Best Friends

DogA lot of us have dogs as pets. Those who don’t want them as pets. It is said that a dog is the best friend of a human being. They are the most loyal and wonderful creatures on this planet earth. They are the only living beings who know how to love unconditionally and not expect anything back in return.

Based on DNA evidence, the wolf ancestors of modern dogs diverged from other wolves about 100,000 years ago, and dogs were domesticated from those wolf ancestors about 15,000 years ago. This date would make dogs the first organism to be domesticated by humans. This is the special link dogs share with humans.

Evidence suggests that dogs were first domesticated in East Asia, possibly China, and some of the peoples who entered North America took dogs with them from Asia. As humans migrated around the planet a variety of dog forms migrated with them. The agricultural revolution and subsequent urban revolution led to an increase in the dog population and a demand for specialization. These circumstances would provide the opportunity for selective breeding to create specialized working dogs and pets.

A breed is a group of animals that possesses a set of inherited characteristics that distinguishes it from other animals within the same species. Deliberately crossing two or more breeds is also a manner of establishing new breeds, but it is only a breed when offspring will reliably demonstrate that particular set of characteristics and qualities.

Like all other animals; first, dogs were also treated alike, no matter which breed they belonged to. This breed classification of dogs was basically a human intervention. There are numerous dog breeds, with over 800 being recognized by various kennel clubs worldwide. Many dogs, especially outside the United States of America and Western Europe, belong to no recognized breed. Many of the so called modern breeds are a product of a deliberate process of artificial selection. Because of this, some breeds are highly specialized, and there is extraordinary morphological diversity across different breeds. Despite these differences, dogs are able to distinguish dogs from other kinds of animal. Amazing! Isn’t it?

Nowadays, dogs have become a part of every aspect of human life. Dogs play a very important role in improving the lives of physically handicapped people. These people are able to live a normal life due to these dogs. Sometimes these dogs give more support to them than even their relatives. At least they get the feeling of being loved!

It was recently in the news that an Indian farmer has married his dog in a bid to overcome what he believes is a curse caused by him having stoned to death two mating dogs in his rice field. The 34-year-old farmer, identified as Selvakumar from Sivaganga district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, fell on bad fortune 15 years ago after killing the dogs and hanging their carcasses from a tree. A few days later, his hearing and speech were impaired and he was unable to walk.

Doctors were clueless, but an astrologer finally told him he was cursed by the spirits of the dogs he had killed. He could undo the curse only if he married a dog and live with it, the soothsayer said.

After a long search for a ‘suitable bride’, Selvakumar managed to get a four-year-old mongrel bitch from a friend and had a fully-fledged Hindu wedding in front of villagers and elders.

Dogs have become such an important part of our lives. They are just like humans in almost every way. They understand emotions just as we do. They love just as we do. In fact I think they know how to love better than humans.

Anjuri Nayar