Jazzy – Collie/Shepherd Blend – Spayed Female - 2 years old (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Gordy – Lab/Chesapeake Bay Retriever Blend – Neutered Male – 4 years old (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Heaven – Terrier Blend – Female - 2 months old (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Jacques – Poodle Blend – Neutered Male – 10 months old (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Nelly – Pug Blend – Spayed Female - 8 years old (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Paisley – Corgi/Terrier Blend – Spayed Female – 12 years old (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Razor – Rottie/Lab Blend – 1 year old (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Rover – Lab Blend – Neutered Male – 5 years old (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
More information about any of these dogs can be found at www.fundsfurfriends.com (Submitted)@03 Body Copy:Each and every year in October, I’ve taken time out to shine a little light on some of the most overlooked dogs in animal rescue — black dogs.
In today’s society, it is trendy to be unique. Black dogs suffer from the phenomenon of being common. They are often considered plain and ordinary, and this doesn’t make them a popular pick in a society that is striving for originality.
Dogs with unusual markings and colour patterns tend to catch eyes a lot more quickly than unadorned black dogs.
The biggest reason that black dogs are overlooked is because they don’t stand out. These are the dogs that melt into the shadows in shelters, and appear as a black shape in photos. Black dogs tend to blend in, and their lack of colour makes them hard to draw attention to.
Dark eyes don’t contrast well against black, and facial expressions tend to get lost without colour. The lack of ability to show expression through the eyes and facial features does more than just make a dog blend into the background — it washes out his personality.
While dark eyes contrast beautifully with a sunny blonde dog, the expression is lost when it’s black-on-black. The dark colouring can make it difficult to read expressions, and this can lead to wrong impressions. The expressionless appearance can be interpreted negatively — and even viewed as mean.
While some argue that it’s the hidden expression that creates the "mean" black dog image, others believe that myths and superstitions have painted this picture.
The black dog, believed to be a ghost or apparition in folklore, goes by different names around the world, including the Black Shuck of Suffolk, the Barghest of Yorkshire, the Gurt Dog in Somerset, the Beast of Flanders, the Dog of Darkness in Wales and the Black Dog of Hanging Hills.
Literature has also used black dogs to depict evil — from The Hound of the Baskervilles phantom black dog to the black dog omen called the "Grimm" that appears modern day Harry Potter series.
Beyond appearing as negative characters in literature, the term "black dog" has also become an expression. Winston Churchill popularized the term in his writing, referring to his gloomy periods by referencing the black dog of depression that followed.
This term is also found in dictionaries from the 1800s, where a sulking child was referred to as a "black dog" or as "having a black dog on his back."
Aside from references to black dogs, the colour itself has many negative connotations. We use black to describe bad things — we blacklist undesirable people, bad things get a black mark, and a person who is mean-spirited is black hearted.
The black market deals with illegal trades and goods, and when someone is threatened with something that could harm them, it’s referred to as blackmail.
This is not to mention the tragic events of Black Friday, the evil that comes from Black Magic, or the pandemic in Europe that killed hundreds known as the Black Plague.
While it is unlikely anyone considers ghostly black dogs and negative literary references when they are looking for a new pet, these are subliminal ideas and references that may play a role in the negative image that black dogs face.
There is no question that it’s hard to photograph black dogs, and that these dogs are simply not as eye-catching as those with the beautiful coloured patchwork, fiery red features, or bright blonde highlights. The colour is produced through the absorption of light, and is often referred to as the absence of colour.
It’s time to shine a little light on the problem and move some of these beautiful black dogs out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Many potential pet owners are absorbed by colour, and overlook the amazing personality of the animals they go to meet.
Every dog is not right for every person. But if you are looking for a canine companion, take a few minutes to look past colour, and meet the personality behind it.
Some of the most amazing dogs out there might not be flashy on the outside, but they are truly remarkable in the ways that really count.
Dana Grove is an animal lover who works with several pet organizations in Brandon.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 4, 2012