1936: Schoolmistress Accompanied by Black Dog
In 1936, while Ethel Rudkin was attending a series of lectures at Kirton Lindsey, Lincolnshire, England, she met a schoolmistress from the town of Manton who was curious about Black Dog legends... because she saw a Black Dog often when she rode her bicycle back home to Manton after attending a lecture or making visit to Kirton!
The schoolmistress described how, as she was riding along, she would become aware of the large Black Dog trotting on the grass beside her; and just as vaguely she would eventually notice that he was gone, never directly seeing the Black Dog arrive or leave. She had made inquiries among the schoolchildren, but found that no one in the town owned any such large dog. She felt comforted by the Black Dog trotting with her, but wanted to be sure that its presense wasn't a portent of bad news, as many people believed about Black Dog sightings... Ethel Rudkin assured her that this was not likely a worry.
This account was taken from a collection of Lincolnshire Black Dog accounts gathered by Folklorist Ethel Rudkin in 1938. The purpose of her study was to record the beliefs in the county regarding the phantom-like Black Dogs. While an argument could be put forward that the people Rudkin talked to simply encountered a real dog that was black, the point to the collection was that none of these people believed that to be the case... every single person she included in her collection was sure they had encountered the supernatural creature labeled a 'Black Dog.' As to the question of the intelligence or veracity of the people interviewed, Rudkin herself stated:
"I would like to emphasise this point: I have never yet had a Black Dog story from anyone who was weak either in body or mind."
As with all accounts from Rudkin, it is entirely up to you to decide if it is true or not; but, in either case, it still evidences the beliefs regarding the Black Dog spirits in the area.