine towards the dragon. She sent a boy to tell him. The king faced the monster with the figurine held high, and immediately a giant roar sounded throughout the village, a roar so deep and powerful that it even shook the dragon. A massive boulder then fell from heaven and crushed the dragon's tail. He couldn't move, and eventually died.
At Tomimori Village in the far southern part of Okinawa, there were often many fires. The people of the area sought out a Feng Shui master, to ask him why there were so many fires. He believed they were because of the power of the near by Mt. Yaese, and suggested that the townspeople build a stone shisa to face the mountain. They did so, and thus have protected their village from fire ever since.
Shisa also feature in some much more modern stories. King Shisa, a giant monster based on a shisa, first appeared in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla in 1974, and again in 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars. In the English dub his name was changed to King Caesar, which seems a bit redundant. In his first appearance, King Shisa was a benevolent protector of humanity, but had been sleeping inside a mountain in Okinawa for a long time. When Godzilla alone cannot defeat his robotic doppleganger, the human heroes of the film awaken the ancient King Shisa with a very non-ancient sounding song. Then King Shisa and Godzilla team up to pound Mechagodzilla. In Godzilla: Final Wars, King Shisa fights against Godzilla, but since he was being controlled by aliens we won't hold it against him. In these movies, King Shisa favors close combat, although he does have the ability to redirect an opponent's energy attacks.
King of the Beasts
Though a lot of their past remains unclear, guardian lions are fascinating. Although there are tons of komainu to be seen at shrines across Japan I'm sad to say that I haven't seen them utilized much in modern pop culture. Maybe some of you out there know of some examples of which I'm unaware. On the other hand, the Okinawan shisa is very much a living symbol, so at least this overlooked legend has a happy home in Ryukyu.
Asiatic lions were once quite common throughout their historic range in Southwest, South and Central Asia and are believed to be the ones depicted by the guardian lions in Chinese culture. With increased trade during the Han dynasty and cultural exchanges through the Silk road, lions were introduced into China from the ancient states of Central Asia by peoples of Sogdiana, Samarkand, and the Yuezhi in the form of pelts and live tribute, along with stories about them from Buddhist priests and travelers of the time. This exchange can be seen in that the Chinese word for lion is "Shi" (later), which shares the same etymological roots as "Shiar", the Persian language name for the animal.
Several instances of lions as imperial tributes from Central Asia were recorded in the document Book of the Later Han written from 25-220 CE. On one particular event, on the eleventh lunar month of 87 CE, "an envoy from Parthia offered as tribute a lion and an ostrich" to the Han court. Indeed, the lion was associated by the Han Chinese to earlier venerated creatures of the ancient Chinese, most notably by the monk Huilin, who stated that "the mythic suan-ni is actually the lion, coming from the Western Regions".
The Buddhist version of the Lion was originally introduced to Han China as the protector of dharma and these lions have been found in religious art as early as 208 BC. Gradually they were incorporated as guardians of the Chinese Imperial dharm. Lions seemed appropriately regal beasts to guard the emperor's gates and have been used as such since. There are various styles of guardian lions reflecting influences from different time periods, imperial dynasties, and regions of China. These styles vary in their artistic detail and adornment as well as in the depiction of the lions from fierce to serene.
Although the form of the Chinese guardian lion was quite varied during its early history in China, the appearance, pose, and accessories of the lions eventually became standardized and formalized during the Ming and Qing dynasties into more or less its present form.
BLACK DOG LEGENDS
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A black dog is the name given to a being found primarily in the folklores of the British Isles. The black dog is essentially a nocturnal apparition, often said to be associated with the Devil or a Hellhound. Its appearance was regarded as a portent of death. It is generally supposed to be larger than a normal dog, and often has large, glowing eyes. It is often associated with electrical storms (such as Black Shuck's appearance at Bungay, Suffolk), and also with 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 Caun Annwn, Garmr and Cerberus, all of whom were in some way guardians of the underworld.
This association seems to be due to the scavenging habits of dogs. It is possible that the black dog is a survival of these beliefs. Black dogs are almost universally regarded as malevolent, and a few (such as the Barghest) 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 behave benevolently.
Black dogs often seem to haunt ancient lanes, trackways, crossroads, old churchyards and prehistoric sites. Many of these places were associated with local superstitions and the uncanny, they are liminal places, where the veil between worlds was thought to be thin. The haunts of the black dogs are also features said to denote ley lines, it has been suggested that they represent some form of energy or natural phenomena moulded by the mind into an archetype of the black dog. A great deal of work has been done by earth mystery researchers to suggest that certain geophysical conditions may affect the human mind. These places were recognised by ancient man, and that is why black dogs (as some form of archetype) appear at places of ancient sanctity.
The black dog was often seen as the spirit of the executed criminal, such as the dog said to haunt a gallows site in Tring, Hertfordshire: An old woman was drowned for witchcraft at Tring in the year 1751. A chimney sweep was held responsible in part for the killing, and was hanged and gibbeted near to the place of the crime. A black dog came to haunt the place where the gibbet stood, and was seen by the village schoolmaster. He described it as being shaggy, as big as a Newfoundland, with long ears and a tail, eyes of flaming fire and long teeth. It is interesting to note that at first the black dog appeared as a standing flame. Flames and scorched earth being another aspect associated with sightings.
Black dogs are also seen as guardians of treasure, especially in Scotland. A black dog was said to guard treasure buried under a standing stone near Murthley in Perthshire, here we have an account of a black dog at an ancient site and as a guardian of treasure.
In summary it seems that the phenomena of phantom dogs is a complex mix of folklore, sightings, and local superstition, which has roots reaching far into the past. There are probably a myriad of different explanations for modern sightings, and a phantom black dog is a powerful archetype, incorporated into modern stories such as the 'Hound of the Baskervilles' by Arthur Conan Doyle. We hope to delve into the mystery further in the future, including some of the many folk tales associated with them.
The dog has shared our fires at night, guarded our homes and worked for us during the day, herding or hunting. In many myths, dogs also carry out these duties at the edges, between worlds. You find Black Dog myths in Siberia, North America and all over Asia. Greek mythology also tells of the dog Cerberus, with three heads, which watches the entrance to the underworld.
In most stories black dogs foretell death or doom but, occasionally, they can be guardians of treasure. However, not all ghost dogs are unfriendly. In some stories they come back to guide or help their masters or others.
The Black Dog Legends on England
On Dartmoor, the notorious squire Cabell was said to have been a huntsman who sold his soul to the Devil. When he died in 1677, phantom black hounds are said to have appeared around his burial chamber. The ghostly huntsman is said to ride with the phantom dogs; this tale inspired Conan Doyle to write his well-known story The Hound of the Baskervilles.
In Lancashire the spectre hound is called Barguist, Gytrash, Padfoot, Shag, Trash, Striker or Skriker.
In Tring, Hertfordshire, a fierce looking black hound with red eyes is said to haunt the middle of the road in the area where the gibbet once stood. Locally it is known as Lean Dog, and is the spirit of a chimney sweep executed for murder. When approached, the lean dog sinks into the ground.
The Gurt Dog ("Great Dog") of Somerset is an example of a benevolent dog. It was said that mothers would allow their children to play unsupervised on the Quantock Hills because they believed that the Gurt Dog would protect them. It would also accompany lone travellers in the area, acting as a protector and guide.
Stories are told of a Black Dog in Twyford, near Winchester.
In Wakefield, the local version of the legend is known as "Padfoot".
A black dog has been said to haunt the Newgate Prison for over 400 years, appearing before executions. According to legend, in 1596, a scholar was sent to the prison for witchcraft, but was killed and eaten by starving prisoners before he was given a trial. The dog was said to appear soon after, and although the terrified men killed their guards and escaped, the beast is said to have haunted them wherever they fled.
Galley Hill in Luton, Bedfordshire, is said to have been haunted by a black dog ever since a storm set the gibbet alight sometime in the 18th century. Betchworth Castle in Surrey is said to be haunted by a black dog that prowls the ruins at night.
In Norfolk, Suffolk and the northern parts of Essex a black dog, known as Black Shuck or Shug is regarded to be relatively benign and said to accompany women on their way home in the role of protector rather than a portent of ill omen.
In the Isle of Man it is styled Mauthe Dhoog, or Moddey Dhoo (black dog in the Manx language).It is said to haunt the environs of Peel Castle. People believe that anyone who sees the dog will die soon after the encounter with the dog. It is mentioned by Sir Walter Scott in The Lay of the Last Minstrel "For he was speechless, ghastly, Like him of whom the Story ran - Who spoke the spectre hound in Man."
In the Channel Island of Guernsey, there are two named dogs. One, Tchico(Tchi coh two Norman words for dog, whence cur), is headless, and is supposed to be the phantom of a past Bailiff of Guernsey, Gaultier de la Salle, who was hanged for falsely accusing one of his vassals. The other dog is known as Bodu or tchen Bodu. His appearance, usually in the Clos du Valle, foretells death of the viewer or someone close to him. There are also numerous other unnamed apparitions, usually associated with place names derived from baite (beast).
In Jersey folklore, the Black Dog of Death is also called the Tchico, but a related belief in the Tchian (Black Dog of Bouley) tells of a phantom dog whose appearance presages storms. The story is believed to have been encouraged by smugglers who wanted to discourage nocturnal movements by people who might witness the movement of contraband.
On mainland Normandy, the dog is referred to as the Rongeur d'Os (bone gnawer).
The Black Dog Legends on Whales
In Wales its counterpart was the gwyllgi, the "Dog of Darkness", a frightful apparition of a mastiff with baleful breath and blazing red eyes. Also related are the spectral Caun Annwn, connected with the otherworld realm of Annwn referred to in the Four Branches of the Mabinogi and elsewhere; however they are described as being dazzling white rather than black in the medieval text.
The Black Dog Legends on Cornwall
A black dog is said to have appeared to wrestlers at Whiteborough, a tumulus near Launceston. A black dog was once said to haunt the main road between Bodmin and Launceston near Linkinhorne.
The Black Dog Legends on Denmark
A report by Lars Munk, Danish M. A. of Theology
My city of Viborg used to be called Wibierga, unHoly Mountains - because the hills here at the centre of the ancient road net and ley lines in the heart of Jutland were sacred since stone age times.
The doggy itself lies just north of the present cathedral, and according to legend the Black Dog (various independent sightings in a string from Syvha je, across Middle Jutland by way of grave mounds, cemeteries, places of pagan magic and ancient sacred sites, to the Wi at Viborg) runs around the northern edge of Viborg lake, along the old mediaeval llevej(North Mill Rd.), through a city gate that is no longer there, and then up to the Wi by the cathedral, where it disappears into the ground at the stroke of midnight.
It has done so since time immemorial, but in 2001 I decided to have a look myself: I took a second sighted woman with me to the Wi, and just before midnight she reported to see the Phantom Dog coming around the corner, up to the hill of the will, she said it stopped, seemingly baffled to be sighted again all that I could see by then was a sprinkling of moon lit dust inside a small wind devil (a mini tornado) seeping up to the Wi and engulfing it at the exact stroke of midnight.
On the way back, by llevej, I suddenly felt the hairs on my neck standing out, and I turned and looked at the woman said, without looking back: How you see it, too, don't you ?
Yes, I did: Across the road, what at first looked like a great black dog (something akin to the semi-wild dogs of the Danish stone ages) walked under a street light, and it suddenly looked at me, eyes and mouth seemingly lit from inside by green light, pointed ears and a ridge of harsh hairs on its back; parts of the body came and went with fluorescent green shimmers. Then it disappeared into the darkness beyond the light.
I am a danish theologian, yet I have to admit that there are more things between heaven and earth, the Black Dog of Viborg takes it on trips, independently of how man sights it or disbelieves in it. Every night it runs along the same route, to the Wi at the center of the ley lines, perhaps as guardian of the sanctum that might come to light, if you removed the cathedral?
The Black Dog Legends on Latin Amerika
Black dogs with fiery eyes are reported throughout Latin America from Mexico to Argentina under a variety of names including the Perro Negro (Spanish for Black Dog), Nahual (Mexico), Huay Chivo and Huay Pek (Mexico) - alternatively spelled Uay/Way/Waay Chivo/Pek, Cadejo (Central America), Familiar (Argentina) and Lobizan (Argentina). They are usually said to be either incarnations of the Devil or a shape-changing sorcerer.
El Cadejo is a large black dog smelling of sulphur, which lurks in the dark corners of cities and villages of Central America. The beast rattles through graveyards, attacking and eviscerating anyone who dares go out after dark. No one is safe at night on lone dark trails. There are three types of black cadejo, ranging from the devil incarnate to its scouts and minions. There is, however, a white cadejos said to protect night travellers.
The Black Dog Legends on Celtic Lore
Banshees are spirits found in Celtic lore which appear to people as an omen of impending death or often are only heard wailing loudly after someone has died. Several reports depict Banshees appearing in the form of an ordinary dog.
The Black Dog Legends on Prehispanic Mexico
by Simon Burchell
This Classic Period (250.000 AD) sculpture on display at the Finca El Baa near Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, Escuintla, Guatemala, appears to show a sorcerer transforming into a canine. Photo by the author. In Phantom Black Dogs in Latin America I arrived at the conclusion that the Black Dog apparitions of Latin America have their origin with the Spanish Conquest, although dogs already occupied a powerful place in prehispanic myth and legend. Since then I have come across a passage in an early Colonial-era book that has forced me to re-evaluate this conclusion.
Bernardino de Sahagan was a Franciscan friar who arrived in Tenochtitla (modern Mexico City) in 1529, some eight years after the Conquest of the Aztecs. He learnt Nahuatl, the Aztec language, and interviewed the surviving Aztec priesthood upon their beliefs and practices for the express purpose of evangelising the natives - he wanted the Church to be able to recognise survivals of pre Conquest belief when it saw them, so they could be eradicated.
In Chapter XIII of Book 5, entitled Which is about other ghosts that appear at night, we find the following passage: they said that Tezcatlipoca often transformed himself into an animal that they call cayutl [i.e. coyote SB], that is like a wolf.
And thus transformed it would place itself in the path of travellers, blocking their path so they could not continue. And in this the traveller understood that some danger of thieves or robbers lay ahead, or that some other misfortune would occur upon the road ahead.
This sounds very much like the actions of a typical Black Dog!
That this is not a normal coyote is indicated by the fact that it is said to be a transformed god (Tezcatlipoca, Smoking Mirror, was one of the most important Aztec deities) and that this paragraph is included in a chapter that deals largely with supernatural apparitions.
This short chapter contains details of three evil spirits that were said to appear in pre-Conquest times, followed by a brief note that the cry of the woodpecker was a bad omen, followed by the section that I have translated above.
The only note of caution is that it places this reference directly after the only reference to a natural animal (the woodpecker). However, omens to do with natural animals were placed in preceding chapters, and Sahagan's entry on the nature and habits of the coyote contain no hint of such behaviour.
The Handbook of Mesoamerican Mythology, embedded in its entry on Tezcatlipoca, merely has: Sometimes this was helpful, if a coyote suddenly sprang at you, Tezcatlipoca was warning you that robbers were nearby and you ought to go home
The entry cites Sahagan, presumably the same passage that I have translated, but interprets it as merely the sighting of a normal coyote, which would not be my interpretation at all.
Although the conquistadors identified all pre-Columbian deities as demons, Tezcatlipoca was quickly (and specifically) branded as the Devil by the conquistadors. Tezcatlipoca was also responsible for creating the first dogs - by transforming a man and woman into the Burchell animals.
The apparition of a supernatural coyote is a direct parallel to the phantom black dog of European tradition, which was associated with the Devil. This would help explain the transference of specifically European characteristics, such as the goat's hooves of the Mexican nahual or Central American cadejo.
In Mexico at least, the Black Dog is not just an incarnation of the Devil or a transformed sorcerer, it is the hybrid offspring of Tezcatlipoca, the Smoking Mirror. This seems to place Phantom Black Dogs in prehispanic times - it is not conclusive, of course, but is probably the closest that we can possibly get to a prehispanic account of a Black Dog apparition.
A phantom black dog that appeared to some highland Maya girls at a crossroads, a typical Black Dog habit, places it in the domain of Smoking Mirror, Tezcatlipoca
This poorly studied culture showed strong affinities to central Mexico. It appears to show a priest or sorcerer, or perhaps a deity, transforming into a canine and would therefore be a direct forerunner of the modern Black Dog sightings which Phantom Black Dogs in Prehispanic Mexico. A continuation of this tradition is evident in a tale told to me one night somewhere in the vast suburbs of Mexico City.
My informant's family is originally from Nogales, a small village in Veracruz state, and the events described probably occurred in the 1930s. Around Nogales the nahual was said to be a sorcerer who could turn into a big black coyote or dog, with very big ears, but that was neither wolf nor truly a coyote.
Some rumours started that various local people had animals stolen, from young goats to chickens. The local men gathered together to see what was goingon, and they started talking about the nahual. Suspicion fell upon a newcomer to the village who had lived there some months but was still regarded with mistrust, since he lived alone and rarely spoke to anyone.
About a dozen men gathered at night, armed with rifles and sticks. They took turns to keep a lookout at night in the fields. In the early hours of the morning on a dark, moonless night, the mysterious beast appeared. Two young men were sat on the ground, in their ponchos, smoking and chatting, when they felt an eerie presence. They turned to see an enormous animal that was practically on top of them, close enough that they could smell its foul breath. They could see it was neither a dog nor a coyote and had big red eyes. They were paralysed with fear but one friend was a little braver, he grabbed his rifle and fired but didn't hit it. Finally they recovered enough to shout the alarm but the creature had gone. Very early the next day they followed the tracks, which disappeared by the shore of the nearby lake.
The villagers took the decision to seek out a sorcerer from Catemaco, a village famous for having the best sorcerers in Mexico. This sorcerer confirmed that a nahual was stalking the village and explained how to trap it.
Close to a chicken shed they had to sacrifice some hens and a goat, and put a candle inside a barrel lying on its side. They spilt the fresh blood of the sacrificed animals around the barrel and left a live hen there, then they began to wait. On the second night the creature came and the villagers shot and killed it, although they couldn't say what kind of animal it was. They dragged it away and hung the carcass up from a tree, and went home to rest.
The next day when they came back, instead of an animal hanging from the tree, they found the stranger who had come to the village some months before. It was this person who turned himself into a Black Dog with spells in order to steal food (based upon a conversation with Roberto sanchez, recorded by the author on the evening of 3rd March 2007 in Lomas de Atizapan.
Returning to pre Columbian times, when Aztec commoners died, they passed through the nine levels of the underworld, Mictlan, The first level was known as Apanoayan 'Where one crosses the river'. The deceased person found themselves on the shore of a wide, deep river. This shore was inhabited by many dogs that walked and swam there. If a dog recognised its former owner, it would swim to him and carry him across on its back (Sahagan 1577, 1989: 221). Since many dogs waited in Apanoayan for their owners, Apanoayan was also known as Itzcuintlan, the Place of Dogs. Whereas, red dogs helped their owners cross, white and black dogs refused - leaving our phantom dogs to roam the eternal twilight of the near shore, neither in the land of the living nor of the dead, a fitting place for the black and the white cadejos.
although Phantom Black Dogs in Prehispanic Mexico among some Mesoamerican cultures, it is a black dog that helps the dead to cross - an animal called ahuazotl, notably monstrous in its body and in its acts, lives in springs or underground streams. It is the size of a small dog. Its fur is very lezne and short. Its ears are small and pointed. Its body is black and smooth. It has a long tail, and at the end of the tail a hand, like a person's hand. It has hands and feet, like a monkey. And if someone comes to the shore of the water where it lives, then it seizes them with the hand on its tail and drags them underwater, and carries them into the depths. In a few days, the water casts up the body of the drowned person, and it comes up without eyes and without teeth and without nails. The ahuazotl took all these from it. The body has no wounds, except that it is covered with bruises. And... they used to say that the tlaloques (rain gods - SB) had carried his soul to the Earthly Paradise. They also said that if someone saw this animal and was not afraid, then the animal would not attack him, which was a sign that he would die soon.
(c) Copyright Simon Burchell 2008
SUPERNATURAL DOG BREEDS
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Dogs have been in legends, mythology and folklore for as long as dogs have been by man's side. While there are plenty of fictional dogs in stories there are certain real dog breeds that have a mythical past.
Mexican Hairless Dog (Xoloitzcuintle)
These dogs are said to have healing powers for a number of different ailments and also guard their homes from evil spirits. The Aztecs considered them sacred.
Ancient chihuahua Mexican folklore claim that this breed helped guide and protect souls as they moved to the underworld.
In Buddhist mythology these dogs were thought to be incarnations of mischievous house gods.
Chinese Shar Pei
According the Chinese folklore the Shar Pei would protect their family and household from evil spirits and demons.
Also considered as a breed that would ward of spirits by the Chinese.
Mastiffs are said to share an ancient ancestry with Cerberus - the three headed dog that protects the gates of the underworld. Cerberus is found in Greek and Roman mythology.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Welsh folklore claims that the Corgi's saddle markings were left from fairies who would ride them like small horses. Corgis are said to have a strong connection with faerie folk.
DOG TATOO MEANING:
SYMOBOLISM & ANCIENT SIGNS
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Dogs have been mankind's loyal and trusted companions for over 40,000 years and are a far cry from their wild wolf origins. No other animal has been able to capture our love and imagination quite like these great creatures. From Lassie to Cerberus, dogs have always been humanity's constant companions, friends, and protectors. Dogs are often thought of as protectors of the soul and, by extension, guardians of the ethereal plain.
Anubis is the ancient Egyptian god of the Dead while the hounds of Annwn guard the gates of the Welsh underworld. Garmr keeps vigil by the gates of Helheim in Norse tradition and, in Mayan and Aztec cultures, a dog was buried with a human sacrifice in order to guide them through the Netherworld. It is believed that dogs are harbingers of Death, especially when they howl at night.
DOG MEANING & SYMBOLISM
The theme of communication becomes heightened when we peer into histories and discover dog meaning and symbolism is connected to the metaphysical realms. The dog has long been considered a liaison between the physical and non-physical dimensions. Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic and beyond have all prescribed the dog as a sacred guardian of the Otherworlds - those realms outside our daily/mundane experience. If you hear of dogs being symbols of death - this is the connection: Dogs are the guardians of ephemeral domains, and can even serve as spirit guides in non-physical journeys.
Consider Anubis, the Egyptian god whose charge is to insure safe transitions from common reality, physical life on Earth, into the Afterlife experience. With the head of a jackal of canine ilk, Anubis dons the super-powerful sensory perception of the dog. Further, that dog connection represents the epitome of protection, guidance, loyalty and adherence to the flow of unseen spiritual energy. To be sure, safe passage from "life" to Afterlife will be seen to success under the governance of the dog/jackal-headed Anubis. In this ancient light, we get distinct impressions of: Security, Guardianship, Protection.
Dogs are sacred to Hecate, the Greek-Roman overseer of lots of things, but surely a matron bound to protect that which is misunderstood. It seems where there is senseless lashing out against that which is misunderstood, Hecate comes ferociously in justification - her dogs baying with equal verve at her side. Death, darkness, wild wandering, lunar moodiness, midnight journeying. Hecate defends the soul's right to wander in these little-known, oft-misunderstood alleyways. With her highly perceptive hounds guiding the way and protecting the body as the spirit wanders, astral travel becomes eons easier. Hecate and her hounds will also speak for and protect those who cannot do so for themselves. Newborns. Hecate and her dogs represent an "Alliance for Defense and Protection" to those who cannot defend themselves: Babies, Children, the Meek, the Mild, the Mad and the unjustly Maligned.
In Celtic symbolism, dogs are a representation of heroism. They embody heart-pounding attributes such as: Courage, Persistence, Virility. This, in large part is due to a Celtic dog's role in hunting. Dogs were even trained by the ancient Celts to assist in battle. So here we see that same thread of defense, protection and action for the good of the clan. An interesting paradox: Celtic dogs are also symbolic of healing. They are often associated with Nodens, a Celtic god of nutritive waters, hunting and healing - water is often synonymous with healing in Celtic wisdom. Dogs have also been portrayed with Sucellus, the Celtic god of protection and provision from an agricultural view.
Native American Indian tribes have long depended upon the dog for their helpful guidance and assistance in everyday chores. Before horses, there were dogs and they were trained to help the tribe in agricultural efficiency as well as hunting. In fact, when horses were introduced to North America by the Spaniards, the term "sky dogs" was dubbed for horses because they were as helpful as their canine allies. In Native American wisdom dogs convey symbolism of: Assistance, Fidelity, Community, Protection, Friendship and Communication.
In Chinese symbolism, dogs are also considered a harbinger of friendship. The legendary Fu Dog is also a guardian of sacred spaces and embodies concepts of protection too. Dogs are considered very auspicious. In Asian wisdom dogs are symbols of: Good Luck, Loyalty, Obedience and Prosperity.
In Alchemical Wisdom The dog and sometimes wolves is associated with Mercury in alchemical wisdom. Why? Because Mercury is easily fused with other metals. This hints to amicable bonds friendship and ties that bind with ease. Mercurial dogs are also symbolic of: Transition, Intelligence, and easy flow through the processes of transmutation. Meditate, contemplate, embark on your own spirit-journey and get in touch with dog energy. Discover new canine concepts of your own. This breed of delightful expression is infinitely generous.
Symbolic Dog Meanings
Most dog tattoo ideas revolve around personal love and affection for a canine companion, and that's super-cool. Sometimes canine ink is a memorial to a loyal friend who has passed on to the spirit side of life. Interestingly, dogs are considered sentinels to the gateways of the Otherworlds. In ancient Egyptian, Celtic, Greco-Roman and other myths, the dog represents a kind of "psychopomp" or spiritual guide, an ally while a human soul is transferring between the realms of physical and non-physical. Do you feel you are straddling the dimensions of worldly life and ephemeral reality? Perhaps a dog tattoo can solidify a feeling of guardianship and protection as you move through the veils of reality and experience.
In Shamanic wisdom - as well as Celtic thought, the dog is associated with the powers of the forest. Here we see canines as keen, savvy wilderness guides. Hearty, strong and stead-fast to leading us through dark and infinitely mystical territory, the dog is a champion guide. Dogs are phenomenal companions on any kind of journey - spiritual, physical, emotional. A dog tattoo might be a great way to convey that concept of guidance as you wind your way through dark forests of life.
In Asian symbolism, the dog is incredibly good luck. The Chinese prescribe symbolism of prosperity, good fortune, obedience and friendliness to the dog. The dog is also associated with Aquarius in the Chinese zodiac, and therefore is considered to have an amicable disposition. Philanthropic, empathic and very well-liked are other attributes. If you need a bit of luck or a boost in your social standing, a dog tattoo might be the reminder you need for these aspects. Some keywords to consider when researching your dog tattoo ideas:
SYMBOLIC DOG TATTOO MEANINGSbr>Confidence
Moon Dog & Sun Dog
Dogs (and dog tattoo ideas) can be associated with both lunar and/or solar qualities and imagery for your tattoo.
Moon Dogs: - As a moon-connected creature, the dog reminds us to move in-sync with the shadows in our midst. Moon dogs also ask us to release ourselves to our untamed selves. Howl at the moon. Copulate by moonlight. Go mad with lunar lust. Dogs do it, so can your inner canine. did i just say that?! Another way to say it: A moon-dog tattoo might underscore a need to break out of conformity.
Solar Dogs: - Solar dogs will remind us of our vitality, strength and courage. Dogs associated with the sun are also symbolic of bright self-expression and clear communication. Countless cultures have recruited dogs in the aid of agriculture - a sun-affiliated field, as well as war/battle, also associated with the heat of the sun. If you are looking to bolster bravado and/or you are aiming for illuminated self-expression, a sun-dog tattoo might be your sign.
DOG TATTOO COLOR
The color of your dog tattoo is a tale-teller too. White dogs are symbolic of purification, clarity, virtue and stamina. Red dogs convey virility and a sense of victory in personal battles. Black dogs have a lunar flavor to them and hearken back to the baying hounds of Hecate, who in some versions of myth, is the goddess of shadows. In this light or lack of it, black dogs are shadow-riders, unafraid to walk boldly into dark places. This also ties in with themes of protection - there's a reason for the term "guard dogs".
Dogs are also considered animal healers. They are associated with sacred waters in Celtic mythology, which offer healing/cleansing power. Canines are also depicted with Asclepius, an ancient Greek physician of renown portent. In many cultures, dogs were thought to have immense healing powers. Ancients observed dogs tending to their own wounds licking with remarkable healing results. Are you a healer? Shamanic wisdom encourages you to invite the dog in your healing practices, as this creature will guide you in more effective healing results. A dog tattoo may also serve as a dynamic statement of your power and desire to heal others and/or yourself.
PER YINEPU LEGEND
THE TEMPLE OF ANUBIS
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The Kemetic Netjer, Yinepu, whose Greco-Roman Name with which most are so familiar is Anubis.
Who Is Yinepu?
Chief of the Divine Pavillion
Chief of the Holy Dwelling
Chief of the Necropolis
Chief of the Western Highland
Counter of Hearts
Foremost of Westerners
He Who Is before the Divine Booth
He Who Is in the Mummy Wrappings
He Who Is over the Southern Palace
He Who Is upon His Mountain
He Who Protects the Southern Palace
Lord of the Sacred Land
Opener of Roads
Opener of Ways
Prince of the Court of Justice
Prince of the Divine Court
Weigher of Righteousness
We have evidence from some of the earliest times in Kemetic religion that Yinepu was honored as the Lord of the Dead and Ruler of the Underworld. He was the chief chthonic netjer of the Kemetic pantheon and He was in possession of such esteemed titles as Khenti-Amentiu, "Foremost of Westerners", and Tepy-dju-ef, "He Who Is upon His Mountain". Khenti-Amentiu refers to Yinepu's position presiding over the deceased in the Underworld, Duat, while the latter title of He Who Is upon His Mountain evokes the protective image of the netjer guarding the necropolis from His vantage point atop the cliffs.
The connection between Yinepu, the dead and jackals would be as natural as any other observation to the ancient peoples of the Nile. Jackals and other canines were probably often seen prowling around the tombs and necropoli and thus, their association with the deceased would have been born. Though, there is no definitive information regarding whether or not the animal totem representing Yinepu was, indeed, a jackal as there is some evidence Yinepu's totem may have been a a wild dog.
The divine origin of Yinepu is somewhat of a mystery. Some of the earliest sources list the Mother of Yinepu as the ancient cow-goddess of fertility, Hesat, Who was Herself supplanted by HetHert. And while others claim that Bast was the Mother of Yinepu, this may have been the result from a play on words rather than actual allegory.
Much like the rest of Kemetic cosmology and theogony, Yinepu's parentage changed with the times. At one point in Kemetic history, Yinepu was considered to be the Son of Ra and Nebthet or Set and Nebthet while another source claimed Wesir and Aset-Sekhmet to be the Parents of the Jackal God. It would not be until much later in Kemetic history that Yinepu would be the fortunate result from the infidelity of Nebthet and Wesir, specifically, this particular myth is cited from only Plutarch, a Hellene visiting Kemet.
Rise of the Wesirian Cult
Part of Yinepu's duties as Khenti-Amentiu was to embalm the deceased Nisut-Bity as exemplified by Wesir, the embalmed netjer of vegetation and fertile lands. However, as the cult and mythos of Wesir rose to prominence from Men-nefer (Greek: Memphis), the fertility netjer absorbed many of Yinepu's titles and roles as Ruler of the realm of the Dead, which Wesir maintained for the rest of Kemetic history.
Meanwhile, Yinepu's duties, though having been reduced in number, did not diminish in importance or necessity. Embalmer and Presider over funerary processions of not only the Dead, but of the beloved Wesir and the Nisut-Bity, Yinepu's roles simply became more centralized.
In addition to being the netjer credited with having created the process of embalming, specifically for Wesir, Yinepu had also been Aset's faithful attendant in searching for pieces of Wesir Setukh had strewn about the country and protecting the divine child, Heru-sa-Aset. Most importantly, however, Yinepu acted as a guide for the Dead during the deceased's travel from this Earthly realm, through Duat to Wesir's Court and to the next life.
Yinepu and Duat
Yinepu is believed to not only guide the ba to the Hall of Judgement, but to announce the deceased's arrival, list the good deeds the deceased had performed in his lifetime and commence the Weighing of the Heart. Yinepu would act on the behalf of the deceased before Wesir and the other netjeru and would announce the results of the Weighing of the Heart, which would determine the destination for the deceased's ba: afterlife, reincarnation or consumption by Ammit, the Devourer of Souls.
In Kemetic theology, the heart was the seat of the psyche within which all of one's deeds, both good and bad, could be found. Every sin contributed to a "heavy heart" and if, when it was weighed against the feather of Ma'at, the heart tipped the scales as heavier, the deceased was considered too unworthy to enter the afterlife and the ba would be fed to Ammit. So, Yinepu's assurance of providing a fair and accurate reading was of the utmost importance.
MOVIE I ABOUT ANUBIS
MOVIE II ABOUT ANUBIS
ANUBIS MYTHOLOGY & BACKGROUND
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Anubis was the son of Osiris, the god of the underworld, and Nephthys, Set's sister and wife. Nephthys and Isis tricked Osiris one night. Nephthys never liked Seth (Set), but she always had a "thing" for Osiris.Since Nephthys and Isis were twins, they were able to trick Osiris into sleeping with Nephthys one night instead of Isis.As a result, Anubis was born. Nephthys was very angry since Set killed Osiris so she left him and assisted Isis, Osiris's wife and Nephthys ran away with her son, Anubis. Kebechet is shown as Anubis' daughter in some places.
When the Myth of Osiris and Isis emerged, it was said that when Osiris had died, Osiris' organs were given to Anubis as a gift. With this connection, Anubis became the patron god of embalmers: during the funerary rites of mummification, illustrations from the Book of the Dead often show a priest wearing the jackal mask supporting the upright mummy.
Although Anubis is very well represented in artwork throughout Egypt's history he does not play a major role in many myths. His early role as Lord of the Dead, prior to assimilation into the Osiris myth, was static as he only performed a single solemn function which did not lend itself to elaboration.
As the protector of the dead, who invented mummification and so the preservation of the body, he seems to have been considered too busy to have involved himself in the kinds of stories told about the other Egyptian gods. Stories about Anubis are all along the lines of the one Geraldine Pinch relates above.
God Without Temples
To date, archaeologists have not unearthed any monumental temple dedicated to this god. His "temples" are tombs and cemeteries. The major centers of his cult were located in Asyut (Lycopolis) and Hardai (Cynopolis). His name appears in the oldest known mastabas (mud-brick tombs) of the First Dynasty and several shrines to the god have been found.
For example, a shrine and a cemetery of mummified dogs and jackals was discovered at Anubeion, a place located to the east of Saqqara. It seems that during the reign of the first dynasties he was even more significant than Osiris. This changed during the Middle Kingdom period, but Anubis continued to be one of the most important deities.
INK TATTOO CONCEPTS
ANUBIS DOG TATTOOS
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For an exhilarating rush of enigmatic Egyptian flair, nothing tops the triumphant energy of an Anubis tattoo. This ancient god's immortal legacy will transfer directly to you with the right approach to ink! To swiftly capture the mystique of mummification, Anubis ink is automatically laced with ample ferocity.
This iconic canine proudly presided over the Egyptian notion of eternal existence, so a striking sense of longevity is his impassioned dominion. The appearance of this jackal was permanently tied to everlasting life beyond the tomb. Anubis illustrations are exceedingly excellent for men with a macabre sense of reality, particularly since the deity directly ruled over the processes of embalming.
Before Osiris rose to prominence, this divine entity was the sole master of death. As his mythical father, Osiris frequently accompanies Anubis in inked forms. His mother, Nephthys, is another common source of archaeological brio, and the trinity imbues an enormous legacy. According to the historical record, Anubis is one of the first supernatural creatures ever noted by mankind. His ability to transcend the times is further proof of an immensely prestigious phenomenon. To glimpse the mystical magic of an Anubis design, just partake in our powerful panoply of fiery masterpieces that are fit for a pharaoh.
HELLHOUNDS IN FICTION:
GAMES, MOVIES & LITERATURE
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Hellhounds are a common monstrous creature in fantasy fiction and horror fiction, though they sometimes appear in other genres such as detective novels, or other uses.
In anime and manga
In the Berserk manga, the dark side or shadow of Guts's personality is represented as a hellhound or black dog.
Alucard of the manga series Hellsing can transform into a Hellhound.
In the Japanese manga One Piece, the Marine Admiral Akainu can use a magma-based ability called Meigou. Meigou translates to Dark Dog, but the official English translation calls it Hellhound.
In the anime/ manga Kuroshitsuji or "Black Butler" there is a hellhound named Pluto. He can turn into a human, but cannot talk.
In Beyblade: Metal (series), Myreille Psychiokieus has a bey was know Hellhound who was a spirit of bey like Doji or Ryuga.
FICTIONAL DOG NAMES LIST
(Anime & Cartoons):
ANDY, the faithful St. Bernard in the comic strip Mark Trail
ACE, The Bat Hound, a member of the Batman mythos of DC comics
ASTRO, from The Jetsons
AUGIE DOGGIE, and Doggie Daddy by Hanna Barbera
BABY CINNAMON, friend of Hello Kitty
BAD DOG!, An early animated computer screen saver
BANDIT, Jonny Quest's terrier
BARFY, comic strip Family Circus 1864-1946
BEAUREGARD, the Bloodhound in Walt Kelly's Pogo
BELLE, the white mountain dog, co-star of Belle et Sebastien
BELVEDERE, comic strip Belvedere 1864-1946
B. H., CALCUTTA, the bloodhound with no sense of smell in British comic strip The Perishers
BILL, a cocker dog from the comic strip Boule et Bill
BLACK BOB, formerly from the British comic The Dandy
BLUE, in Blue's Clues
BOLIVAR, Donald Duck's dog
BOOT, companion of the boy Wellington in The Perishers
BRAIN, from Inspector Gadget
BRIAN GRIFFIN, cynical, substance-abusing, talking dog on Family Guy
BRUNO, apparently a bloodhound cross, in Disney's Cinderella
BUCKLES, comic strip Buckles 1895-1972
BUTCH, bulldog from the Tom and Jerry cartoons
CATDOG, eponymous star of the Nickelodeon TV show. See also List of fictional cats
CHACHA, a dog reincarnated into a toy car, from the anime I Love Bubu Chacha
CHARLIE DOG, "Looney Tunes" character created by Chuck Jones
CHESTER, the Terrier from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies
CHURCHILL, a bulldog in the form of a talking "nodding dog" car accessory, UK television ads
CLIFFORD, the Big Red Dog
CORNEIL, talking dog from Corneil and Bernie.
COURAGE, the Cowardly Dog
CUBITUS, the fat round white dog, from the eponymous Belgian comic by Dupa
DAISY, the Dagwood Bumstead family dog in Blondie
DINO, in The Flintstones, a metaphorical dog
DINSDALE, the dog from Rubbish, King of the Jumble
DOGBERT, the assertive dog owned by the unassertive Dilbert
DOGG, from Milestone Comics' Blood Syndicate
DOGGIE DADDY, by Hanna Barbera
DOGMATIX, faithful companion to Obelix in the UK translation of the Asterix comic books
DOGTANIAN, the three Muskehounds and the majority of the other characters in the series
DR. DOPPLER, humanoid canine in Disney's Treasure Planet
DOUGAL, a hairy philosophical dog in stop-motion animated show The Magic Roundabout
DROOPALONG, Sheriff Ricochet Rabbit's sidekick
EDGAR, comic strip For Better or Worse 1911-1967
EIN, the Corgi in the anime series Cowboy Bebop
ELECTRA, comic strip Cathy 1902-1984
FARLEY, comic strip For Better or Worse 1911-1998
FAT DOG, Mendoza
FIFI, the Peke, Pluto's girlfriend
FIFI, Lynda Barry's Poodle with a Mohawk - "You'll never call him Fifi again!"
FIFI, the Finsters' family pet in Rugrats
FILYA, on the TV screens since 1970s in the Russian Good night, the little ones!
FLORENCE AMBROSE, a genetically-engineered "Bowman's Wolf" in the comic strip Freefall
FUZZ, comic strip Ziggy 1895-1990
GNASHER, from the British comic strips Dennis the Menace and Gnasher and Gnipper
GNIPPER, Gnasher's son, from the British comic strips Dennis the Menace
GOOFY, Disney character, a dog with human characteristics
GOOPY GEER, Merrie Melodies character
GODDARD, in Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
GRIMM, of the comic strip Mother Goose and Grimm
GROMIT, of Wallace
HOTDOG, Jughead's dog in the Archie comics
HECTOR, the Bulldog from various Sylvester and Tweety cartoons
HONG KONG PHOOEY, star of the Hanna Barbera cartoon of the same name
HUCKLEBERRY HOUND, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character
HUSH PUPPY, one of Shari Lewis's puppets
JASPER, Brian Griffin's effeminate gay cousin, Family Guy
KEWPIE, comic strip Born Loser 1903-1965
KRYPTO, the superpowered pet dog of Superman, in DC comics
LADYBIRD, the Hills' pet bloodhound, in King of the Hill
LITTLE BROTHER, Mulan's dog in Disney's Mulan
MAGENTA in Blue's Clues
MARC ANTONY, Looney Tunes character
MARMADUKE, a Great Dane with an eponymous daily comic strip
MCGRUFF, cartoon crime fighter 1896-1944
MENCHI, a Chow Chow, pet and "emergency ration" of Excel in Excel Saga
MUTTLEY, Dick Dastardly's sidekick in Wacky Races, Dastardly and Muttley
MR. PEABODY, from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
ODIE, comic strip Garfield 1914-1999
OTTO, comic strip Beetle Bailey 1921-1991
PENNY DOG, a friend of Minnie Mouse
PERO, the cyborg dog of Higeoyaji in the manga Astro Boy
PLUTO, Disney character, a dog with dog characteristics
POCHACCO, friend of Hello Kitty
POOCH, a minor character in “Sinfest”
RADAR, the Hound Supreme (a pastiche of Krypto, from Alan Moore's revisionism of Supreme)
REDDY, of Hanna-Barbera's Ruff and Reddy
REN HOEK, the asthma-hound Chihuahua in Ren and Stimpy
REX, from Rex the Runt
ROBOWAN, friend of Hello Kitty
ROCKY, main character in Swedish comic Rocky
ROOBARB, title character of a British cartoon series
ROSEBUD, the basselope (Basset hound/Antelope mix) in Berkeley Breathed's comic strip
RUFF, comic strip Dennis the Menace 1893-1949
RUFF, comic strip Hi and Lois 1920-1999
SAM, Sheepdog, adversary of Ralph Wolf from Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf (Looney Tunes)
SAMSON, from the Belgian Samson and Gert television series
SANDY, Little Orphan Annie's dog (known for saying "Arf")
SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER, from The Simpsons
SATCHEL, Pooch in Get Fuzzy
SCAMP, Disney character, a puppy born to the dogs Lady and the Tramp
SCOOBY-DOO, A Great Dane with cropped ears
SCOOBY-DUM, A Great Dane with cropped ears
SCRAPPY-DOO, Scooby-Doo's nephew
SLINKY,in Disney's Toy Story
SNERT, Hagar's dog in Dik Browne's comic strip Hagar the Horrible
SNOOPY, in Peanuts
SNOWY, in The Adventures of Tintin
SPARKY, the gay dog from South Park
SPIKE, in comic strip Peanuts 1896-1963
SPIKE, or Butch, bulldog from the Tom and Jerry cartoons
SPIKE, the Bulldog and Chester the Terrier from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies
SPIKE,the family dog in Rugrats
SPOT, the dog, UK cartoon character
SPOTTY DOG, a Dalmatian string puppet in The Woodentops on BBC
TATTY OLDBITT, the Sailors' Friend, in The Perishers
TRIUMPH, the Insult Comic Dog on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
UNDERDOG, superhero from the cartoon series by the same name
WANNYAN, (Bow Meow in English version) from the anime series Da! Da! Da! aka. UFO Baby
WILE E. COYOTE (a coyote) in the Road Runner cartoon
WILEWOLF, a tramp wolf from anime Maple Town Stories
A Hellhound named Sammael is one of the main antagonists in the first Hellboy film.
Hellhounds appear in the motion picture The Omen.
Hellhounds appear in the movie Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief as pets of Persephone and Hades, differing from the books' portrayal of them.
A Hellhound named Thorn is the guardian of the vampire Max in The Lost Boys.
FICTIONAL DOG NAMES LIST
(Movies, Cinematic Films):
APOLLO, TV show Magnum, P.I. 1864-1946
ASTA, in the various The Thin Man films
BABE, (movie) featured Border Collies
BEETHOVEN, the St. Bernard hero of the movie series Beethoven
BENJI, had several movies
BLOOD, the talking dog in A Boy and his Dog
COPERNICUS, in the Back to the Future trilogy
DEVIL DOG, The Hound of Hell, from the film of the same title
EINSTEIN, in the Back to the Future trilogy
FRANK, the alien dog in Men in Black
HARVEY, Elliot's dog in E.T.
HOOCH, the Dogue de Bordeaux co-star of Turner and Hooch
HUBBLE, a Border Terrier, main character in Good Boy!
JERRY LEE, the German shepherd supposed to be a trained police dog in K-9
KEROUAC, the dog lost by the homeless Jerry Baskin in Down and Out in Beverly Hills
LASSIE, in Lassie Come Home (1943) Lassie is always played by a male collie
MATISSE, Dave Whiteman's Border collie in Down and Out in Beverly Hills
MICHELANGELO, St. Bernard Beethoven's double à la The Prince and the Pauper
MILO, Stanley Ipkiss' dog in The Mask
MISSY, the St. Bernard girlfriend of Beethoven in Beethoven's 2nd
MOSES, the chalk outline dog in Dogville
NANOOK, the Siberian husky in The Lost Boys
NEOS, Neapolitan Mastiff in Harry Potter series
OLD YELLER (1957), a children's film, originally a novel by Fred Gipson
OTIS, the Pug in The Adventures of Milo and Otis
PETE the Pup (or "Petey"), a Pit Bull with a ring around one eye, in the Our Gang
PRECIOUS, the white Toy poodle beloved of 'Buffalo Bill' in Silence of the Lambs
RIN TIN TIN, German shepherd who ranked as one of the all-time famous canine movie stars.
SAM, the dog in Dante's Peak who leaps out of a field of boiling hot lava to safety
SPARKY, the Jack Russell terrier brought back to life by the archangel in Michael
TOTO, in The Wizard of Oz
VERDELL, the Brussels Griffon in As Good as it Gets
WINN DIXIE, see Dogs in literature, above
In "Call of Duty: World at War," "Call Of Duty: Black Ops," and "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" in Nazi Zombies mode.
In Heroes of Might and Magic III, the hell hound is a recruit-able 3rd level unit from the Inferno town that can be upgraded into a Cerberus.
Hellhound is also a creature of chaos in the game Master of Magic.
In Neverwinter Nights, the hellhound is available as a familiar for wizards and sorcerers.
In the video game NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, one of the bosses for Will's dream is called Cerberus and is, as stated by Reala, a hellhound
Houndour and Houndoom, two of the Pokemon creatures, are based on the concept of a hellhound.
In the MMORPG RuneScape, there are many Hellhounds.
In the video game The Witcher the Hellhound is a boss monster.
Hellhounds are creatures that appear in The Elder Scrolls: Arena
Hellhounds are minions of the Burning Legion in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Hellhounds which are called Skinned Hound appear in The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles, a DLC for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Hellhounds which are called Death Hound appear in Dawnguard, the first DLC for Skyrim.
In War Commander (Real Time Strategy Game) on Facebook, Hellhounds refers to a rogue faction (computer AI).
In Dungeon Keeper, Hellhounds are a species of creature that can be attracted to your dungeon by means of the Scavenger Room. They are said to be useful guards and good at locating enemies. They are interpreted as having two heads and the ability to breathe fire.
In Dragon's Dogma, Fire-breathing Hellhounds start to appear on land after you defeat the dragon.
In Ultima Online, Hellhounds are a type of hostile creature spawn that appear in a few dungeon areas.
In Don't Starve,Hounds a wolf like enemy are based on Hellhounds
In Age of Mythology Hellhounds come out of Hekate's god power Tartarian which creates a gate to tartarus, in addition the Greek titan is a three-headed Hellhound resembling Cerberus, the Hellhound that guards the greek underworld.
Alone In The Dark - Features The Hounds Of Tindallos
In Rick Riordan's book Percy Jackson, the inventor Daedalus has a pet hellhound called Mrs.O'Leary,who later becomes Percy's pet.
In Piers Anthony's fantasy novel On A Pale Horse, Satan sends hellhounds to attack Zane (Death) and bring him back to hell. The hounds are immortal but are dispatched by Death's magical scythe.
Hellhounds are the pets of Harpies in Anne Bishop's The Black Jewels Series, and hellhounds (called Shadow Hounds) appear in Anne Bishop's Tir Alainn trilogy.
Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles
Hellhounds feature in Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series.
In Anthony Horowitz's book Raven's Gate, the protagonist, Matt, is pursued through a forest by demonic canines, after being discovered eavesdropping on a witchcraft ritual. The dogs are described as having rotten flesh, and emerge from the witch's bonfire.
Hellhounds (called darkhounds) appear several times in Robert Jordan's fantasy book series The Wheel of Time. Darkhounds are a particularly nasty form of Shadowspawn. They look like very large dogs or wolves. Their saliva is deadly poison" a single drop on the skin can kill. They are extremely difficult to kill and once they sense their prey they never give up. The only thing that stops them is rain or running water. They leave footprints in stone but none in soft ground.
Frank Belknap Long's Cthulhu Mythos related short story "Hounds of Tindalos".
Hellhounds appear in Roger Zelazny's 1970 new wave fantasy novel Nine Princes in Amber.
Hellhounds appear in Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job.
In Neil Gaiman's and Terry Pratchet's novel Good Omens, Adam (The Antichrist) receives a hellhound companion which he simply names "Dog."
The Hounds of Tindalos is a collection of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories by author Frank Belknap Long. It was released in 1946 and was the author's third book.
FICTIONAL DOG NAMES LIST
(Literature, Books, Stories):
BANGA, Pontius Pilatus' dog in The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
BIG RED, Irish Red and other Irish Setters, protagonists of novels by Jim Kjelgaard
BOOTS, narrator of Thy Servant a Dog by Rudyard Kipling
BOYD, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan's dog in Kathy Reich's novels
BUCK, the main character in Jack London's Call of the Wild
BULLSEYE, Bill Sikes' dog in Oliver Twist
CUJO, the St. Bernard in the novel by Stephen King (later a movie)
CYRIL, the dog in Connie Willis's book about time-travel To Say Nothing of the Dog
DUCHESS, the dog in Beatrix Potter's The Pie and the Patty Pan
DUKE, Penrod Schofield's Terrier mix in Booth Tarkington's Penrod: His Complete Story
FANG, Hagrid's dog, a boarhound (possibly a Great Dane) in the Harry Potter books
FLUFFY, the three-headed dog (similar to Cerberus) in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
HANK, the Cowdog, the crime fighting hero of several novels by John Erickson
GASPODE, an unusually clever dog who talks, in various Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett
GREYFRIARS BOBBY, a true story which became the basis of much fiction
HOWARD, the dog in Bunnicula and sequels by James Howe
HUAN, The great wolfhound of Valinor, in J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Silmarillion
JACK, from Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
JENNY, the star of Maurice Sendak's Higglety-Pigglety Pop, or, There Must Be More To Life
JOCK, from Jock of the Bushveld, a South African classic first published in 1907
JOHN JOINER, the terrier in Beatrix Potter's The Roly-Poly Pudding
KEP, the Collie, from Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck and other books
LAD, a dog by Albert Payson Terhune
LADDIE, (a send up of Lassie (qv)) who stars in Discworld alongside Gaspode
LASSIE, a collie, from the novel Lassie Come Home upon which the movie was very loosely based
LEO, (aka Sirius), protagonist of Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
LITTLE ANN, from Where the Red Fern Grows
MONTMORENCY, the narrator's unruly Fox Terrier in Three Men in a Boat
NANA, the Newfoundland dog in Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
NERO, the St. Bernard in Laura Ingalls Wilder's The First Four Years
NOP, the Border Collie, from the novel Nop's Trials by Donald McCaig
NOSE E., pooch specialist in clandestine bomb- and narcotic-sniffing
OLD DAN, from Where the Red Fern Grows
PATRASCHE, the dog in A Dog of Flanders by Ouida
ORSON, the black Labrador retriever in Dean Koontz's novels Seize the Night and Fear Nothing
PICKLES, the terrier who kept shop with Ginger the cat in Beatrix Potter's Ginger and Pickles
PRINCE, Jasper King's dog in Margaret Sidney's Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
RIBSY, companion of Henry Huggins and character in numerous novels by Beverly Cleary
ROWF, a main character in Richard Adams' The Plague Dogs
SCUPPER, from Margaret Wise Brown's children's book, The Sailor Dog
SHARIK/SHARIKOV, the dog/man in Mikhail Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog
SIRIUS (1944), by Olaf Stapledon, a science fiction novel about a canine Einstein
SHEP, Almanzo's shepherd dog in Laura Ingalls Wilder's These Happy Golden Years
SNITTER, a main character in Richard Adams' The Plague Dogs
SPOT, the Dog, cartoon dog in the UK
TIGER, the dog of Arthur Gordon Pym in A Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe
TOP, the dog of Cyrus Smith in Jules Verne's Mysterious Island
TOTO, in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
TIMMY, in the Famous Five series of books by Enid Blyton
WELLINGTON, in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time book by Mark Haddon
WHITE FANG, the main character in Jack London's book of the same name
WHAT A MESS, the accident prone Afghan puppy in a series of children's books by Frank Muir
WINN DIXIE, from the book Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo and the 2005 film
YELLOW DOG DINGO, dog in Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
In the animated television series League of Super Evil, the League has a pet hellhound, usually referred to as a Doom Hound, named Doomageddon who is usually chaotically evil and disobedient, sometimes becoming a cause of, though at times a solution to, their problems.
Hellhounds appear in the television show Supernatural (e.g., in episode 5.10 "Abandon All Hope"). They are used and controlled by demons to drag souls to hell (usually after a deal for the victim's soul has accrued). Only the person being attacked can see or hear the hellhound. They are usually never shown, until the eighth season as dark shadows with red eyes.
In "Haunted Highway" two investigators search for cryptids/spirits that locals call "Hellhounds".
FICTIONAL DOG NAMES LIST
BRANDON, Golden Retriever on Punky Brewster
BUCK, from Married with Children
BUDDY, Veronica Chase's Bulldog on Veronica's Closet
CHARLIE DOG, a Looney Tunes character
BULLET, the Wonder Dog, Roy Rogers' German Shepherd on The Roy Rogers Show
CHESTER, spoiled Pomeranian belonging to Cece Babcock on The Nanny
CLAUDE, Mrs. Drysdale's Poodle on The Beverly Hillbillies
COMET, the family Golden retriever on Full House
CYNTHIA, Mr. Haney's Basset hound on Green Acres
DIEFENBAKER, the half-wolf dog from Due South
DOIDLE, spoiled dog of Vicky the Babysitter in The Fairly Oddparents
DREYFUS, the St. Bernard mix on Empty Nest
DUKE, Jed Clampett's Bloodhound on The Beverly Hillbillies
EARNEST, Dave Barry's dog on Dave's World
EDDIE, the Jack Russell Terrier from Frasier
FANG (or Dog), Columbo's Basset hound
FLASH, The Basset Hound from The Dukes of Hazzard
FRED, "Little Ricky's" puppy in I Love Lucy
FREEWAY, the Lowchen in Hart to Hart television series
HAPPY, from 7th Heaven
K-9, a canoid robot in Doctor Who
COMMANDER K-9, sidekick/subordinate of Marvin the Martian
LASSIE, see Dogs in film, above
LONDON, the Wonder Dog in The Littlest Hobo, Canadian television series
MAXIMILLIAN,(Max a Million), the Bionic Dog from The Six Million Dollar Man
MIGNON, Lisa Douglas's Yorkshire terrier on Green Acres
MURRAY, the Buchmans' Collie-Shepherd mix on Mad About You
NUNZIO, the Corgi on Dharma and Greg
PORTHOS, the Beagle owned by Captain Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise
QUEEGQUEG, Clyde Bruckman's Pomeranian left to Dana Scully on The X-Files
REX,from Kommissar Rex (aka Inspector Rex and Rex: A Cop's Best Friend)
STINKY, Dharma's Briard mix on Dharma and Greg
SUGAR, the dog of the kitty-killed archaeology grad student in The X-Files
TIGER, from The Brady Bunch
TRAMP, the Douglas family's sheepdog mix on My Three Sons
TRUFFLES, Mildred's terrier in the British sitcom George & Mildred
WISHBONE, the eponymous Jack Russell Terrier star of a children's educational series
YUKON KING, Sgt. Preston's Husky on Sgt. Preston of the Yukon
Hellhounds appeared in the twentieth episode of season three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - "The Prom". They have a more human-like appearance and feed on the brains of their victims.
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