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Fearsome Black Dogs!In May 1993 I was granted the Cusidh affix (now jointly held with my daughter Elise Cartmell) when I bred from my foundation bitch Ardkinglas Pattie with Fearnwood Sound of Ryan. Later Pattie’s granddaughter Cusidh Sian was mated with Chapeltower Zog whose mother was Ardkinglas Polka, Pattie’s sister. My first deerhound who was very close to me died very young from cancer. Since then I had wanted an affix that suggested a connection with the world of the spirit so I put ‘Cu’ - hound with ‘Sith’ – fairy and only later discovered that there were mythological ‘Cusidhs’. I was, and still am, living in Fife and it also turned out that the ‘sidhe’ was a name for the early, probably pictish, inhabitants of Fife so the name was appropriate for me and my dogs.

The following articles tell some of the stories about these dogs and, as Francis Thompson notes in The Supernatural Highlands 1997,

‘The existence in Highland supernatural bestiary of this creature indicates the belief that animals as well as humans populated the spirit world of the Celts.’

 

By Claire Cartmell

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