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The Black Dog Fever

Updated on October 3, 2015
These are some of my brats and despite sharing a color, they are as different as fire and water; both in appearance and character. And if you can't tell by looking at the picture, having a black dog is a great thing. They love mud and water!
These are some of my brats and despite sharing a color, they are as different as fire and water; both in appearance and character. And if you can't tell by looking at the picture, having a black dog is a great thing. They love mud and water! | Source

Some are infected with rather the opposite, the Black Dog Syndrome. They see one (or a brindle dog, black or tabby cat) and shy away from it like it is the plague! In my opinion, these poor people face a set-back to medieval times, when people feared witches and other horrible creatures; when education wasn’t quite what we consider standard today. I myself always loved black and learned to appreciate it.
One of the first black dogs I rescued was Sadie. She was this tall and lanky puppy, only seven month old, in a cold and death promising cell of concrete and fence. I looked at her and our connection was sudden. She came home with me that day; followed by a partially brindle tall and lanky Zena. I never did figure out really what they are. Sadie is… maybe Shepherd and Lab; or Shepherd and Dane… Tall, lean, elegant in her movements, beautiful to watch in motion! Zena reminds me of a Quarter horse. As tall as her sis’ Sadie and somewhere between a Shepherd, maybe an Irish Wolfhound, maybe a Dane; a tall, solid, big rear-end running and playing machine. I love their elegance and gentle souls, despite the colors that almost caused their death! You see, I am not scared! At least not of undesired colors or lack of papers!
During my years in rescue it became apparent that the curse of medieval superstition is widely spread. For the longest time I had favored rescuing Seniors; another overlooked and ignored group of animals usually being faced with an automatic death sentence in any Animal Control Shelter. But my love of black took me on a long trip across NC. 5 Black Lab puppies had been caught as strays. I watched and posted them via email and Facebook. 2 were adopted; then another. Only days from death I pulled the remaining two. I will never split a family/friends and leave one/some behind to die! That’s just not what I can live with, having a large family myself! So Sevin and Spicey, duly named by one of the biggest Angels that could have ever hovered over a AC shelter, came home with me. These two babies taught me the beauty of having a Black Lab! Eventually Angel followed; another Black Lab baby overlooked due to her color. And then there were Shay, Autumn (actually rather Pit-bull than Labrador; another misunderstood breed), Ivey, Haley, Luca… One more lovable than the other! So different that it makes you wonder why hate Black!? Isn’t it just a color like brown or white or yellow?
You see, having /having had other dogs before and looking at them… I realized that black was just that, a color! Their personalities are as diverse as the personalities of all the other dogs in my life! I couldn’t see one character trade that was only to be found in my black dogs. Sadie is a gentle giant that will jump a 5-foot fence to take a swim in the frozen pond; Sevin and Spicey, the playful but somewhat gentle giant puppy teenagers; Shay the 90 mph elephant, constantly mowing you over in her attempt to love you; Angel, the soon to be giant and so gentle girl; crazy Autumn, the typical Pit-Bull brat with the intelligence and energy only a Pit-bull can have; curly haired Ivey and her constant quest for your love; Haley, always wanting to become your second skin and feel your love; Luca and his barking requests for your attention.. They stand for two different misconceptions: They are black and they are mixed breeds; commonly belittled as ‘Mutts’! But rather than being the evil creatures medieval humans feared; and today’s civilized humans even now look down upon because of their questionable bloodlines; they are to me: Family! They are as diverse as any other, despite that they are black and were all considered ‘Lab’ mixes. They are as loving, gentle, chaotic, playful, protective, territorial, welcoming, grumpy, loud or quiet as any other dog I encountered; no matter the color! And none of them gives me any reason to believe that I should not have taken in the ‘horrible black creature’!
So when I post animals via email or Facebook now, I try to tell people to look beyond the first impression. When you are looking at a companion that should match your lifestyle, you shouldn’t look at how they look, but what they are! It is more important to match this creature to what you are and how/where you live. A working dog breed doesn’t belong in a tiny apartment; and a cute little ‘toy’ breed will probably hate living on a farm in all weather. An active dog will drive a lazy person crazy; and a laid-back couch potato may bore the marathon runner to death. But color and physical appearance can have its advantage! A brindle dog or tabby cat is unique in its appearance! Their stripes/pattern are/is as different as those of a zebra; and you could probably use it as ID. A black dog is a gift of God if you live on a farm like I do. Unless you like washing your dog every day!

Let’s put our medieval fears to the side and see them as what they are: history! And let’s judge every creature we encounter like we should or should not judge each other: for our character and not appearance! History has shown us what racism does to people. It’s time to outgrow this flaw!


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