There Can Be Good ‘Black Dog’ Days Too


This one was on Newborough Beach, Anglesey, one late December morning. You can just see the mountains of Snowdonia on mainland Wales in the distance.

But not to make light of those who suffer bad black dog days, and there are very many of us who do, intermittently or full-time, here is a hopeful little video from the World Health Organisation:

Lens-Artists: Splash Please visit the Lens-Artists to see their spirit-raising photos.

54 thoughts on “There Can Be Good ‘Black Dog’ Days Too

    1. Fair enough, Shimon. I wasn’t discussing them either. The point was to maybe open the door a chink (i.e. the short video) to anyone who might feel they were the only person to feel that way.

  1. It would be helpful if the makers of videos like these considered the negative impact this film has on the many black dogs in shelters, who have ended up there through no fault of their own. Black Dog Syndrome relates to the issue of black dogs being frequently passed over for adoption in favour of lighter coloured dogs. They linger longer in shelters, sometimes for years. The Dogs Trust, Retired Greyhound Trust and others have introduced ‘Black Dog Days’ to encourage more people to adopt black dogs. Sharing videos like these does not help their plight.

  2. Oh, I know very well what a black dog is for I am a living proof, Tish. I’ve seen this vid many times. I use WP as a platform to write about mental “wealth”. At any rate I love the mood of your shot.

  3. As Robert Plant sang on Led Zep IV.

    ”Hey, hey mama, said the way you move,…”

    etcetera …

    The title ( of the song) does not appear in the lyrics, and has nothing to do with the song itself. The band worked up the song at Headley Grange, which was a mansion in Hampshire, England. Headley Grange was out in the country, surrounded by woods. A nameless black Labrador Retriever would wander the grounds, and the band would feed it. When they needed a name for this track – which didn’t have an obvious title – they thought of the canine and went with “Black Dog.”

    1. It is a bad time for very many people, isn’t it. I think in the past there were very good reasons for all those winter festivals with singing, story telling and dancing and thanksgiving, and big bonfires – that in some cases lasted all through the darkest times.

  4. If people think a black dog is literally going to bring them bad luck or going to be a bad dog if they get one from the shelter then that says a lot about their intelligence lol.

    About the symbology of the black dog and depression…it is just that…a symbol…it could be jesus riding on the back of a unicorn the point is that when you give something scary and ineffable like depression a physical shape and name it becomes less scary and more manageable to people. This video helped me…as a long term person dealing with depression. Thanks for posting Tish

    1. Thank you for those personal thoughts and experiences, Athena. It’s a big step, isn’t it, embracing the knowledge that depression isn’t all of who you are. Objectifying it seems to me to be a way of realising it can be managed, whatever measures you may chose in the attempt.

      1. We can do too much bottling up in silence, can’t we. There’s often the fear that one is making something of nothing; being ungrateful; being a pain in the neck to others; feeling ashamed; isolated or too remote to bother making connections. There’s a West African tradition that Clarissa Pinkola Estes talks about on one of her storytelling CDs – how if you browbeat and/or physically beat a child, its spirit runs away into the bush, and it can take a lot of time and effort to coax it back home. This seems to me to be a very useful image for the disaffected self. There is also a very excellent children’s book about fear of a big black dog that the smallest member of a ‘terrorized’ family chooses to overcome. And it’s called, unsurprisingly ‘Black Dog’ by Levi Pinfold, Templar Press. It has brilliant illustrations – a few of which on show here, and one of those picture books that definitely works on a child and adult level:

      2. Thanks so much Tish your words are so lovely and really resonate with me. I will try and find this Black Dog book. I have read ‘women who run with the wolves’ by Pinkola Estes one of the best books ever but not these storytelling CDs I am going to see if they are on Audible and get them. Xx

      3. Glad this hit the spot. Can definitely recommend The Creative Fire, The Faithful Gardener, Warming the Stone Child, The Gift of Story, The Red Shoes ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I have two black dogs, but they are funny and they cheer me up. But I have been in that dark place and I had to dig myself out of it. I’ve been very careful to not go there again. It was ugly.

  6. The Black Dog video and Black Dog book are great. And your photo perfectly suits the theme at the end of the video where the narrator speaks of embracing the black dog and bringing it to heel aka putting it in perspective. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. A very good post and reminder. And yes, many of us need to manage through the darkest days of the year as well. If it gets dark too long, then I guess it is the dog getting bigger. I will send this to someone I know will need it. Thank you for posting!

  8. Looks like u stirred up a hornets nest Tish. I think depression is coming out of the closet and SAD is a very real thing. Glad itโ€™s getting recognition and better treatment options

    1. Hi Tina. Yes we need to open the windows and doors on the topic. Quite apart from anything else, it seems that people who admit to suffering from depression to employers, can find themselves severely disadvantaged in the work place to the extent of being laid off altogether. Very sad.

  9. Lovely, thought-provoking post, Tish. This topic was also discussed in an article about Bruce Springsteen that I read earlier today. Many more people suffer from depression than we realize. I appreciate the courage it takes to write about it.

    1. Many thanks for those added insights, Patti. I don’t think we appreciate the scale of the problem – from the small-scale ‘just getting by’ to the life threatening. Must chase up Bruce.

  10. Trish your photo shows perfectly natures beauty rain or shine.
    The video did not impress me.
    Because on dark days I accept all things are subject to change.
    Behind the clouds the sun still shines.

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