Why Are Dogs Man's Best Friend? 14,000 Years of Companionship

nyominx/flickr
nyominx/flickr

Evolving With Dogs

 

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

When humans emerged from the evolutionary process, they were greeted by a wag of the tail and a lick on the face. It seems like that sometimes. As though we emerged from the primordial ooze and there they were. In fact, we evolved together, and our special relationship with canines has existed since prehistoric times. According to Darcy Moray, zoo archaeologist from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the oldest convincing case occurred "In Germany, about 14,000 years [ago]. Not only was the dog buried, it was part of a human double grave," (Archeology, November 8. 2006). Furthermore, Moray continues, the oldest evidence of this human/canine bond in North America is between 9000 and 10,000 years old, with dog burials documented from every major land mass in the world except Antarctica.

 

carf/flikr
carf/flikr

Talk To The Animals

 

There's more to it than just growing up and evolving together. "It looks like dogs really do understand what we are trying to tell them, they are thinking about what we want, and they understand that we are trying to communicate," said Brian Hare of Harvard University. A study was conducted by Hare comparing dogs, puppies, wolves and chimpanzees' ability to understand human communication methods. Since wolves have bigger brains than dogs, it was thought they would do better, and since chimpanzees are biologically closer to humans, it was thought they would do best.

The dogs surprised scientists by doing much better than wolves or chimpanzees, and even puppies as young as 9 weeks old outperformed them as well.

"Dogs have a talent for reading social cues in a very sophisticated way," Hare said.

Shepherd - pingnews.com
Shepherd - pingnews.com

A Working Relationship

There has also been a long standing working relationship between dogs and humans, which further cements our symbiotic relationship . "We know that dogs were useful for lots of things in Stone Age culture, as draft animals, in hunting, for warmth, and for protection," said Jennifer Leonard, a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Herding dogs, hunting dogs, tracking dogs and sled dogs have been joined by a plethora of modern day working dogs. From rescue dogs to assistance dogs, from war dogs to cadaver dogs, our best friends have made themselves indispensable.

In many ways, we have become as dependent on them as they are on us.

zzathras/flickr
zzathras/flickr
komonegi_jp/flickr
komonegi_jp/flickr
yersinia/flikr
yersinia/flikr

The Hero Dog

There have been many news stories detailing the bond between dogs and humans, and tales of dog heroics enter the public consciousness, capture our imaginations, and fuel our assertions that a dog's loyalty is unwavering. No mere animals these, but trustworthy companions who well deserve our praise and pampering.

Deep in a forest in Kenya in 2005, a baby was abandoned by her mother and left to die. A stray dog, herself a new mother, heard the baby's cries and dragged her to her own litter, caring for her, nursing her, and treating her like one of her own pups. Eventually the baby was discovered, the dog still watching over her, and was taken to a hospital and is now growing up a healthy baby girl.

This begs the question, "Just how deep is the tie between humans and dogs? Did the dog know instinctively how to care for a human baby, even though she was a stray and may have had little human contact?

On the infamous 9/11, blind computer technician Omar Eduardo Rivera was at his desk on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center north tower, his guide dog "Dorado" lying under the desk. Then the plane struck. It seemed impossible to get down the stairs, so Rivera unleashed "Dorado" so he could escape to freedom. The dog refused to go, but soon was swept up in the tide of people and disappeared down the stairwell. As people pushed him, knocked him aside, and spun him around in their panic, Rivera was constantly becoming disoriented. Several minutes later, he felt the familiar lick on his left hand. Dorado had returned - fighting against the massive exodus - and spent the next hour guiding Rivera to safety. A very short time later the building collapsed.

One autumn day in late October, 2006, Michael Bosch and his dog "Honey" were just heading out from their isolated 70 acre property, with the nearest neighbor ¼ of a mile away. Bosch was recovering from a heart attack only 2 months before. Suddenly, blinded by the sun, Bosch drove his SUV into a ravine, rolled over 5 times and dropped 50 feet, landing upside down. Bosch hung upside down for 8 hours, pinned by a tree that had come through the roof. Realizing that "Honey" - only 5 months old at the time - was his only chance for escape, he managed to get her out through a gaping hole in the windshield, urging her to get help. "Honey" made her way through the thick brambles of the forest, finally arriving at a neighbors door. In a scene right out of Lassie, "Honey" led the neighbor to the accident site and Bosch was saved. Bosch, remarkably, had saved "Honey" from a shelter just two weeks before the accident.

J.Star/flikr
J.Star/flikr

Friends Who Play Together...

The usefulness of dogs does not alone account for the unique bond between us. We like them. We pamper them. We buy them balls and squeaky things and stuff to chew on. We play fetch with them, teach them to catch a Frisbee, and train them to sit, stay, lie down, and heel. We take them for walks, but often they take us. They will follow us anywhere if we let them. They sleep in our beds and sit on our laps. Americans alone now spend $41 billion a year on their pets, more than the gross domestic product of all but 64 countries in the world.

A homeless "street kid" with his dog in Brazil      - carf/flikr
A homeless "street kid" with his dog in Brazil - carf/flikr

The Ties That Bind

We interact with each other as social organisms. We feel for each other. We share in each others joy, and suffer in sympathy with each others pain. Their feelings are hurt when we yell at them, but they cheer us up when we are down. They know how we're feeling, and they let us know if they're angry with us or if they're feeling sick. And we rush them off to the vet or the animal hospital or wherever and dear, God, please help my dog. He is like a son to me and I've raised him from a puppy and he is loyal and true and damn it I love him. And we weep when we bury them. And they are sad when we are buried. Unbearably, heart-breakingly sad. It is this emotional attachment, this un-dissolvable bond, that puts dogs over the top. This is what, ultimately, makes the dog - a simple creature but not so dumb after all - man's best friend.

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Comments 135 comments

spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA

So this is the hub you've been working on that didn't have a single smidgen of humor? :) Nicely done and you brought tears to my eyes with the hero stories.

I agree with you that dogs seem to have a knack for understanding humans. I just wish I understood THEM. Everything looks the same to me and I feel like I should be the one to go to training.

Great hub! Loved it as usual!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

When I was 8 years old my father gifted me a cute puppy. I used to feed through milk bottle and also slept with it. It was a Pomeranian with big eyes. The moment I came from school it used to start jumping up and down wagging its tail, licking my face. It knew when I was happy and when I was not. It was really cute dog and when it died a part of me died with it. I am not sure if I can go through the pain again. Your article bought back those memories and tears in my eyes. Great hub.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Spryte: Yea. Why? Is there humor in it that I am not aware of? And anyway, I didn't say I was working HARD on it. Thanks for your compliments. I put them in a little treasure chest labeled "Spryte" and lock them up. Thanks.

countrywomen: I know exactly what you are talking about. Since I lost my last two dogs, very close together, I haven't thought I could go through it again either. Glad I was able to touch you. Thanks, for everything...you know?


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Christoph.Nicely written Hub, brought back fond memories of the many dogs I've had over the years. Well done mate!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thanks, Ag. I just had to get away from all that laughing yesterday. Thanks for having a read and the comment.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 7 years ago from Oklahoma

Christoph, I too had a tear welling up in my eye. When I think about what lenghts dogs will go to for their human companions it amazes me. It also amazes me that there are so many people who abuse their pets, I just don't understand it. All dogs want it love, food and attention, probably in that order. My chihuahua Bella is what I call my soul puppy. She is the perfect companion for me, and I just don't know what I would without her. She is also known as my furry daughter. I just can't Imagine someone looking into the eyes of a pet and being able to do something cruel to it. It really just Pisses me off!

Thank you Christoph for writing such a touching story.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi Gwendymom: I'm so glad you liked it? I haven't ever understood people abusing animals either. I used to watch those animal cop shows, but I would get to depressed. Whenever there is a sad part in a movie, My wife says, "Are you crying?" To which I always reply, "No, why? Did they kill a dog?" The point being that that is the only thing that can make me cry in a movie.

I appreciate your heartfelt comment and touched that it brought a tear to your eye. Thank you.

P.S. I am so exhausted. I'm hitting the hay early tonight. Good night!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Yeah it was a hoot, I'm surprised that it was allowed to happen, probably happened all to fast! I lost track along the way somewhere.

G'night! (Its only 4.30pm)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

One theory about the dog's evolution centers on approach-avoidance behavior toward humans: the wolves who didn't run away from the presence of humans while scavenging in the town dump bred with each other and eventually produced dogs. This change may have happened in as little as ten years. If you are interested, here's the fascinating background to the theory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR-GHmuumAw&NR=...

Now to say something really nice about your writing. A good writer meets the reader's expectations, so that the question "So what?" never comes up. Anyone striving to improve their writing should pay attention to the transition sentence between *A Working Relationship* and *The Hero Dog*. This sentence works so well that I found myself panting (almost) with anticipation...*OK! I'm going to get a real example of a human depending on a dog.* And I wasn't disappointed. I got that bone! In fact, two of them.

Thumbs up, as usual!


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

awww...Christoph this is such a nice hub....I really mean that....I love doggie and kitty stories.  I grew up with many beagle dogs because my father loved to hunt.  We must of buried a dozen or more which seemed like my family.  After the dogs we went to cats which me and my sister brought home all the strays and again we had to bury more of my family so to speak.  The story of Rivera and Dorado from 9/11 touched my heart like any 9/11 story will always do for the rest of our lives had such a happy ending.  The tears and the love I felt from your beautiful hub of Man's Best Friend was perfect.  Thank you. (I'm off to get some tissue)


pgrundy 7 years ago

Great hub Christophe! I love our dog. He's been here almost a year now. When Bill first got him back from his ex I thought, oh dear. What if the dog hates me? Who gets pitched then? Me or the dog? But it's been wonderful. We walk every day and he's so affectionate (the dog)--there is nothing like unconditional love when you've had a bad day. So it looks like both me and the dog are staying. Whew!

Thanks for another great article. Keep 'em comin'!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia

This is such a wonderful hub. Thank you. It's always nice to know there are people who truly care for and appreciate dogs and animals in general. In my area, there are so many abandoned, stray and abused dogs and cats that it's sickening. I've personally worked hard to try and do what I can to feed and rehome as many as possible, but it's difficult and very sad. It makes me wonder why and how some people can be so heartless. So thanks big time for showing the flip side of this. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Sally: Thank you so much for stopping by. I am familiar with the approach-avoidance theory which you mention (I think I have seen every documentary about dogs that has ever been made) and it is not unlike the previous theory that I subscribed to. They are much the same, in fact, but the dump theory is perhaps more realistic. The previous theory had the wolves following nomadic tribes of humans to scavage the remains left behind at the campsites. The humans were aware of the wolves who kept getting closer and closer, more and more brazen. Eventually, the wolves would be alongside the campsites and the humans began throwing them food and you know the rest. Thanks for the link: I'll definitely check it out.

Thanks also for your kind words for my writing. I was just thinking last night as I lay down to sleep that the transitions were actually pretty lazy and I should go back and "shore" them up. Funny you would mention one as being effective. I don't know how it is for you (or anybody) but when I finish writing something, I really have trouble looking at it critically. Not because I'm in love with it, but I'm not sure how much is conveyed on the paper, and how much of it is in my head. You know, does that make sense to everyone or just to me because I already know the answer? Does that transition work or is my brain filling in the missing part? I'm someone who should definitly sit on a piece for a couple of days, but I can't resist going ahead and "publishing" it.

Anyway, thank you so much for your thoughts and generous praise. You always say the timely thing that encourages me. Thank you.

Dottie: Thank you so much! I'm glad I was able to affect you in that way. That's what I was trying to accomplish (I'm shameless with the emotional strings, aint I?). It must have been difficult to see so many pets go, or do you become desensetized to it after awhile? Thanks for your kind remarks. I owe you a box of tissue!

Pam: I'll bet your dog has been a comfort to you these past few days. They really can be great to have around. I remember - before I was married - laying in bed with the television on and my dogs in bed with me, one on either side, and thinking that I must be the happiest person on the planet. Your positive comment also means a great deal to me, coming from a writer I highly respect. Thanks!

Pam Roberson: Thank you, and I think it's great trying to help with the dogs and animals who need our help. When I was a private investigator and was fed up with my job and the insurance companies I worked for, I tried very hard to get a job with the Missouri Humane Society as an undercover investigator - basically doing what I already did but for animals, not insurance (Hey...wait...those ARE kind of the same). Unfortunately, the HS required more of a traditional police background, which I didn't have. I wanted it so very bad, for nothing could have made my job more beneficial to mankind (or something grand like that). Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to leave your heartfelt comment.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

What an excellent hub! I'm always touched by what dogs will and can do. I'm more a cat person but I do love dogs also.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

We quickly become blind to our own creations. You described well the difficulty in looking at our own writing critically. When that feeling of not knowing how much is on the paper as opposed to what's in the head sets in, it's time to do one of four things...put the piece aside and come back after a few days (as you say), ask a trusted writer friend for feedback, take the leap and publish, or toss the piece in the freezer or the fireplace.

It's also easy to be one's own toughest critic. But I assure you, you seldom have left me with that *So what?* question.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Uninvited Writer: Thanks for stopping by. I am mostly a dog person, but I like all animals and they like me. I really don't dislike my cat as much as I pretend to. Sometimes, but sometimes I really like him too. Thanks!

Sally: Yes, I'm OK if I take a couple of days and then take another look at it, it's just I can't resist going ahead and "putting it on" hubpages. I usually continue to tune things for a few days, but by then, most of the people I care about have already seen it. Thanks again for your vote of confidence and support. I know I say this a lot, but you and your feedback really do matter to me. So...Thank you.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

This hub was lovely Christoph, and so touching. I am a real animal freak as you may have guessed, and it warms my heart and brings a tear to my eye when I read of how animals have saved their owners lives on so many occasions :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

Beautiful and amazing stories (especially the 9/11 one), and again I have to say: Dude, you write so F-ing well.  Your prose style simply vanishes and the story unfolds on its own.  The physical act of reading is lost to actual experience of the story itself and your reader is unaware of what he or she does until reaching the end and suddenly discovers that it was in fact only reading after all.  Your hands lay as lightly upon your work as the atmosphere upon our skin, undetectable yet essential for everything.  You, sir, have skillz.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thank you, Misty, so much! I too am an "animal freak", and rather over-sentimental which, I fear, is obvious. I appreciate your comments and the "tear". Would you like to borrow my handkerchief? Thanks!


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Wonderful Hub on dogs you have here. I love dogs and always had a couple of them in my home. They are the best friends and companion one can get.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Shade: Thanks for your compliments. As you are one of the best writers around, it is high praise indeed. (Thought for sure you were going to bust me for my shameless use of pathos). I don't know what else to say. You write a comment like I write a paragraph that I struggle over for hours. Now, that's '"skillz"!

Anamika S: Thanks for reading my hub and your compliment. Dogs are the best friends and companions! Thanks!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

You weren't selling anything, so pathos is fair and the strength of this piece. I'd tell you I teared up too, but that would make me weak and chicklike, which I am clearly not, so obviously I did not tear up at all and remained unmoved by your story entirely.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Shadesbreath: Thanks. And thanks for the great laugh. We all have had more than our share the past few days, courtesy of you.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

sniffle, yes please Christoph, a hanky would be helpful.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Take the jumbo box, dear.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Even most human's may not remember their loved ones for so long. This is a true story of a loyal dog Hachiko :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachiko


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

countrywomen: Wow! What a great story! I had not heard of Hachiko before (it seems I am the only one who had not!) It's a lovely and inspiring story. Thanks for posting the link here. I hope people go and read it. I can't wait for the soon-to-be-released movie. Something to look forward to!


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA

Christoph -

There are some hubwriters that just don't appeal to me. Does this make them a bad writer. Nah. It's just the lack of a connection...sort of like if you had written this piece in Swahili and I don't understand Swahili. I just consider myself very fortunate that you and I speak a similar language when it comes to writing and so I'm able to enjoy immensely your talent.

So whether you hit that publish button quickly or linger over it a while, just trust yourself. Some pieces in my opinion tend to be a bit overconstructed and like over-brushed hair it actually becomes a bigger mess with all the fuss. I think you have a good sense of when to stop and hit that button...and I'm a true fan.

And now...I'm still trying to unclog my breathing apparatus. My fault...I sat in front of the television and watched a "Pretty Woman" "Forrest Gump" double header.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thank you, Spryte, for your encouragement, and as YOUR BIGGEST FAN, it is always cherished. Now, just let me get this little treasure chest open...

I love Forrest Gump! It was one of only two movies I ever went to the theatre to see by myself. I had read the book 10 years prior. When the movie finally came out, I couldn't wait for my friends and the weekend. Went to see a matinee.

Thanks again, you dear heart.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

Hi Christoph,

A wonderful hub.  Your examples brought tears to my eyes as well.  I have owned many pets in my life, dogs and cats, and loved each and every one of them.  It is always heartbreaking when their time on earth is up.  My reasons for having a pet is the pure and simple joy they bring to my life, and I can sleep at night knowing that there may be one or more animals on this planet who have a quality life.  I currently have a 16 yr old cat and a 5 yr old cat.  I know my oldest one's days are numbered, and I will mourn her loss deeply.  I will never in my lifetime be without a pet.  I, at this point, have come to know that any pet's life is short, relatively speaking.  So, while they are here and breathing, I want to be a part of their life, as they are of mine.

I used to be addicted to Animal Cops, and at first couldn't watch it much.  But, I persisted and grew to love the show.  I still do even though I don't watch it like I used to.  Certainly, the sad parts of the show always brought me to tears, but I continued to watch because of the tears of joy that would come when they showed their success stories.

As far as putting my hubs together, I too, have that urge to just go ahead and publish.  I haven't done that in quite a while ever since I enlisted the help of my best friend.  She'll read the draft and ask me questions that never even occurred to me, and then I go edit.  I can say that some of the ones that I did just go ahead and publish did quite well, while others did not.  Generally, once I know what I want to put out here, I tend to stick with it till I can hit that publish button.  Instant gratification, ya know?  Well, let me re-phrase that, same day gratification LOL.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

/blows the dust off his old Forrest Gump impression:  Shrimp soup, shrimp salad, shrimp tacos, shrimp bouillabaisse...


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Trish: Thanks for writing. I'm glad I brought a tear to your eye (I'm keeping track). The stories really are touching. I am sure there are similar stories about cats, waking up there owners during fires and such (Of course, their motivations are probably to save their own skins, but...) I have gotten to where I can watch Animal Cops again and manage to catch it sometimes.

Thanks again for writing and your heartfelt comments.

Shade: ...boiled shrip, fried shrimp, raw shrimp...


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA

orange shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp...

Of course my favorite line of all time in Forrest Gump is: "Sometimes there's just not enough rocks."


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

...shrimp scampi, shrimp gumbo, shrimp rolls...

Hmmm. I don't think I have a favorite line. Let me think about it.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Oh man I gotta pee!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Well, don't let us stop you!

...shrimp ravioli, barbeque shrimp, jerk shrimp....


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

No, not me gump, thats my favourite line!

btw whose the handsome dude in your avatar?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

Wait, don't let him pee in the shrimp bucket


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

OMG is that a shrimp bucket?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

I am - as you said - slowly morphing.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

Woah, I thought you asked me if that was a shrimp in my pocket and I was trying to decide if I was mad or not.  Sometimes reading and drinking don't go well together.

Christoph... lol, I can see the baby's hair now  ROFL That's awesome.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

It will be a little clearer every day. I must be patient.


spryte profile image

spryte 7 years ago from Arizona, USA

Coffee and reading don't go together too well either...I read Shade's comment on the other hub and seriously thought he wanted to embrace all of you, Christoph.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Oh. Now I get it. He WANTS me to wear high heels. Homie don't play that.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia

I'm so behind in everything, so this comment is way late. Christoph, I'm shocked that the humane society wouldn't value the skills of a private detective over traditional police experience. How wonderful that you tried to do that, and it's their loss.

I agree with Spryte, you connect so well with the reader and your writing appears to be so effortless. It's a gift for sure. My background (way back) is in technical writing, and I tend to avoid clicking the publish button for days because I'm out of my comfort zone. But that's ok, I'm learning so much from everyone here. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

HI Pam: I used to do some technical writing as well, taking a complicated thing and trying to make it easy enough for anyone to follow. It was actually great training, and I'm sure you have writing skills that you aren't even aware of, but that will begin to emerge (if they're not already, and you're just not used to them. That "unfamiliar ground" you speak of.) I have enjoyed what I have read of yours very much.

Thanks so much for writing again, and for your kind words!


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 7 years ago from Manhattan

VERY interesting hub! There's a lot of great insight here. I love the part about the comparison of chimps, wolves, dogs, and puppies and their responses to human signals. Who would've predicted those results???


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

helenathegreat: Thanks for stopping in and the comment. How's N.Y.? I lived at 51st and 9th (Hell's Kitchen) for 10 years. I miss it sometimes. Thanks again!


budwood profile image

budwood 7 years ago from Southern Nevada

Although I am definitely not a "dog person", I am becoming more convinced of the value of the human - dog special relationship. Evidently, it is kind'a tilted with dogs giving more and humans giving less.

Your hub somewhat puts it together. Nice job - - even makes me think of getting a pal - - maybe a dog like a terrier that can jump into the back of a pick-up when he sees me get in the cab.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Budwood: Thanks for reading and the comment. Dogs love to ride in the back of pick-up's, so long as their master is driving. You should give one a try. Lot's of great dogs are available at shelters, and already with their shots and spayed or nuetered.


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

I love dogs, I hope to get them soon from a dog shelter. Glad to see they have a long history with humans.


Ryan Hupfer profile image

Ryan Hupfer 7 years ago from San Francisco, CA

I swear I'm going to get a dog one of these days...my girlfriend is going to see to it. Thanks for being an awesome HubMobster!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

cgull8m: Thanks for stopping by and the comment. Ciao!

Ryan: You SHOULD get a dog. It will help you burn off all that excess energy!


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 7 years ago from Virginia

Thanks Christoph, it sounds like you know exactly what I'm talking about. :) It's not easy writing about technical things, and it sure doesn't leave much room for humor. Somehow cracking a joke in the middle of detailing how to set jumpers on a motherboard doesn't go over very well. lol!

Have a great day. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Pam: No, they don't like that "humor" thing at all. Bunch of "stick-in-the-muds" if you ask me! HA!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Setting jumpers on a mother board? What is that a kind of flea race? On Your Mark>Get Set>Go.......I can just see all those little fleas running all over the motherboard.   I think the chinese have got the humour thing all tied up with technical manuals!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Talk about the unbearable lightness of being with a dog - and told so touchingly well too! Thanks for an incredible hub!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Agvulpes: I haven't got a clue what you are talking about.

Sahalini: Thanks so much for your kind words, and a Kundera fan as well! That is such a GREAT book. Glad you stopped by and took the time to comment.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Yes Christoph - a wonderful book!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

One of my all time favorites!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Sorry cobber just weird OZy humour!!!!.

Back in your foxhole . you you you fox!


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

Hi Christoph, that was a really great hub.

I just never understood dogs and the joy they brought to people's lives till I actually got my kids a dog. It was then that I saw how like humans they are. my little pup came to us when he was barely 4 weeks old, so we fed him all the baby stuff, he was just so adorable as a baby. He grew really fast, full of mischief, fun and frolic and he just barged into everyones hearts. The book- 'Marley and me' described my dog perfectly! But the point I want to make here is that while we give a dog a home, we should also realise that dogs have a life of their own too. My free spirited Labrador- we call him Casper, took to wandering off on his own. He just loves to go for a jaunt on his own in the neighbourhood. He's gone missing once,and we found him after 3 days. They were the worst 3 days of our lives. Everyone at home, right down to the domestic help, was upset. Eachone searched High and low-till we found him in a slum nearby. We thought that the best thing to do to keep him safe was to keep him confined, but that only made him unhappy, so we let him be in the yard. and he's taken off again. I think he is in our lives to teach us a lesson to us in detachment. Love something unconditionally, wholeheartedly but you can't keep it chained or confined just because it brings you so much joy and you're scared of losing it!

Casper has not yet returned home, its been a week since he took off- we have spread the word around that he's missing, we've searched for him in his usual spots, we just hope nobody has done him harm, he is just so innocent and lovable. My friends who have had their dogs stray and return have assured me that he will come back. He'll find his way home. I pray that he does, because I don't think I can take up responsibility for another dog again if something has happened to him!


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

If only dogs could be taught to say "Ngyaeow," what a wonderful world it would be. [wink!]


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Vibhavari: Thanks for stopping by and your heartfelt comments. Dogs can certainly work their way into our hearts, can't they? I do need to say that just because your dog wants to run free, does not mean you should let them. I used to take my dog out to the country and let him run and explore the woods, with me by his side of course. And you're right, he loved it, and he was safe because I was there to protect him. Dogs, especially well-cared for and loved as yours is, go off expecting that everyone is nice, that everyone will feed him, etc., etc. It's just not true and there are many other dangers also, like being hit by a car. We have laws against letting dogs run free where I live, and they could wind up lost in a shelter somewhere with you frantically trying to find them. This is a good reason for them to have name tags. So in today's world, dogs do not have a life of their own. They have a life with you. While your attitude is very noble and seems to come from a good place, I cannot agree. When you accept a dog into your life, you also accept a responsibility to keep that dog safe. If your young children wanted to run away for three days and go play in the slums, would you let them? Of course not. It is the same with dogs. They are our children and they need to be cared for. Father knows best.

I am sorry your dog has not come home. Have you tried calling the nearby shelters and dog pounds? The ads in the local paper, flyers on telephone poles and neighborhood stores? You see these things often, don't you? Where do all those dogs go? My little dog ran away once, just because he was curious. Unfortunately, I had just taken off his collar and tag because it had become too tight. I used my other dog to find him the next day. No kidding, I took my other dog out on a leash and said to him, "Find Yorick." And he began sniffing the ground and led me several blocks away to where I found the dog being taken care of another family. It was remarkable.

I wish you the best of luck in finding your dog. I know how heartbreaking it can be.

Quicksand: You mean make a noise like a cat? That would be awful. Thanks for the comment.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

I guess you are right. Dogs are lousy in pronouncing words of "foreign" origin. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

quicksand: I didn't mean that. I meant that I like dogs sounding like they do, and cats sounding like THEY do. Ha, ha.


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

Yes Christoph, I do understand the responsibility of owning a dog, and when he went missing it was like one of my kids had gone missing, and yes we HAVE tried all means of finding him, even made a police report with a picture, and sadly they do not really do anything to help beyong writing a report. The last time we got him back from the slums- the person who kept him, came looking for my dog again saying his kids wanted one like Casper. We told him where he could get one, but unfortunately good breeds do cost money which the fellow did not want to spend. We even went looking for Casper to that person's house- but if he has taken my dog, he is smart enough not to keep him in the same place as he did last time.

Where do lost dogs go? Other than possibly being hit by cars, or ending up in dog pounds and shelters, I've been told there are people waiting to get their hands on healthy dogs, for various reasons. My gut feel- my dog has not gone off on his own this time, he was "taken-out" of the yard, there was no way he could have gotten out on his own. It is only after having tried everything, that I said- even dogs have a life of their own! Maybe I should have said- a "destiny of their own". Think about it, why do some dogs have a happy homes while others are doomed to being strays? The futility of my search has brought me to the point I've arrived at in this situation of my life - let go and let God!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Vibhavari: Well, I misunderstood you. Yes, I would say dognapping is a definite possibility. We have that same problem here in the States. As for destiny, well I suppose everything has it's own destiny. It may be time - as you say - "to let go and let God." I wish you great luck. Whether that comes by finding your lost dog or by a new dog, I do not know, but luck to you nevertheless.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 7 years ago

Okay Christoph, let cats be cats and let dogs be dogs! Probably you would have guessed by now that I am an ardent cat fan!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

quicksand: To each his own, my friend, to each his own. I have a cat, too.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Wow, you got really younger and scarier looking since last time I was here. Now I forget what I came to say. I'm outta here!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

Christoph,

Great hub!!,,,,you would make a good ambassador for dogs!

I love Dogs and Cats, Rats and Pigs elepahnts etc, but find kitty the easist to look after so for that reason i have a kity!

:)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Compustart: Thank you for coming to read this hub. That was thoughtful of you. I don't begrudge anyone their choice of pets. We're just having fun, right? Thanks again!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I don't know what I would do if someone dognapped a dog of mine. I would definitely break my heart wondering what ever became of my beloved pet. In Tenerife (when I lived there) many larger breed dogs were stolen as bait for fighting dogs to train with.

On a lighter note, an English friend of mine's Boxer dog was stolen in Tenerife, and just when they had given up hope of ever getting their pet back, the women who had stolen him took him into a vets for treatment. The vet recognised the dog from the 'lost' flyer, and quietly phoned the real owners to tell them to come and identify their dog. Of course when they turned up they knew it was their dog and immediately confiscated it back again, in spite of much abuse in Spanish from the thief in question.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Misty: That's great they got their dog back. That would really hurt to lose one. One of mine disappeared for 24 hours and I was a nervous wreck!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I would be exactly the same Christoph. I am bad enough when my cats go missing for more than a day, and that is what cats do!!!! I have had dogs go missing before now, and it is terribly stressful wondering if they are okay and if they are frightened,lost, or worse still, stolen.


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Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Misty: Gosh, I kind of lost your comment. Yea, I don't worry so much when the cat is gone. He usually comes back the same evening/morning, but a couple of times he has stayed away for a couple of days. But when the dog goes missing - figgidaboudit!


AP 7 years ago

i love my bichon frise!!!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

AP: Nice to know the Associated Press was here reading my article, and that you have a bichon frise. Somehow I pictured the AP with more of a hound dog, like a news hound. Thanks for the comment. Feel free to send this out on your news wite to the front page of every newspaper in the country. Just make sure you spell my name right and provide a link. Thanks!


Bella 7 years ago

Yes! Dogs are definitely nicer than those scratchy cats! The King Cavalier is the best!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Bella: I have no personal experience with the King Cavalier, but they are a fine looking beast. Thanks you for stopping by and the comment.


abinavis profile image

abinavis 7 years ago from Bat Island

Thanks for sharing. I would think this is great hub for people who consider to have dog. Which dog type is better for the old man who stay alone in his house? Herding dogs?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

abinavis: Thanks for coming by. I don't know what the best dog would be. I would depend on his circumstances and what he wanted the dog for. Thanks for the comment!


owned by dog 7 years ago

Well written,

As with others your stories bring back memories both joyful and painfull. When they are painfull I have my dog for comfort. Your article indirectly points out something interesting. hy is it so hard to explain exactly what it is a dog gives us just by being a dog, in our lives. Thanks for the dog tales


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

owned by a dog: Yes, I have both painful and joyful memories of my dogs as well. The bond is hard to put into words. It is, I think, such a collection of things that it can't be summed up easily. Thanks for visiting and the heartfelt comment!


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I love my dogs 2 naughty little cockers with the warmest personalities they are such a blessing and I am certainly glad that we have them.:)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

Hi AE: Yep. Nothing like the love and dedication of a dog. Thanks for the comment.


swathin2 profile image

swathin2 7 years ago

having dog as a pet is a common thing in most of the homes but how many people really take time to care for them. they do not expect much from us just a friendly touch and a friendly relation ship will make them to give their lives for us. they do not have any ego feelings like humans. they are the best friends who can be trusted always as they do not know the meaning of cheating.

i really love dogs and i like the way you highlighted them. hope people will change their attitude towards their pets and be free with them.

feel free to comment back on my hubs


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis Author

swathin: I agree, and anybody who can't love a dog is missing part of their soul. Thanks for the comment!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA

CR - This article is certainly a winner among articles. Not only are you a superb writer, you research exceedingly well and write with compassion and understanding. I wish you lived next door ! Gus


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thank you, Gus. You are a gentleman. Thanks you very much for your kind words!


Vecchio 6 years ago

I really like this site my comps. my motto is "There are more bad people then bad dogs" Like I have written "Kids fly the coupe, significant other may dump you but your dog is always by your side. Two way loyality!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Veccio: Thank you for stopping in and reading. Your comment is most appreciated.

I checked out you linked name (I remove them if I don't approve where it leads) and I have left it intact. It is a good idea for a site and appears to have just recently been created. Keep adding good content and you could really have a great site. Let me know if I can help.

For the curious, the site is:

Dog's Best Pal

http://dogsbestpal.webs.com/


Vecchio 6 years ago

Thank you for your kind comments. I can see everyone here at your site are dog lovers as I am. In an effort to bring more Dog Lovers together I have placed a link yo your site on my home page. You deserve it after all the fine work you have done here. If you object I will remove it at your request. Vecchio


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Vecchio: Of course I don't mind and I appreciate it! Thank you and best of luck!


Doggie Devotee profile image

Doggie Devotee 6 years ago from Danville KY

very nice hub!


carrine wong 6 years ago

thank you for my grandmother taking care my best mate (daisy), my dog xd!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Doggie Devotee: Thanks for reading!

Carrine Wong: Well, to you and your Grandmother and Daisy, "You're welcome!" Thanks for writing!


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

A very beautiful Hub! Great job!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Micheal Shane: Thank you very much!


Its tnt profile image

Its tnt 6 years ago from God's own Country

I loved the talking part by the way, and the rest is very cool too. Dogs will remain our companions for life ahead too.

Wonderful hub topic and content.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

lts tnt: Thank you for the compliments. Really glad you enjoyed this piece.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California'

An amazing artile Christoph! I have posted a link to your hub on my Dog tails blog on blogspot.com (hope you don't mind, but I couldn't resist!)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Enelle: How wonderful to hear from you, and I am tremendously honored for you to link to it. I'll get over to your blog soon.

Thank you again for your lovely comment!


taty96 profile image

taty96 6 years ago from Ecuador

I agree dogs are great


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Yes they are taty96. Thanks for commenting.


rrtyf45 6 years ago

hi


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

How I miss my dogs.... So true we weep when they die and their little hearts break when their loved one dies. This brings to my mind the movie "Hachi: A Dog's Tail". It's an "autobiography" of the real Hachi and is great movie for all dog/animal lovers to watch. "Give a dog your heart, and he will give you his life". As always, enjoyed reading this.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

.rrtyf45: hi to u 2.

Hi Bethie! How's it? Yea, I miss mine too. I enjoyed writing this one, reading all the info, especially the hero dog stories. They really make you think. Funny you should mention Hachi. A few weeks ago I was working for a pet food company doing tweets, and in one of them I linked to the story of Hachi, which I already knew but hadn't read in a long time. That's something! Glad you came and enjoyed!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

Loved this hub. Can't wait to read more of your work!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis Author

Eiddwen: Thanks for reading. Appreciate it!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

What an intelligent and informative hub. I was expecting something humorous for some reason, but it grabbed me by the collar. But it needn't have; I lapped it up. Sorry about the dog analogies. (At least I refrained from writing that I enjoyed it so much my tail was wagging.)

I think most of us have intimate dog stories, but your descriptions here, although not sentimental, but by virtue of their statements being so matter of fact, were even more riveting, heart warming and thought provoking.

Where is there, on this site, a little button I can press to say, "Superb writer"? I need it when reading your works, Christoph.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thank you, my friend. For any others reading this, you must read Twilight Lawns work. Stunning and beautiful. He/She is new here, a great writer who has accidentally stumbled onto our site and decided to stick around for a bit. You won't be disappointed!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Chris, I have had a bugger of a "missing my dog" day and then I stumbled on this again. It made me laugh and yap away to myself like a performing seal, and cry a bit too much for comfort. But it worked wonders... I loved reading it again, and also, I have just read your last comment. Thank you so much, but I don't deserve it.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Why? What happened to your dog? But thank you for the compliment, and of course you do!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Shortly, Chris, I will post a poem about my dog, Semi, who left me, without permission, twenty months ago, and I still miss her. I've wanted to post it for so long, but I still haven't had the heart.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

Oh, I was thinking it was like...last week. But still...I miss mine though he's been gone these many years.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Christoph, You got me with that first picture and I was hooked right to the ending paragraph. Very enjoyable and informative. Thanks from one animal lover to another.

And back to Forrest Gump, my favorite line was, "You can tell a lot about people by their shoes: where they been, what they been doing, where they goin'."


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

I've seen Forrest Gump so many times I should know every line by now. Read the book too, 10 years before the movie.


kate4love123 5 years ago

i am woman looking very nice and black 5ft hight.

and all so looking for man.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

kate4love123: i am man looking just so so and white 6ft and stuff so not looking for woman.


ainehannah profile image

ainehannah 5 years ago from Dublin

great hub Christoph, have you seen the movie Dean Spanley? An On The Road movie for dogs and their temporal owners :0)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis Author

ainehannah- No, I haven't seen it. I'll definitely have to check it out. Thanks for commenting!


Cardozo7 profile image

Cardozo7 4 years ago from Portugal

One of the best hubs i read. Great stories and i bet there are much more incredible episodes like that between man and dog. Voted up


Easy 4 years ago

Wonderful Hub, it warms my heart that there is someplace I can go and get beautiful feed back on others like myself that love their dogs so much. I don"t know what i would have done without my dogs Charlie and COCO when my father past away, he was my best friend. I do believe that "DOGS" are truly a mans best friend now that my father past.

Thank YOU, Christph


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A brilliant hub and thank you for sharing;take care and enjoy your weekend.

Eddy..


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 4 years ago from St. Louis Author

Thank you, Cordoza, Easy and Eiddwen. Thanks for reading.


Adam 4 years ago

this is old information, recently the daily mail reported they have found 33,000 year old domesticated dog bones in belguim and siberia. they know they were domesticated because they have shorter jaws, less suitable for hunting. this means that dogs were domesticated before any other animal, including goats, sheep and cattle.


rachael 4 years ago

cool


Bob Joe 3 years ago

Ok, first of all, all of you are gonna think that this isn't my real name, but it is... no one ever believes me... :( Second of all, this is an awesome article!

PEACE! :D


dingo 3 years ago

Hi, you should add a facebook button to enable sharing


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 3 years ago from St. Louis Author

It has a Facebook share button. It is there, to the right. Thanks.


Aruni Amarasinghe 3 years ago

The style of writing and the context touches deep emotions. Im a person who love any kind of animal but i do have a special place for dogs. thanks very much for all the information :)


angie 2 years ago

thank you for all the information I love it!


hilton tucker 2 years ago

thanks for the information aim doing year six non-chornological homework!

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