General - A canine, usually domesticated as a pet or trained for various tasks. This animal appears in many myths, some of which are mentioned below: (1) An Australian Aboriginal story tells how the dog Marindi fought a primaeval lizard and was killed. The dog's blood is said to make the rocks red. (2) In Central America it is said that the dog Maya Pek controls the lightning. (3) Chinese lore says that the huge celestial dog, T'ien Kou, in the form of a shooting star, is forever trying to swallow the sun. (4) In Egypt the dog was sacred to Anubis. The funerary dog Khenti-Amentiu was king of the underworld. (5) The Inuit people have a mythical eight-legged dog called Quiquern. (6) In European lore the French have a story of Aubry's dog, an animal called Dragon, who harried and finally killed the man who had murdered his master. Dogs appearing in Reynard the Fox are called Courtoys, Roonel and Wackerloo. Gabriel's Hounds appear under several different names throughout Europe and are described as a pack of hounds racing through the sky led by any one of many famous figures such as King Arthur, Charlemagne and so on. It is often referred to as the Wild Hunt. On the Isle of Man, Peel Castle is said to be haunted by the Mauthe Dog. The Seven Sleepers, who slept in a cave for 200 years, were guarded by the dog Kratim (or Katmir). (7) In Greek myths, the dog was sacred to Ares and Hermes. Another, Laelaps, was owned by Europa but later passed to Cephalus on his marriage to Procris. It was said to catch anything it chased but met its match in the Cadmaeian Vixen, which could outrun any other animal. Zeus solved the dilemma by turning both animals to stone. The hunter Actaeon had a large pack of dogs that tore him to pieces when he watched Artemis bathing. Geryon, the twin-bodied giant killed by Heracles, had two dogs, Gargittos and Orthrus, which guarded his huge herds. In Hades there was a dog called Laon. The three-headed dog, Cerberus, guarded the entrance. Icarius owned a dog called Maera, which was originally the woman Hecuba who had turned herself into a bitch. When Icarius was killed by shepherds, Maera led Erigone to his grave. Odysseus owned a dog called Argos that waited twenty years for his master to return, and having recognised him, died. The giant hunter, Orion, had several dogs including Sirius, Archophonus and Ptoophagos. (8) In Hindu lore the rain god Indra had a dog called Sharama, which he had created to find the cloud-cattle that had been stolen. When the bitch was bribed with milk by the thieves she reported failure and Indra was forced to undertake the search himself. In the underworld, two foureyed dogs, Sabala and Syama, guarded Kalichi, Yama's palace, and rounded up the souls of the dead for judgement. (9) In Irish stories the warrior Celtchair owned a dog called Daolchu; Cuchulainn had Luath; Dermot O'Dyna, lover of Grania, owned a dog called Mac an Choill; Isolde was given the fairy dog Petitcrieu by her lover, Tristram; Finn mac Cool had Adhnuall, Bran and Sceolan; Lugh, the sun god, had a dog called Fail Innis, which could turn water into wine, catch any animal it chased and win every fight it engaged in; Mac da Tho had a very famous dog called Ossar, and two kings fought a war to decide who should have it; Mail Fothartaig had Daitlenn and Doilin; Tristram had dogs called Houdain and Leon, in addition to the dog Petitcrieu that he gave to Grania. Celtchair killed a fierce dog called Brown Mouse that was ravaging the countryside, by putting his hand down the beast's throat and tearing its heart out. (10) In Japan they tell of Shippeitaro, a dog that waited in a cage for the cat-monster, which demanded the annual tribute of a maiden which it ate, and held the monster while a knight killed it with his sword. (11) In Norse mythology Frithiof had a dog called Bran; the goddess Hel had two dogs, Garm and Gurme, to guard her underworld kingdom. (12) Coyote, who appears in so many North American Indian stories, had a dog called Rattlesnake. (13) In the Pacific Islands they regard the dog Kimat as the controller of lightning. They say that the monster Ku takes the form of a huge dog but can assume the shape of a man at will. It changed into a handsome prince when it fell in love with a maiden, but when his suit was rejected by her father, he reverted to his canine form and killed and ate many of her father's kin. (14) Scottish stories refer to the fairy dog, Cu Sith, said to be green in colour and as large as an ox. (15) Welsh stories say that the two dogs Aethlem and Aned were engaged in the hunt for the huge boar Twrch Trwyth, and chased it into the sea. Another dog, Drudwyn, was the leader of the pack that was largely composed of the offspring of yet another dog, Gast Rymhi. The king of the fairies, Gwynn ap Nudd, owned a dog called Dormath. Llewellyn left his dog Gelert to guard his baby son and returned to find the baby missing and the dog spattered with blood. He killed the dog, thinking it had killed the child, only to discover the child alive and well beside the body of a wolf that Gelert had killed to protect the child. Also called dog.

Nearby Myths