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To Bind a Dog to You

The Long Lost Friend gives two charms meant to bind a dog to you which work as long as no one else has charmed the dog before.

The first is to draw some of your blood and mix it in with the dog’s food The author assures us that the dog will be attached to you after this. The second charm is a bit more involved:

“Or scrape the four corners of your table while you are eating, and continue to eat with the same knife after having scrapped the corners of the table. Let the dog eat those scrapings, and he will stay with you”

While the charm involving consuming blood will make sense to many (the dog has taken in some of your essence, which you sacrificed willingly) the table scraping method is a head scratcher. Since the Long Lost Friend was written a couple of hundred years ago we can assume most people had one table that was either made by hand or passed down through the family, so there perhaps the table represents a symbolic initiation into the household by partaking in something that has great value to the family and is used everyday. But this one eludes me, but I like the old world, folk magic flavor of it so here it is.

Though I’m a confirmed cat person, having owned dogs I admit that I’m perplexed as to why you would need to bind an animal programmed for loyalty. I have always assumed that this was for a familiar but since the book was originally made for Christians it’s unlikely to be the case.

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