The Legend of the Black Dog
- Ghosts, Myths & Legends
Many people have asked us about the origins of our logo, which is of a large black dog silhouetted against a full moon. This was created by Kirsty Bonning from a description relayed to her by her father, Robin Brooks. Black Dog Studios is situated about a mile from the nearby village of Black Dog, in the county of Devon. The decision to name the studios after the village with such an unusual name seemed an obvious one, for the name itself conjures up, in many people's minds, all sorts of images, ranging from Winston Churchill's famous 'black dog' as a description of depression, to mythical dogs that roamed the countryside and Martha's vineyard in the U.S.A. The image described by Robin to Kirsty was both graphic and real. Robin is in no doubt as to what he actually saw, one evening in late 1993.
"One late summer evening, I had gone for a walk up to Berry Castle (a mile to the south-east of Black Dog). It was a beautiful evening, calm, still and warm. I was feeling intensely happy and at ease with myself. I walked around the old bank, that is the only visible remains of the so-called castle. Drinking in the atmosphere and the wonderful views towards the ancient town of Okehampton, the moors beyond and the distant clouds beyond them, I walked on and sat down against the bank of the hedge, how long for, I don't know. I must have fallen asleep.
" When I woke, I felt a slight chill. I remember looking at my watch, but I don't remember the time. I noticed that the cattle, who had been at the far end of the field, grazing, had now moved much closer and now I could see that there were about 30 of them, some with claves. They were mostly laid down and chewing the cud. I could hear the soft sounds coming from their contentment. Quite why I did not get straight up, I do not know. I wanted to, but I did not.
"As I lay there, I became aware of what I can only describe as a presence. The sun had set and all was quiet, except for the soft sound of the cattle and in the distance 3 crows, making their way to roost, silhouetted against the sky. Now I became aware of a large black dog. Why I had not noticed him before, I did not know. I remember thinking, "Oh damn, someone is about," and I began to feel anxious and annoyed with myself for not being alert enough.
"I lay there still. I wanted to get to my feet, but somehow I could not. The dog was about 40 feet away. He did not move, or at least hardly so and stood tall and strong. His noble head held high as he sniffed the air, in that way that dogs do when they seem so aware of something that we humans, with our limited senses of hearing and smell do not know. Whose dog?! Where was the owner? A slight disturbed feeling was still in my mind, not given by the dog, but by the thought of the owner, who must be close, but who I could not see."