Award-winning husband-and-wife folklorists Randy Russell and Janet Barnett have gone to the dogs. Digging deeply through the rich field of Southern folklore, the authors have discovered that a dog’s devotion to its human does not always end at the grave in Ghost Dogs of the South.
Spanning the years between the American Revolutionary War and the present, these stories of ghost dogs and dog ghosts (e.g., humans who manifest as dogs) often recount benign hauntings. Mike, an Airedale, still patrols a Harlan County, Ky., coal mine, alerting miners to potential accidents. The ghosts of a sea captain and his dog ride the waves of the Gulf of Mexico near Mobile Bay, warning sailors of hurricanes. A Boxer ghost named Preston who saved the life of a trick-or-treater from a speeding automobile in the 1950s still roams his old neighborhood every Halloween. A mutt named Moses refuses to be separated in the afterlife from his beloved master, a fallen soldier of the Civil War. Alternately eerie, funny, tragic and sentimental, these tales are told in clear, declamatory prose befitting their origin in the oral tradition.
These tales will undoubtedly delight dog lovers and will not fail to charm even the most dour skeptics of supernatural phenomena.