Preliminary Note on The Black Fairy Dog:
This analysis is a Bear, or rather a wrestling match with a Kraken.
When I decided to take (another) swing at this topic, I saw what seemed to be a nice orderly (if wide) topical file on the shelf which promised a reasonable research project.
WRONG. And the above isn't the half of it. The Good News is that this topic is loaded with masses of reading material so all of you have free rein at it, entirely disregarding my feeble attempt (to be presented in maybe another two days.)
I am three days into this and have selected about 60 cases which seem to me to be worth trying to make some sense of. These are out of literally hundreds. The big cut-down is due to the (for my purposes/philosophy) horrible state in which most of these cases exist. Generally speaking, it is very hard to rationalize much "credibility" from the way these things are reported. "My" 60 cases come after tossing out everything which smacks of hypnogogia ("I just woke up to see ..."; I was daydreaming in my room when ... "; "I SWEAR that I was awake.... ") There is a LOT of that.
Also, cases where the report is a child's reflection from some very young age MANY years ago. Or, almost anything where there seems to have been inserted into the tale some kind of "agenda" or the growth into a fairy tale rather than a simple encounter. And there are other (for me) nerve-jangling giveaways which my intuition can't tolerate. "There was a time, many years ago now, when ..." and like phrases which almost equate to "Once Upon A Time."
Out of these reasonable and unreasonable prejudices come a small number of cases with which I am at least a little comfortable. They don't speak of Hounds-of-Hell, or many-headed Cerberus, or the dangers of The Wild Hunt --- though the vast majority of the ancient tales do. It almost seems as though we humans gravitate towards the violent and the macabre, even when it doesn't seem to be there. What that says about us I leave to you to explain.
I REALLY wish that cases of Black Dogs would be better reported. The internet seems to have made this even worse. These unnamed uninterviewed witnesses (with their low detail hit-and-run shallow claims) doom, I believe, us into never getting close to any of this. What we need are true field investigators at least in several locations in Britain and Ireland who will go right to the witnesses. Drives me crazy --- but I'll try to complete my little study and commentary in a couple more days.
My study (meagre as it is) indicates to me that this is a real (external to the carnival of the mind) anomalous phenomenon, and is still occasionally manifesting. It's a bit criminal that we don't seriously try to investigate it with more rigor. Listening to random stories from people that we don't know or haven't even met isn't good enough.