“I don’t like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don’t like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second’s action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.” – Winston Churchill (1874-1965)*
Did you know black dogs and cats aren’t as likely to be adopted as are critters of other colors?
Well – and then there’s the month of October, when animal shelters don’t allow black cats – or dogs either I’ve heard – to be adopted at all. Fearing for their safety in this fairly crazy, superstitious, weird world of ours.)
Personally I find black dogs and cats beautiful. At one time three of our four dogs were black. And I’d adopt a black cat in a minute, (and would name him or her Pyewacket), if I weren’t crazy allergic to cats. (Yes I receive allergy shots. No they don’t help enough for me to live in the same house as a lovely feline.)
So, while I take some exception with the term “black dog” being used to describe depression, realize it has roots going back a long way and accept it as such. Much European mythology is thick with”black dogs” or “specter dogs”. Though black is lovely, mysterious and deep – it can also hide, obscure, and cloud our vision and perception. And dogs, loyal companions that they are; sweet, filled with unconditional love, joyful, living in the moment creatures, can also growl and skulk, bite, tear, and destroy.
Which, as it happens, is exactly what depression does.
And what this youtube video, borrowing the long used “black dog” metaphor, illustrates so effectively.
*I’ve heard more than one person claim Churchill himself coined the expression “black dog”, which isn’t, (from what I’ve read), true. The expression is older than that, perhaps Churchill’s nanny labeled his bad moods – as many did – “a black dog upon your back”, and the phrase remained with him.
At any rate, here’s one interesting article about depression, and Winston Churchill as well. He was a fascinating, original person, and one of my favorite historical kinda guys.
And someone who accomplished an awful lot during his lifetime, despite forever lugging around that black dog.
Don’t let your black dog get you down.
Take it for a walk, teach it to heel, and keep going.
I know that’s what I’m planning to do.
Celebrate #2017YearofHygge !