Friday, 10 December 2010

Churchill's Black Dog, Kafkas's Mice & Other Phenomena of the Human Mind

"That's the title of a book by Anthony Storr in which he talks about the way the demons of certain historical figures become angels for the rest of us, since they impel their sufferers to rise above themselves - and we lesser mortals get taken along on their peculiar and soaring rides. He doesn't put it quite that way, but that's the idea.

"Black Dog" was Churchill's name for his depression, and as is true with all metaphors, it speaks volumes. The nickname implies both familiarity and an attempt at mastery, because while that dog may sink his fangs into one's person every now and then, he's still, after all, only a dog, and he can be cajoled sometimes and locked up other times."

And that was a quote from essayist, Sue Chance.

I have TWO black dogs. One is  my lovely boy, Quink, who really is on his last legs with cancer of the liver. He never complains, always has a wag in his tail, and this morning up at the yard, he found a ball and wanted me to throw it for him, which almost broke my heart because his back legs don't work very well. By the way, I would never prolong his life if he was suffering. Just for the moment he's okay.

My OTHER black dog is obviously a distant relation of Churchill's. Last night and this morning he escaped and was very badly behaved for a while, but now he's back in his kennel. Bad dog! No biscuits for YOU.

I know which of the black dogs I'd like to put to sleep and which one I'd like to live forever...

Now I'm going to write!