Search for keyword

 

Miscellaneous

Black Dog Syndrome

Are black dogs (and cats) unlucky? Do they bring misfortune? Do they symbolize all things evil? Black Dog syndrome is a phenomenon that has somehow survived superstition attrition and has thus been carried into modern times. Believing that black dogs are unlucky is a terribly misleading stereotype that has caused them to be the least popular of the colours when it comes to choosing pets. Statistics from the USA and Europe show that dogs with black hair have a lower chance of getting adopted. And even amongst modern day Chinese and Indians, black dogs are rarely favoured. They are never the first choice and some households believe it is bad luck when a stray black dog comes into their home. Lillian Too puts the spotlight on this stubborn belief and attempts to explain how this misinformation came to be... as she herself owns two delightful Border Collies who are 80% black and 20% white.

I call them my Yin and Yang dogs and they are truly loveable, intelligent, gentle as anything. Look at just how adorable they are at six months, the progeny of two delightful Border Collies owned by my daughter Jennifer. Far from bringing me bad luck, my borders – named Buddy and Billy – have brought nothing but good fortune, not to mention a great surplus of bouncing loving energy. They are great runners; they are always happy and full of energy and they generate copious quantities of yang chi energy. Definitely I would recommend them to anyone looking for a pet dog who is both a great guard dog (they only bark, they never bite) that is also super safe with other dogs and with children. Borders are also said to be the most intelligent dog hence their popularity.

But Borders always come in 80/20% black/white and unfortunately I am told that some old-fashioned grandmothers object to their white feet, white paws and white tail tips. Truly I am just so impatient with this sort of misguided superstition.

Indeed, I gave one of our puppies to one of my very dear friends. She took the dear sweet puppy home, probably the pick of my litter… such a clever adorable little bitch, but alas, my friend’s dad manifested such sudden indignant and unexpected anger, pronouncing the dog super unlucky she was forced to bring the puppy back to me. It was such an eye-opener for my friend; it never once crossed her mind that the black/white dog was unlucky. But there is a happy ending to this story because we found the puppy another home where she is so well-loved that she has brought them a spate of neverending good fortune! They have not stopped thanking me since!

Many have asked me about the luck of dogs based on their colour and since I have been a dog lover since childhood and have over the years had pets of ALL colours, I honestly do not believe that there are any unlucky colours. I love Goldens of course – as many of you may have noticed from my pictures I have a stunning golden Cocker Spaniel (these dogs can be prone to rage syndrome as they are extremely possessive) and my absolute darling Jumbo who hasn’t a bone of bad luck in him. Jumbo is a light hay-coloured Golden Retriever who thinks he is human.


But what about all black dogs?

I remember many years ago when I had to the good karma to live next door to the then Crown Prince of Selangor, who is now His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor, my home state actually. I noticed that he had an all-black Labrador whom he seemed to love very much. That dog certainly brought good fortune to the Prince! And in England, the ever popular Kate Middleton’s parents have an entire family of black Cocker Spaniels – and their daughter went on to marry the most desirable bachelor prince in the world. She has now become a Duchess and one day she will even become Queen of the United Kingdom.

Surely this qualifies as truly great good fortune for the Middleton family! As if to prove the point about black dogs, Kate Middleton has even taken one of the offspring of her family’s black Cockers as her pet dog. She has named him Lupo and he goes everywhere with her, bringing her not just joy but also companionship when Prince William has to leave her side like now for instance when he is off to Cambridge University attending a Summer program!

I would say that all black dogs must be quite royal themselves! Or they bring the luck of royalty to their owners. I did some research into all black dogs and was pleasantly surprised that there are several dog breeds that come completely in black. These breeds are rare, making them all the more precious.

Once when I was travelling in India, a group of us left Delhi by car to motor to Dehradun – a drive that took nine hours when it should really only have taken 5 hours. That was because each time we slowed down to allow cows to cross the road, we would somehow inadvertently have a black cat or black dog cross our path. And then the driver would stop, refusing to drive on until another car had passed ahead of us. In India, they are convinced that each time a black animal (dogs or cats) crosses one’s path, it is necessary to stop and let someone else pass before continuing on with the journey.

In China, I am told that the Chinese would happily treat dog meat as a gourmet feast, but not if the dog had black fur! And should an all-black dog enter into your compound, it was supposedly better to give him a meal and then send him on his way. If however it is a bitch, it is said to be extremely lucky if she gives birth to puppies in your garden, as this is a sure sign of big wealth coming! As you can see, these superstitions are not based on logic. I believe all dogs bring good fortune irrespective of their colour, but if you want a black dog, we bring you some rare and choice selections.

Shown in the gallery here are, left to right, top to bottom the Swedish Lapphund who is known as the black beauty of Norlunnd; the Tsang Apso or Tibetan terrier, the Scottish terrier also known as the Aberdeen terrier and the Schnauzner. There is also the French Barbet who looks like the poodle, the Portuguese water dog and the Affenpinsche from Germany, the Puli from Hungary who looks very shaggy, the Shipperke from Belgium, the Belgium Sheep Dog and the Mudi from Hungary.


 



The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (February 2014)". To subscribe, please click here.