There is nothing like coming home after a trying day and seeing the smile of your best friend.
It’s called Black Dog Syndrome or Big Black Dog Syndrome (BDS or BBDS). It’s a problem that every animal shelter and dog rescue in the world understands all to well.
This phenomenon could be due to a number of things. Geographic location, fear of certain breed types or the fact that large black dogs are thought to be dangerous because they are portrayed that way in films and on television.
Did you know that black dogs, especially large breed dogs, such as Labs, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chows, Newfoundlands, and even mixed breeds are usually the last ones to be adopted from shelters or rescue groups? Black dogs are often euthanized at a higher rate than other coat colors.
Here are some other reasons given for why black-coated dogs don’t get adopted as easily.
- They don’t show or photograph well in a kennel setting.
- It isn’t easy to distinguish their features.
- If they have any gray or white hairs on their face, they often appear older than they are.
- They often don’t look as cute as lighter coated dogs.
As to location, In European and British folklore black dogs often appear as evil forces and death. Writers like Sir Walter Scott and Arthur Conan Doyle perpetuated this superstition by using spectral hounds, usually black and fearsome, in their stories and poems.
Some people believe the superstition that suggests that “black is evil” like the symbolism of Scar vs. Mufasa in “The Lion King.” In a 2011 study by the ASPCA, appearance was the most frequently cited reason for adopters of both puppies (29 percent) and adult dogs (26 percent).
This issue has been gaining media attention since the mid-2000s. Tamara Delaney, an early activist against black dog syndrome, developed a website called Black Pearl Dogs in 2004 specifically to address the issue, both by educating the public about its existing, as well as showcasing individual dogs available for adoption.
As one who as adopted a black dog, I’d suggest that they are just a sweet, and just a loving as any other color of dog. She was a great companion and a great teacher. She was loved by everyone she met (animal and human) and when the chance arises again I’ll be the first one to adopt another Big Black Dog …
If I Were a Dog
by Michael Albee
If I Were a Dog, I would want to be loved by a kind and caring master.
… I would want to be loved just as unconditionally as I love.
… I would want to hang around with my master all of the time – my master is the center of my world.
… I would want to have a warm and comfortable place to live with lots of food and water.
… I would want to be outside all of the time when the weather is nice.
… I would hang out in the yard or on the deck and soak up the sun.
… I would relax and breathe the sweet, clean air and listen to the sounds of nature around me.
… I would run and play all day long because that’s what makes me happy.
… I would want to be friends with everyone I meet.
… I would play and share my great life with anyone who is my friend.
… If I was alone, I would call to my master and ask him to share the joy I’m feeling.
… I would share my happiness with the ones that love me.
… I would go for walks every chance I get because I love to discover things.
… I would strut proudly as I travel, because I’m walking with my master.
… I would be sniffing side to side to make sure that I didn’t miss anything.
… I would give chase to anything that moves, not to hunt it, just to play!
But if I were a dog and I had a master who beat me or treated me badly, I would run away and look all around until I found a master who loved me for who I am. When I found him I would lick his face and cuddle with him so that he knew I loved him.
But since I’m not a dog, I promise to always keep these things in mind as I interact with all dogs. I also promise to look out for, and help dogs that need my help to live the life I would want … “If I Were a Dog!”
Feel Free to re-post this as long as it is done in it’s entirety
Copyright 2014 – All Rights Reserved
I will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of the other dogs ‘out there’.
I can sleep soundly, assured that when I wake my world will not have changed.
I will never know hunger, or the fear of not knowing if I’ll eat.
I will not shiver in the cold, or grow weary from the heat.
I will feel the sun’s heat, and the rain’s coolness,
and be allowed to smell all that can reach my nose.
My fur will shine, and never be dirty or matted.
Here in this house…
There will be an effort to communicate with me on my level.
I will be talked to and, even if I don’t understand,
I can enjoy the warmth of the words.
I will be given a name so that I may know who I am among many.
My name will be used in joy, and I will love the sound of it!
Here in this house…
I will never be a substitute for anything I am not.
I will never be used to improve peoples’ images of themselves.
I will be loved because I am who I am, not someone’s idea of who I should be.
I will never suffer for someone’s anger, impatience, or stupidity.
I will be taught all the things I need to know to be loved by all.
If I do not learn my lessons well, they will look to my teacher for blame.
Here in this house…
I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch…
knowing that, no matter what they do, they do it for the good of me;
If I am ill, I will be doctored.
If scared, I will be calmed.
If sad, I will be cheered.
No matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and thought to be of value.
I will never be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too unruly, or not cute enough.
My life is a responsibility, and not an afterthought.
I will learn that humans can almost, sometimes, be as kind and as fair as dogs.
Here in this house…
I will belong.
I will be home.
— Author unknown
I’ll never bring about world peace. I won’t single handedly save the rain forest. I’m not a brain surgeon and I’ll never transplant an organ to save a life. I’ll never have an ear of a powerful politician or world power. I don’t have any idea how to end world hunger. I’m not a celebrity, and God knows I’ll never be glamorous! Millions of people around the world do not admire me, and in fact, very few people even recognize my name. I’ll never win the Nobel Prize. I’ll never find a way to end global warming.
There are a lot of things that I’ll never do or become while I’m here on earth, But today, I made a difference …. because I adopted and saved a dog’s life!
She was an unsure, scared, and nervous bundle of fur and bones. She was picked up by an animal shelter after she was found roaming around the countryside. She was left out there to fend for herself by unfeeling people who obviously didn’t care what happened to her. Lets not kid ourselves, she was left out there to die!
But now she has a home!
She now knows security, contentment and she gets an abundance of love. She has a warm place to sleep, plenty to eat and also has guidance, structure and leadership. Within a short distance from home, she has warm fuzzy friends to play with. They give her the things that only other dogs can give. They teach her about playing, having fun and being a dog.
In return she gives me unquestioning devotion, friendship and she is a great companion. We enjoy walks, going to the park, playing ball or just hangin’ out.
At the end of a hard day, she helps me relax. She helps me stay grounded and when life gets all mixed up, she helps me put it back in order. A great dog can do that for you!!! She also gives me a sense of security. When I’m away, I know that there is a protector and guardian keeping watch over all she surveys.
No, I’m not a rocket scientist. But today, I made a difference! For both of us!
Copyright 2007 – Michael Albee – All Rights Reserved
I’m not a bad dog. It’s just that most people don’t know how to help me! I don’t want to be like this, I just need someone who understands me and knows how to talk to me.
If no one comes soon, they say I will be put down. I don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t sound good.
When I fall asleep, I dream. In my dream I’m walking! I have a collar on and it is attached to a leash. It’s a warm, sunny day and there is a nice human walking beside me. He calls me “good dog” and I can feel his warmth and kindness. I wag my tail to let him know “I like you too”.
Then my dream takes me to a big backyard. I’m lying in the soft green grass. I’m chewing on a big bone while my humans sit around me talking and having fun. Some of the little humans are running around the yard. They toss a ball for me and we play with all my toys. We play for what seams to be forever. Some of them take the time to teach me some tricks. And they give me treats and call me “Good Dog” when I do them right. I really like the name good dog!
In my dreams, I’m also running in a big open field with lots of other dogs. We are running and chasing each other. We bark for joy as we tumble around together in the soft grass. It’s great to have friends to play with.
Every day it’s the same thing, I get to run, I get to play, I get to go for long walks. I have a safe place to live, and I have someone that really cares about me. And best of all, I’m not afraid anymore! Awh, This is the Life!
Then … BANG … I hear a big steel door slam. It scares me and I wake up! I jump to my feet. Someone’s coming … I bark because I’m scared, and no one wants me because they are afraid of me.
Maybe, just maybe, next time I wake up, my dreams will be real.