Rose Simpson’s column appears every Tuesday morning on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs almost daily over at Rose’s Cantina.
I was shocked to hear that there is something called The Black Dog Syndrome at rescue shelters. According to the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS), people are biased against black dogs.
So this October, the OHS is offering all kinds of special deals to people in hopes of adopting out all the black dogs in the shelter.
I can’t understand this. At least half the dogs at the Conroy Pit dog park are black. There are black pugs, Labs, Newfies and poodles chasing each other’s tails, sniffing butts and lifting their legs all around the place. Most of them look alike — like my own dog Finnigan — which makes me wonder if there is a local lothario about knocking up all the Berneses and Danes. There are so many of them that we have taken to calling them The Black Gentleman Society.
Often, I have to check to make sure I’m taking the right dog home.
A black dog is a thing of beauty, danger and mischief. We buy ShopVacs to pick up their hair. We put shower curtains on the good furniture.
Black dogs are special.
But there obviously are snobs out in our community. They rail against the black dog for the following reasons:
- They have fur that makes the beige carpet look so dirty, it looks like the casting room of The Walking Dead.
- When you try to photograph them, all you get are the eyes.
- Their blackness makes it easy to camouflage dirt and poo, particularly in the rainy season.
- They are hard to see in the dark, resulting in an epidemic of human brain injury and toe amputations.
As a veteran owner of big Black Labs, I can attest that these are, in fact, not myths, but truths. Add in the general stupidity, craziness and unruliness of the Labrador Retriever and you, the dog owner, will indeed have one fine mess on your hands. It is a well known fact that Labs don’t mature until the owner is, in fact, dead.
That said, there are several upsides to owning big black dogs:
- You can promise the granddaughter a pony and deliver!
- You can scare the crap out of any intruder, door-to-door salesperson and bill collector.
- If you are a multiple dog owner, you can keep your yard clean as a whistle by allowing your Lab to hoover down the poop of others and cat litter is no longer an issue!
- Labs are helpful and ready to please. They do yard work and trim the trees in the fall.
- They are great at a party!
- And you can always count on a Black Lab in a pinch to be your GPS! They can find the dog park with their mouth wide open.
See also: Ottawa Pets Guide
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