Dog lovers don't associate their canine companions with demons, though the Greek mythical monster, Cerberus, is not your typical family dog. The black, three-headed monster, whose name means “demon from the pit,” guarded the gates to hell and was so ferocious that even his master, Hades, feared him and kept him chained outside his underworld palace. The first chapter in this volume links the fearsome monster-dog to many less-than-savory aspects of life, including bribes and poisons. The second chapter recounts various stories in which mythical heroes such as Hercules confront the vicious watchdog and at some points we recognize more familiar dog behaviors—such as when Cerberus is so charmed by Psyche's loveliness that he whimpers and wags his tail, or when he falls for the age-old trick of treats, takes drug-laced honey cakes from Sibyl and falls fast asleep on the job. The next chapter traces the hellhound's mythical canine cousins to an array of cultures, including the Huron and Iroquois tribes of North America; the ancient Chinese Food Dogs; Surma, the Finnish monster; the carrion eating dogs of Persian mythology; and the Egyptian jackal. More modern associations connect black dogs with death, superstition and supernatural events. The final chapter chronicles the fierce hold that the monstrous, three-headed canine has on artists and illustrators: Cerberus can be seen on postage stamps, in bronze and marble statues and in watercolor paintings. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle immortalized the demonic Hound of the Baskervilles, J.K. Rowling created a Cerberus-like character in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Fluffy, like his mythological predecessor, can be lulled asleep by music) and “the canine with jaws of steel” showed up in the TV movie Hercules in the Underworld. As with many Greek monsters, Cerberus can also be seen in space— astronomers named the large dark spot on Mars after the demon dog. Dog owners of all ages may come away from this informative, entertaining volume with new appreciation for their family pet. Highly recommended for school and public libraries.