Black Dogs

CIMG7124My buddy Walker is a black dog. A big black dog. When we go places, I always hear people commenting on how big he is. I don’t think he’s all that big – I’ve known much bigger dogs than Walker. But he’s a good size. I have heard that people tend to be afraid of big black dogs. Shelters claim that big black dogs are the hardest to find homes for. I’ve never seen anyone be afraid of Walker. That may be because his tail is ALWAYS wagging and he usually has some kind of pacifier in his mouth.

Not very fearsome, I don’t think. Walker, himself, used to be a fearful boy. He was afraid of lots of things when he was a pup. Thought for sure that the vacuum cleaner would gobble him up. As would the little kids at school.

walker and vacuum

He ate his dinner next to the vacuum for a long time and now he actually likes to be vacuumed! And I had to go to school with him a lot to show him that kids were actually a good thing.  We discovered that those pacifiers made a big difference for him. Now he’s the official greeter in the school halls.

I, myself, went through a time in my younger days when I would encounter things that gave me a fright. But I learned that most of those fearful moments got a lot smaller when I faced them head on and looked at them from a different angle.

Fear can make us do some crazy things. And lots of times because of fear we miss out on some good things.

We discovered a great book about fear. Black Dog by Levi Pinfold.


Black Dog was published in 2011 by Templar Books.

The book flap says, “This is a story about being afraid. It’s also a story about not being afraid. It all depends on how you see things.”

It is the story of the Hope family who live in a house all alone in the woods. One morning Mr Hope looked out the window and saw a black dog the size of a tiger. It really scared him and he called the police. Then Mrs Hope saw the dog and it appeared to be as big as an elephant. So they turned out the lights. As each member of the family wakes up and sees the dog out the window, the dog gets bigger and bigger and the family gets scareder and scareder. Until the youngest Hope, called Small, got up. Small got dressed and went out to face the dog.


Small was indeed very small. And the dog was indeed very large. But Small was not afraid. Small took off running and the dog chased after her. As she ran, Small sang. And as the dog chased, it got smaller.


And in the end, the family sees that the dog was not so big and scary after all.

This is a wonderful book. The artwork is scrumptious and fun. The family is quite funny. And Small is quite clever.

A book about being afraid. And about not being afraid.

I give this book all 4 Paws up!!!

Black Dog was the winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Award for 2013 and you can learn more about that here.

Mr Pinfold has a blog here.
And a Facebook page here.
You can view his website by clicking on his name above.

To find out about Black Dog Syndrome check here.
And here.

And here is an interview with Levi Pinfold —

I hope that all the Black Dogs that you encounter have wagging tails —

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24 thoughts on “Black Dogs

  1. Wonderful post, dear Rhythm! Thanks for introducing your adorable friend Walker ♥ 🙂 and the black dog, all very much to my liking. 🙂
    You put a big smile on my face now. 🙂

      • YOU put it there, my love. Thanks to you I have a very big smile on my face right now. 🙂 🙂 It’s so good to see the 2 of you in the first photo, you look very happy. And very smart. 🙂 ♥ I love handsome fourlegs.
        Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Rhythm.

    • Are you talking about Walker? Or the dog in the book? I’m glad to have Walker as a buddy. He makes a good pillow. This book is quite unique — I think you would like it. The illustrations are incredible!

    • Ruby looks to be pretty even going. As are most all Labs. That’s part of being a Lab! I don’t understand the “scary black dog” thing. I don’t think we dogs worry about color. I have quite a few black friends. Humans are funny.

    • Walker appreciates your sentiments Ms Johnson! And if you saw him in person with a stuffie hanging out of his mouth and that tail going like crazy – he just makes you laugh! We love this book too. It’s made me a big fan of Mr Pinfold. He’s got quite a unique style.

  2. Great post – I love the photos of Walker… and the book looks like a good one to read with kids who might be afraid of dogs. Or tigers, wolves, coyotes, or any new animal they come across. I would give your blog four paws up, but I only have hands.

    • Thanks Ms Heavenrich! It’s an interesting little book. That dog is sure scary when it’s as big as a house and staring down at Small. But you sure want to cheer little Small for her cleverness. She’s a wise little girl.

  3. Mom read that book Black Dog. She liked it a lot. We have a lot of experience with fear around here. I get scared a lot. Mom tries to show me that not everything outside is trying to kill me. Sometimes, she’s right. Other times, I’m not so sure. Soccer players! *shiver*

    Love and licks,

    • Sometimes facing fears is hard. When you come across something on a walk that wasn’t there before, it’s kind of hard to check it out. Sometimes it’s something you need to stay away from. Sometimes it might be something good. It helps to have a smart Mom close by.

  4. Hi Rhythm,
    Our Sally is a big [94 pounds] black dog, too. But she is very friendly. What she is afraid of is what we have just now: thunder.
    Best regards, and have a great upcoming week,
    Pit, and the four-legged crew

  5. Oh, how fantastic – My friend has a black lab that is just the biggest, cuddliest dog you’ve ever seen. 🙂

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