Hey! Let’s have another ghost dog, because I like ghost dogs, and while the barghest and his buddies can get sort of nasty-I have a feeling that some of the stuff we’re going to be talking about this month is really going to be unpleasant, and this story is actually one of the few positive ghost hounds I’ve come across.
I suspect that Sheba is a transplant, the way that the black dogs of New England are transplants. That is, I suspect that Sheba the ghost hound may be a lingering hold over from British stories that came into the islands via travelers, traders, slavers, and all sorts of other naval type individuals.
In fact, Sheba does have a direct line back to Europe, but I think that the story probably mingled from there. Sheba also varies in that we have a cause-and a specific breed other than ‘big, black, and toothy’. The story goes like this: in the 1800s, a ship called the Richmond was caught in a storm near Walker’s Cay in the Abaco Islands (part of the Bahamas). On board the ship was a family with two daughters and a German Shepherd named Sheba.
During the storm, the Richmond went down-including the two girls. Sheba jumped overboard and began to drag the children out of the water. He managed to save one girl and went back out for the second-but neither the girl nor Sheba were ever found.
It’s now claimed that on particularly stormy nights or just before hurricanes a phantom Shepherd can be seen on the Cay. He’s swimming back out to find the other girl. However, Sheba is really kind of interesting member of the cu dubh-instead of just functioning as a straight up death/weather omen, he supposedly has actually managed to drag swimmers back to shore.
I don’t know if dogs have guilt, but it seems that Sheba hasn’t caught on that he doesn’t have to keep trying for the second sister and will continue to save drowning swimmers.