Friday, July 9, 2010
Humanity's most successful pact may have been with the grass. But their first, most affectionate and perhaps most equal pact predated it by over five thousand years. This alliance was with the tribe of wolves that humans now call dogs.
The roles in this relationship were not as clearly defined as it was with the grass, for while the humans provided food and shelter, what humans asked of the dogs varied substantially from person to person. Dogs were asked to do everything: to guard against intruders, hunt with them, rescue them, find things for them and surprisingly often to simply be with them.
Over the years, the bond has strengthened. Dogs themselves have assumed many forms, as breeds specializing in every service ever asked of them. Their behavior is attuned to that of the humans as well; they respond more readily and accurately to human body language and commands than any other species.
As the ultimate companion, dogs have earned the title "man's best friend".