Dog Folklore: Companion Dogs as Seers, Healers, and Fairy Steeds

Tales of demon dogs and werewolves aren't the only supernatural beliefs about dogs. Our beloved pets have been imbued with benign or beneficial powers since they were first domesticated. And it makes sense- they have uncanny abilities to sense our moods, fulfill our desires, protect us, and make us feel better. Some of them are even considered a gift from the unknown.  

In Wales, for example, Pembroke Welsh corgis were once believed to have originated with the fairy folk. According to legend, a Welsh farmer’s children found two corgi puppies in a hollow. They were tailless with short legs, foxy faces, and gleaming golden coats with peculiar markings. Upon bringing them home, the children’s father recognized them at once for exactly what they were. In the 1997 book The Mythology of Dogs, Gerald and Loretta Hausman report that the farmer declared “surely, these are the gifts of the fairy folk.” He went on to explain to his children that corgis—also known as “fairy heelers”—were kept by the fairies in the manner of livestock and that the fairies:

    “Made them work the fairy cattle
    Made them pull the fairy coaches
    Made them steeds for fairy riders
    Made them fairy children’s playmates
    Kept them hidden in the mountains
    Kept them shadowed in the lee
    Lest the eye of mortal man see.”

According to folklore, dogs can also heal the sick, see ghosts, and great wishes. Read about these old tales at #FolkloreThursday.  -via Strange Company


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