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

Updated on October 20, 2008
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
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komonegi_jp/flickr
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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 ΒΌ 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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    • profile image

      hilton tucker 3 years ago

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

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      angie 3 years ago

      thank you for all the information I love it!

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      Aruni Amarasinghe 4 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 :)

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 4 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      dingo 4 years ago

      Hi, you should add a facebook button to enable sharing

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      Bob Joe 4 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

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      rachael 5 years ago

      cool

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      Adam 5 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.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

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

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

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

      Eddy..

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      Easy 5 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

    • Cardozo7 profile image

      Cardozo7 5 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

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      Aine O'Connor 6 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)

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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

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

    • profile image

      kate4love123 6 years ago

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

      and all so looking for man.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      Peg Cole 6 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
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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

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

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 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
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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

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

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 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
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      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      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 6 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.

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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      Eiddwen: Thanks for reading. Appreciate it!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

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

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      .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!

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      Beth100 7 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.

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      rrtyf45 7 years ago

      hi

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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      Yes they are taty96. Thanks for commenting.

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      taty96 7 years ago from Ecuador

      I agree dogs are great

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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      Enelle Lamb 7 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!)

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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      Its tnt 7 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.

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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      Micheal Shane: Thank you very much!

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      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      A very beautiful Hub! Great job!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      Doggie Devotee: Thanks for reading!

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

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      carrine wong 7 years ago

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

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      Doggie Devotee 7 years ago from Danville KY

      very nice hub!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      Vecchio 7 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

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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

      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/

    • profile image

      Vecchio 7 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
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      Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      Gustave Kilthau 7 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

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      swathin2 8 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
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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      Julianna 8 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.:)

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      owned by dog 8 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
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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      abinavis 8 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
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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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.

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      Bella 8 years ago

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

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      AP 8 years ago

      i love my bichon frise!!!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image
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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      Cindy Lawson 8 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 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      Cindy Lawson 8 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.

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      Tony 8 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!

      :)

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      Dottie1 8 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!

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      quicksand 8 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!

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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.

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      Vibhavari 8 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!

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      quicksand 8 years ago

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

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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 8 years ago

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

    • Vibhavari profile image

      Vibhavari 8 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!

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      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      Sorry cobber just weird OZy humour!!!!.

      Back in your foxhole . you you you fox!

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      One of my all time favorites!

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      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      Yes Christoph - a wonderful book!

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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.

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      Shalini Kagal 8 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!

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      Peter 8 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!

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      Pam Roberson 8 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. :)

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      Ryan Hupfer 8 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!

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      cgull8m 8 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.

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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.

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      budwood 8 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.

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      helenathegreat 8 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???

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      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!

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      Pam Roberson 8 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. :)

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      spryte 8 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.

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

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

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      Shadesbreath 8 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.

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      I am - as you said - slowly morphing.

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      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      OMG is that a shrimp bucket?

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      Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

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

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      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      No, not me gump, thats my favourite line!

      btw whose the handsome dude in your avatar?

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      Well, don't let us stop you!

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