Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Puppy Love

Another story about dog fighting and animal cruelty has come to national attention. An owner was found to have about 80 dogs, mostly pit bulls, living in horrific conditions, hidden in the woods. He is thought to have been providing dogs for fights even if not directly involved in the organizing or attending the fights himself.

I only wish the penalties for this beastly activity were more severe. Although I am allergic to dogs and can't have one as a pet, I am a dog lover. The degree of emotional connection between humans and dogs, and their astonishing loyalty to their owners demand reciprocal loyalty and protection on our part. (The linked story is a real tear-jerker!)


Humans and dogs are known to have been living closely together for at least 15,000 years. New genetic studies suggest that humans started domesticating dogs more like 135,000 years ago. Some scientists believe that wolf social structure inspired humans to behave more cooperatively. (Chimpanzees, by comparison, are found to be relatively non-altruistic.) Another study reveals that dogs (wild ones) are even better at reading human gestures such as pointing than chimps are.

The picture I posted above I found at Izismile. To me it reveals this loving pet's ability to channel his master's innermost feelings.

4 comments:

MAISON CHAPLIN said...

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djinn said...

I have a theory that dogs and humans domesticated each other. Dogs read human hierarchies and human emotions about as well as we do.

djinn said...

btw, very cool post.

kerfuffler said...

Thanks!

Djinn, it is interesting that you say that; many of the articles I scanned for this post referred to the co-evolution of man and dog.