So I've been thinking of getting another tattoo and here's my thoughts. I've had issues with depression for about as long as I can remember. I've come to the conclusion that it is probably something that will never be "cured" just as an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic. I will, someday, learn to control it and not let it rule my life but there will probably always be episodes where the black dog will return from the shadows and haunt me again. This is where the tattoo comes in. I've been trying unsuccessfully to find an image of a black dog to have inked to serve as a reminder of my tendencies and that I need to be proactive in my habits so I don't fall back into a slump. Churchill called his depression his "black dog" although, interestingly enough, he didn't coin the phrase. I found a paper on the etymology of the phrase as a term for depression and it actually goes back quite a ways. Winston certainly brought it back to the popular vernacular, however.
Just as the tattoo will never go away, neither will my tendency toward depressive episodes. Placement and the actual image are still things I'm trying to figure out. I like the images below but want something else. Something a bit more stylistic. I want something slightly menacing or sad (it is the black dog of depression after all) but nothing horroresque. I really wish I could pick up a pencil and design my own but, alas, the limitations of my skill set preclude me from doing such a thing. Hopefully I can find a good tattoo artist who will work with me on the design and come up with something unique as well as meaningful. The next step is convincing my wife to let me get more ink. She hates the one I have.