Yesterday’s blog got many reactions, as you can imagine, mostly from people just expressing their approval on Facebook, with a “like”. My favourite comment came from our stalwart supporter, Michele, adopter of scruffy mutt, Pitchou. She wrote to say that yesterday’s adoptions were the work of Chaussette, who was looking down on us in our sadness and wanted to show us that we should never ever give up the fight.
Other people asked about the whole black dog syndrome. We have many black dogs in the refuge, overlooked because of their colour. And tonight’s blog is dedicated to them.
It may seem strange to many people who have black dogs (like both Moira and I), but there really is a prejudice against dogs of this colour. It used to be considered that they brought bad luck, “son and daughter of the devil” etc. But even though most people know rationally that this is nonsense, black dogs remain hard to home. Is it because there is nothing to distinguish them from the pack? In fact I find nothing more wonderful to look at than the coat of a glossy black labrador. The refuge is perhaps not the best place for this, as dogs can look scruffy, lacking the regular brushing and exercise of family pets, but give them a week or so in a home environment, and they will look just amazing.
Here is a lovely poem written by a lady called Ginny Hewitt, who obviously is a big fan of the black dog. This poem can be found on the website of a British association called Many Tears, and Moira will tell you more about them tomorrow, when we will have some very exciting news to share.
Black Dogs, Gold Hearts
To some the black dog means bad luck, to some it means depression,
To some black equals boring , lacking style or expression.
But colour has no meaning , it’s just fashion or a fad,
It can’t show love or loyalty, it can’t be good or bad.
My last three dogs have worn black coats, abandoned and alone,
But I didn’t see their colour when I offered them a home.
I saw their personalities, the sadness in their eyes,
Saw their hope, their loving hearts, and could not pass them by.
I’ll never understand those folk who look above the skin,
When anyone who’s owned a dog knows beauty lies within.
So don’t be swayed by colour, see instead their hearts of gold,
And spare a thought for all black dogs left waiting in the cold.
Atlas. At the refuge since November 2013, but this is his second stay. He was found wandering and his owners never came to collect him. They told their son that he had run away. Atlas is 3 years old
Balthazar. At the SPA since April 2013. He, too was identified when he arrived, but his owners never came for him. Bathazar is 7 years old.
Chips. At the SPA since August 2012 having been found straying. Chips is 5 years old. He was just over three when he arrived.
Occitane. This lovely fine-boned black lab cross has been at the SPA since August 2013; she is just 3 years old.
They are not the only black dogs we have. Remember, Black is Beautiful!