It may sound silly but black dogs are the least adoptable pets in shelters, simply because of their color. Why is this stigma attached to them? Experts point to several factors, including a general fear of black dogs because of a perception that they look intimidating. When asked, people also say black dogs don’t photograph well, are hard to see at night, and yes, unbelievably, that they are unlucky (like black cats).
This silly and untrue stigma contributes to a very real and sad fact: black dogs are the first to be euthanized because they can’t be adopted and they’re the last to find forever homes – if they ever do.
Two black dogs have had a profound impact on my life – Wrigley, a black Labrador retriever and Murrow, also a black Lab. Wrigley was my best friend for 14 years and Murrow has been the joy of my life for six and counting. Both are/were amazingly photogenic and both (thanks to their color) saved my life and protected me from would-be muggers. In one late night incident, a man with a knife tried to rob me but didn’t see Wrigley in the darkness. Wrigley, the gentlest of souls, lunged at the man with teeth showing and the mugger ran off. In a similar incident, Murrow also prevented a would-be mugging, when the man didn’t immediately see him in the darkness.
As for being unlucky? I can personally attest that both black dogs in my life have made me one of the most fortunate and happy souls on Earth. I’m lucky to be protected and loved unconditionally. It’s what dogs do, regardless of their color, size or any other physical feature.
Learn more about National Black Dog Day click here. And remember this story when you visit a shelter looking for your new best friend. (from PetsPodcast host Steve Grzanich)