Forget the THEORIES, there is no archeological proof that dogs evolved from wolves and notably, the dog is the only animal genetically programmed to bond with and serve mankind.
DOGS: THE CREATION-EVOLUTION MYSTERY
First let's do away with the bulging bundle of theories about the creation or evolutionary origin of the species we know as dog.
There is no archaeological evidence that any of the world's wolf populations have any genetic/DNA connection to dogs. To further confound both scientists and theorists, the interbreeding of dog and wolf population "over at least the last 10,000 years, has blurred the genetic signatures and confounded efforts of researchers at pinpointing the origins of dogs." Larson G (2012). "Rethinking dog domestication by integrating genetics, archeology, and biogeography".
So my creation-evolution-genetic question is, "What makes dogs different from every other species that serves mankind?"
First, a little genetic background. Scholars tell us that all dogs descended from the wolf which is why dogs are genetically cataloged as genus canis lupus familiaris. I don't buy that wolf-stuff and you'll understand why shortly. For now, let's all agree that domestic cats, horses, and elephants run a close second in service to mankind but they fall short in many ways.
Try hitching a cat to a cart… Horses and elephants have served man for centuries but unchained, they are gone with the speed of a gazelle! No species on the planet chooses the company of man except the dog. Not one. (Cat lovers, you know it is all about the easy food and easy living.) Scientists don't talk about the uncanny connection between man and dog because they can't explain it. Neither can I but let's look at what we do know.
The dog joined up with man over 15,000 years ago. China was the first to domesticate and keep dogs as pets but from China to the Arctic to West Africa, dogs are still eaten in the 21st century.
If you are a good dog owner, you will agree with this - even if your family dog knew that people eat dogs and that he could be next, he would not desert you.
Are you beginning to understand something so BIG that it's hard to get a hold on it? Dog meat has been a source of food since the time of Confucius, and possibly even before. Dogs are still eaten in the Orient and Polar regions and prior to this century, by Native Americans. Archaeologists have uncovered (pun intended) evidence that Asian people migrated out of Mongolia into Russia. They crossed over the land bridge into Alaska, then Canada, and following the sun, moved on down into what is now the United States and Mexico. Native Americans are descended from those early Asian immigrants... that explains why they kept dogs as hunting companions, children's pets, and when starving, as food.
Get over the shock that human beings eat dogs. The sit-down-and-think thing is that dogs stayed with humans!!! Eskimo, Asian, Polynesian; doesn't matter, dogs are inextricably bonded to humans. And the disturbing truth is, dogs don't need us - we need them. Dogs can hunt or scavenge in order to survive. They do it every day in back alleys, suburbia, and in the few prairies and woodlands we have preserved.
More to the point, mankind became a successful meat eater (and grew a bigger brain) because dogs hunted for us, with us, and dependably protected our (edible) livestock. The glaring question is why did dog come to us and why does he stay? Around the world, we eat dogs. We abuse them, beat them. No other species on the planet would choose to live with a mortal enemy!
Surely you've heard that pigs are as intelligent than dogs. Discovery.com states "Pigs can often outsmart dogs and are on about the same intellectual level as our closest living relatives, chimpanzees…" Most dog owners would refute that ridiculous TV show shocker but let's think a little deeper. If pigs are smarter than dogs, they must know we eat them. Is that why pigs refuse to be our best friend? Chimps? Indeed, they are intelligent enough to know what we do to them in laboratories and that we give them life sentences in zoos. Stop feeding a pig or a monkey, open the door and he's gone...
If not fed, every species on the planet will absolutely, without a second thought, desert us if given the opportunity. All but one.
Your dog will stay at your side and starve right along with you. Are we on to something here? Absolutely! Whether you ascribe to Evolution or Creation, of all the species on the planet, only dogs are born to serve mankind. Think about that. Dogs are different.
Only the dog is unequivocally, unchangingly loyal to his person. Only the dog will face heavy artillery, bombs and imminent death and even when un-tethered, dog will not desert his human partner.
Beat him, starve him, ignore him. The dog is still there to comfort you, to kiss the hand that just struck him. He is more than capable of surviving without you but he will never desert you. Indeed, dog will travel a thousand miles to find his person and in the end, to lay by the coffin or on the grave of his master.
Yes, dogs are "different" than any other species. Dog lovers know that and we talk about it amongst ourselves. Now tell someone you know. But before you do, be sure you read How Dogs Changed Human Evolution
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