Dogs

The Golden Dog

It was an animal sent by Rhea to guard the infant god Zeus and his nurse, the goat Amaltheia, on the island of Crete. When Zeus reached maturity, he placed the dog amongst the stars as the constellation Canis Major.

Laelaps

It was a magical dog which was destined to always catch its quarry. It was first given to Europa of Crete by Zeus and then passed down to Minos, Procris, and finally the hero Cephalus.

Cephalus set the hound on the trail of the Teumessian Fox, a monstrous beast ravaging the countryside of Thebes. However, the fox was destined never to be caught, and so Zeus, faced with the paradox of an uncatchable fox being chased by an inescapable hound, turned the pair to stone. 

Killed by: Zeus

2176421610 f877956d8a z

Orthrus

It was a two-headed, serpent-tailed dog which guarded the fabulous, red cattle of Geryon on the island of Erytheia. Heracles was sent to fetch these as one of his Twelve Labours and in the process slew both Orthrus and his master.

Parents: Echidna and Typhon
Offspring: Sphinx and Nemean Lion
Killed by: Heracles

A two-headed Orthrus, with snake tail, lying wounded at the feet of Heracles (left) and the three-bodied Geryon (right). Red-figure kylix by Euphronios, c. 550–500 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich.