Your dog may be trying to tell you, that you are going to pass away! Well, what behaviors of dogs can be considered as the herald/warning of death?
In many folk beliefs, omens related to animals have an important space among the omens that foretell death. Some abilities, intuitive, physical characteristics of animals, which humans do not have at all, or animals being considered fortunate and ominous have played a significant role in the emergence of such beliefs and making them universal.
Chirping, howling, neighing, routing, certain behaviors, movement direction, and unusual behavior of animals are interpreted as heralds or signs of approaching death. So, people who see or hear such signs feel discomfort with a hidden fear and they resort to some ways or methods to avoid or prevent the disaster, which they believe will come.
Death Harbinger Animals
The following animals are the ones that are accepted as the death harbingers:
Pets: Dog, cat, horse, sheep, goat, cow, ox.
Wild Animals: Rabbit, fox, wolf, coyote, bat, snake.
Poultry: Rooster, chicken, goose.
Wild Birds: Owl, crow, stork.
Death Harbinger Behaviors of Dogs
Dogs, which are domestic, loyal, and have a highly developed intuition, are considered death harbinger due to these characteristics. Dogs herald death not only with their howling but also with the way, time, place, and direction of howling too.
Dogs Heralding Death with Their Howling Style
The following howling styles of dogs are considered to be death harbingers in different communities and beliefs:
- Long howling.
- Howling in pain.
- Constant howling.
- Frequent howling.
Dogs Heralding Death with Their Howling Time
The following howling time of dogs are considered to be death harbingers:
- Howling in the early morning.
- Howling at night.
Dogs Heralding Death with Their Howling Location and Direction
The following howling place or directions of dogs are often considered to be death harbingers:
- Howling near a house.
- Howling while his face is turned to a certain house.
- Howling in the neighborhood.
- Howling in front of the door.
- Howling while his face is turned to the sky.
Beliefs in Different Nations that Dogs Are Death Harbingers
Bulgarians believe that dog howling is a sign of illness or death. The same belief is also common among the Slavs.
According to the belief of Polish people, if a dog howls or grub, death will visit that house.
In East Prussia, if a dog howls against a house, which has a sick person in it, then it is interpreted that the person is going to pass away. If a puppy often sleeps with his head on the house door, this means that one person will lose his life from that household during the year.
Avoiding the Death Heralded by a Dog
Here are the avoidance methods preferred when a dog heralds death with any of the methods provided above:
- Boot the dog out
- Throw stones at him
- Give bread to him
Here are two examples we have picked for you, which are basically consistent with each other but show variations in expression about the dog’s ability to herald death and other disasters.
“When dog howls, he sees the Azrael and wants to inform its owner. Death would definitely happen in that night or morning.” (Amasya / Merzifon)
“An elderly woman living in a village in Tortum valley saw a female dog moving to the mountain with her puppies. The woman let other villagers know about it and advised them to move to the mountains too. Otherwise, a disaster will happen in the village. However, the villagers didn’t listen to what the woman said. Soon, the valley, in which the river flows in it, was blocked due to a landslide on the mountain. As a result, the river overflowed and flooded the village. No one but the elderly woman could survive this disaster.” (Artvin / Hopa)
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