Somewhere, probably in Africa (maybe Asia), there was a meeting.
A branch of the primate family that had started walking upright, and a cousin of the gray wolf, first set eyes on each other. And both realized this relationship had potential.
The records show we've been together for at least 15,000 years, but I suspect dogs (and their ancestors) have been leading us around for much longer. It's impossible not to see how useful they must have been as an alarm system and hunting partner going back to our cave days. And being with us gave them steady access to a food supply. So this has been a win-win relationship from the start. Dogs gave humans a better chance to survive, and vice-versa. So we grew up together.
When humans first came across the Bering Strait, they brought dogs with them. There's even the possibility that they couldn't have made the trip without dogs to pull their sleds.
Most relationships would get old after this long, but not us. If anything, our need for them has increased over time, but in different ways. We may not need hunting partners as much, but their incredible skills for guide/assistance animals, security, search & rescue, and many other jobs, make them invaluable.
Sometimes they can even drive us around (Thank you, Doreen!)
But the most basic part of the deal is still companionship. Humans seem to have an instinctive need for different species companionship. And they like us, too. Because of the nature of the Grumpy household (3 dogs) there is inevitably at least one in our bed at night, and another in a kid's bed. There's something very primordial about dozing off next to a dog. You can envision our mutual ancestors in a cave, with a fire in the background, huddling together with a wild dog for warmth. And as you fall asleep, the dog has one eye on the entrance to warn you of danger.
And on that note, for those of you who didn't notice her name added last month, I'd like to introduce Mello:
How much is that doggy in the window?
Mello is maybe 2 years old, and was found wandering downtown Grumpyville by employees at Mrs. Grumpy's job. She had no collar or chip, and after combing through multiple lost pet sites, and looking for "lost dog" signs, we were unable to locate her owner. So she has now joined Snowball and Cooper in the Grumpy insane asylum.
Making herself at home.
She is an awesome dog, and we are lucky to have her. Great dogs can be found anywhere. All of the Grumpy dogs have been rescue animals, and if you're looking for a new companion, I recommend adopting from your local shelter.
You (and your new friend) will be thankful you did.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!