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Dogs of mythology

enero 12, 2021

Classical mythology is a precious source to understand what are the archetypes at the base of our personality; pets play a major role in this archetypal path and the dog is one of them.



I have already mentioned in another post the connection of the dog with the goddess Artemis sister of Apollo and the symbolic representation of the moon. In many artistic expressions the dog accompanying the goddess is docile and obedient. The dog is intended as a physical and perhaps energetic protective shield. It is a dog that follows its master in every move, runs and has fun with him and over time becomes an alter ego. In some representations Artemis’s dog is a greyhound.


With more aggressive features here Cerberus another famous dog of mythology that has the role of protector of the door of the underworld, prevents the entry of humans but also the escape of the dead from the kingdom of Hades Pluto. The gigantic dog also plays the same role (Fuffy) that you find in the first book of the Harry Potter saga. In both representations the protector dog is a Molosser. It is a strong, aggressive dog and when it has to defend its owner or the task that has been entrusted to it, it attacks. In many representations this dog is a Molosser.


Another memorable dog from mythology, which you find in the Odyssey, is Argo the dog of Ulysses. A special dog who is the only one who recognizes him despite being disguised. Argo dies for the joy of having found him and Ulysses, hardened by his experiences, cries his only tear in secret because he does not want to be recognized. It is a dog that depends on its owner and that probably suffers and barks when he is not there, he immediately feels abandoned and demands the attention of his master. In some representations Argo is a wolf dog.


Lesser known but highly gifted dogs have been transformed into the constellations of Canine major and minor. The first is Lelapo, a very fast dog capable of capturing all kinds of prey. It has had many masters, including the unfortunate Procri accidentally killed by her husband during a hunting trip, in some representations it looks like a hound. The other is Mera the little dog of Icarius, the first farmer who learned from Dionysus to cultivate vines, gave his shepherds a drink, and they got drunk by drinking a lot of it. Mera ran to Icarius’s daughter Erigone and carried her howling to the place where her father’s body lay. Erigone killed himself for too much pain and Mera let himself die. They are dogs that become the extension of the master or rather replace one of our 5 senses. In some representations Mera is a poodle.

Use this post as a starting point, imagine the archetype behind your choice. If you can’t understand it write me