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Door Dogs

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I like to keep a running list in one of my many notebooks about topics I want to share here on Theresa’s Haunted History blog. Some time last year, I added ‘Door Dogs’ to the list. I distinctly remember reading a quick blurb about the door dogs in a book (I’m pretty sure it was an e-book), but when I went back over my reading log for 2021, I could NOT figure out which one! So, I turned to the internet to help me out, and was really disappointed in the lack of information out there on what I consider a really cool piece of folklore. 

The concept of door dogs seems to be most prevalent in Tangiers, Morocco, but most likely has spread throughout Africa and into Europe as noted by William S. Burroughs, who wrote extensively about door dogs in his work, Western Lands. So what is a door dog?

A door dog is a death omen. During the weeks leading up to a person’s demise, a small dog with a pointed nose is seen following them around. The dog is most often spotted when the person is crossing a threshold, especially as they enter through a doorway, giving the spooky little creature it’s name! It’s important to note that the dog, which is seen and never heard, is ONLY witnessed by others around the ‘marked’ person. You will never be able to see your own door dog. 

Although you could easily make the assumption that the door dog only heralds the upcoming death of a PERSON, my mom and I may have had an encounter with a door dog that served as a death omen for our dog, Captain. About two months before Captain unexpectedly passed away from kidney failure, my mom and I both saw, on several occasions, a jet black dog following him. Full disclosure, we actually HAD a jet black dog at the time named Nazy. But, there’s no way we were seeing her. Nazy’s fur was very short, and she had rather thin back legs and a thin, long tail. 

Whenever we’d see Captain’s door dog, we’d always see just it’s hindquarters, disappearing around the corner from the foyer into the living room immediately after Captain had walked through the area. We never saw the front of it, but we both described the back of it in the same way. This dog had fur that was way more…fuzzy…than Nazy’s. It had strong, thick back legs and a fluffy tail that curled upward like a chow chow’s. We both saw it maybe 3 times each before Captain crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and never saw it again. 

After the first time spotting it, my mom had a really bad feeling that this dog was an omen of something bad to come, and I tried to play it off as it simply being just another ghost that had wandered into our home and would soon leave, like so many others had. Even after Captain passed away, I really didn’t give too much thought of it being connected, and sort of filed the situation away as just another weird thing. Even when I first read about the door dogs as death omens, I still didn’t make any connections between what we saw and Captain’s death. Until…

The Obscurban Legends Wiki Page was the best source of information I came across when preparing for today’s blog. When describing the physical characteristics of the door dog, it mentioned that it had a pointed snout like the schipperke. Admittedly, I am not very knowledgeable about dog breeds and I had never heard of the schipperke. So, I looked up what this type of dog looked like, and lo and behold…the pictures that popped up were EXACTLY like the dog my mom and I had seen several years ago. 

*If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also like the story of my own 



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