Some believe dogs are the devil, black dogs in particular.  Those who love dogs know that dog is god spelled backwards. #emotionalintelligence

Bad black dog

This woman knew bad behavior should not be rewarded, and that a bit of punishment does not hurt. Punishment is pain applied after doing something bad and can range from with holding a reward as above to harsh punishments that are abusive. That is the theme of another post – Treat Your Children Like Dogs. On with this post.

EMOTIonal intelligence thoughts and tips

This post is about prejudices. Although about black dogs it refers to all prejudices.  For this one, think way back to when wolves were around mankind consisted of all small  and sometimes violent tribes.  Doing so helps you understand how dogs and particularly black dogs got a bad rep.

Tamed wolves, often black at that time,  served as advanced  weaponry for  warriors making it understandable some would see them as evil and the devil.

That is where the “Curse of Personal Knowledge” comes in.  That curse involves twisted thinking of several kinds beginning with personal experiences that get generalized and carried forward to illogical extremes.

Think of being bitten by a dog as a child – a personal experience which could or could not lead to excessive fear of dogs or what the mental health experts call a dog phobia.  When other experiences with dogs are unpleasant, or a cultural cautionary myth supports the fear grows. Fear unfortunately breeds hatred.

Doubt the cultural part? Islam holds the belief black dogs are devil dogs and must be killed. I suspect Mohammed when first questing for power was set upon by some black dogs.  His personal experience morphed into a cautionary tale and then a law.

When I lived in an integrated neighborhood, many Islamists would cross the street and make the sign of the devil when I was walking my Whisper. Moreover, I suspect if they could get away with it some might have killed her.

Our blackest and the sweetest dog ever doing one of the things she loved the most. Swimming.

Whisper is no longer with us. The  blackest and  also sweetest dog we ever owned, seen here doing something  she loved – water play.

I can more easily forgive the cultures that eat dogs,  at least that arose from the need to survive. I have a harder time with any teaching hatred.  I think of the  fear of  black dogs and  sanctioning their deaths because of fur color as dog racism.

Emotional intelligence tip one: Examine your fears for the twisted thinking keeping such fears  alive and flourishing. The Curse of Personal Knowledge is one, but generalizing is most common and probably the root of all prejudice.

Fear is a signal something bad may happen. May happen is  key.  Turning may to will increases fear, and that is just what our brain does. Our brain’s warning system is always on 911 alert and preparing us for the worse, but the worse, meaning serious physical injury or death rarely happen.  When afraid we have to think seriously about if and how our thinking is being twisted.

Emotional intelligence tip two: Understand how fear and uncertainty lead to hate. Jerome Kagan, retired Harvard guru, believes uncertainty (fear) can turn to anger when we can find something or someone to blame.

When afraid we run or fight. We stay to fight if we think we are stronger than what we fear and will win.  When angry we always want to fight, but fear will rule when we think we cannot win the fight.

Moral: Deal with your fear before it turns to hate even if you are strong enough to win a battle. That is the only path to peace on earth for all.


If you like this post share it with another.  That is practicing deliberate kindness which is part of the skill of saying what has to be said without saying it mean. .

As always, thank you for your support.


This post fits in with Today’s Word Press’s  Aug 8, 2014 DAILY PROMPT   Sounds Right:  This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?

Okay, I did a twist a bit on that, but still  it is what  this prompt inspired.

IMAGES BY Cartoon Stock and Emotional Fitness Training, INCl

If the free poster below is not yet up on the EFTI Store, practice forgiveness, I will get it up as soon as possible, but I am a business of one.  You might browse for all the digital downloads are free and many relate to today’s free coach.


  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Sounds Right | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

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