Study Guide

Scylla - The Dawg Pound

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The Dawg Pound

Is it just us, or is it kind of weird that Scylla is a part of this pack? When we think about sea monsters, we definitely don't think about dogs. Oh well, we guess it's a Greek thing. Anyway, despite the fact that she's a creature of the ocean, Scylla is often shown with a pack of snarling dogs sprouting from around her fishy waist. That really has to be one of the weirdest monstrous deformities in Greek mythology.


The goddess of witchcraft is basically the queen of this doggy clique. She's a big fan of pups of all kinds (even the demonic ones), and you can always find her walking around at night with a couple poochy pals. The goddess is associated with watchdogs in particular; her doggy buddies have been given props for many a warning of danger in the night. According to a couple ancient sources, Hecate is also said to be Scylla's mom, probably because of her doggy connections.


This three-headed hellhound of Hades is quite the pup. It's his job to guard the gates of the Underworld, making sure that the living don't get in and the dead don't get out. He isn't always successful at the whole keeping-the-living-out part, though. In fact, a ton of heroes got by him on their various quests to the Underworld. Most famously, Heracles managed to dognap him and drag him up to the Land of the Living as the 12th of the hero's 12 labors.


This two-headed dog is Cerberus's brother. Like his bro, Orthrus is employed as a watchdog. Instead of herding ghosts, though, this pooch is in charge of watching over Geryon the Giant's red cattle. Also like Cerberus, Orthrus had a run-in with Heracles, who was sent to snatch Geryon's cattle as one of his 12 labors.


Even the gods are freaked out by this giant wolf from Norse mythology. It took Odin and pals three tries to figure out how to make a rope strong enough to hold the vicious beast. But it's foretold that Fenrir's rope won't hold forever. During Ragnarok, the final battle at the end of the world, Fenrir will finally break his binding and swallow Odin whole. We're guessing this will make Loki—Fenrir's father who hates Odin—pretty proud of his poochy son.

Garm (Garmr)

This pup from Norse mythology is a whole lot like Cerberus. He might not have three heads and a mane of snakes, but he sure is big and mean, and he guards the gates of Hel. Yeah, we spelled it right—just one hockey stick. Unlike the Christian Hell, which is mega-hot and full of sinners, the Norse Hel is cold and filled with the souls of people who lead boring lives. Like Fenrir, Garm will eventually break his chains during Ragnarok, but he'll be killed by Tyr. Not the greatest life for this pooch.


Anubis is an Egyptian god with the head of a pointy-eared dog. Like Cerberus, Anubis is associated with the Underworld; but instead of just being a watchdog, Anubis was in charge of the whole place. Until Osiris came along and took over his job, at least. These days, Anubis spends his time weighing the souls of the dead. If your soul is lighter than a feather, Anubis leads you to Osiris and the promise of everlasting life.


These brother gods of the Australian aborigines took the form of dingoes, or wild dogs. Before the Bagadjimbiri came along, humans were genderless and had no sexual organs of any kind. The Bagadjimbiri took it upon themselves to improve humanity by making sex organs out of mushrooms. (Who knew?) Later, the dingo brothers were killed by a cat spirit, but their mother got revenge by drowning the spirit in her own milk. But, wait, there's more! The Bagadjimbiri were then resurrected and became rain snake spirits in the clouds. Is it just us, or is Aboriginal Australian mythology awesome?

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