Devil Dog Stories Prevail In Real Life
By James Donahue
There is something about the stories of "devil dogs" running at large in the forests that have a way
of sending that proverbial chill up our spines. While few of us have ever seen such things, the stories are frightening because
we all know that wild dogs can kill.
An excellent article by Nick Redfern in the August edition of FATE Magazine addresses the legends
of phantom hounds in the forests throughout parts of the UK. The stories have been part of the British and Irish folklore
There is, indeed, something eerily frightening about the very image of a pack of wild, black dogs
charging at us. Imagine, too, that such animals have red glowing eyes, smoke and flame spewing from their mouths as they bound
in our direction. Dogs can outrun any man, they will attack creatures much larger than they are, and they instinctively know
how to go for the throat with their fangs and tear out the jugular. Dogs are both quick and powerful when they attack.
This writer has had some odd experiences with dogs and dog packs that have left him somewhat shaken
over the years.
Some years back when we lived in a rural area on the edge of a large tract of state-owned forested
land I used to enjoy walking the many trails left by the roaming deer and humans that meandered among the trees and along
One day while on my walk I encountered a very large canine that I believe was a grey wolf. This animal
suddenly appeared on the trail in front of me, some 300-feet away. It stood looking at me and, of course, I was standing deathly
still, looking back at it. The question, of course, was how was I to deal with this animal? Was it as fearful of me as I was
At the time I was keenly interested in telepathic communications with both humans and animals, had
been reading books on the subject and experimenting on the family dog. I was well aware that animals sense fear, and may even
communicate with us through body language or picture images projected through our thoughts. My decision was to stand my ground,
suppress my personal fears of the animal, and think of myself as superior to the creature before me. I thought of myself as
a powerful being capable of grasping that canine by the throat and tearing it to shreds with my bare hands if it dared to
Whether my thoughts were picked up by the animal that day will never be known. What I think I did
correctly, however, was stand my ground, and keep my eyes fixed directly into his. After what seemed like a very long and
silent moment of staring, the creature turned and trotted off, thus leaving me to my personal muse.
Needless to say, I finished my walk that afternoon, but admit that there was a faint shudder as I
passed the thick brush where the animal disappeared. It did not pounce on me and I never saw the wolf again, even though I
walked those trails for months afterwards.
At yet another time in our lives, when our children were young, my wife and I purchased a house that
was in the center of a relatively large city, yet was in an undeveloped area that included several acres of forest. Within
the trees existed an abandoned house.
While we lived there the area was briefly terrorized by a pack of wild dogs that appeared to be living
in that woods. There were at least 10 dogs being led by a big deadly-looking German Shepard.
The city animal control department was well aware of the dog pack and its officers were spending a
lot of time in the area attempting to capture these animals without having to shoot them. Firing guns in the heart of town
was not an option, and the killing of someone's wayward pet, that got involved with bad company, also had to be considered.
Many of the dogs had collars and tags.
We were in a dilemma for about a week or more. I recall that my wife and I literally raced from the
house to the car when we left the house, for fear of a dog attack. The kids were not allowed to play outside, even though
we had a fine spacious yard.
The problem was resolved when one of the animal control officers picked up a bitch in heat. That is
an expression used for female dogs that are at their fertile time, when they give off a scent that lets all the male dogs
within miles know that it is time to mate. And the males cannot seem to control themselves . . . it is as if they become possessed
and the only thing on their mind once they smell that scent is finding and fornicating with that fertile bitch.
The officers tied that poor defenseless bitch to a post inside the abandoned house, left a door wide
open, and then stood back and waited. It wasn't long before the entire dog pack appeared, all of the animals fighting to be
the first through that open door. As soon as the last dog was inside, they shut the door and began to round the critters up.
Problem solved. Dog pack captured. One female dog dutifully bred. Neighborhood no longer terrorized.