According to the Internet, June 8th is Best Friend’s Day. As we celebrate this day with our furry companions, we reflect on the history of man’s best friend. One has to think to themselves, how did we get to this point where dogs are considered a part of the family? It all started with something both dogs and humans have in common, socialization.
Why it began
The narrative begins roughly 15,000 years ago when dogs followed people’s migration throughout East Asia. They traveled together during this time and the connection became natural. Since dogs and humans like to socialize, they both kept each other around for the journey. Besides being social, they each obtained something from the other. The dogs would eat the scraps the humans would leave behind. In return, the dogs kept the humans safe. Neither could thrive without the other, thus the strong bond began.
Where it went
Around 6,000 years ago, dogs were considered deities in leading civilizations. Examples of this include Anubis from Egypt, Xolot from the Mayas and Cerberus from the Greeks. The main roles of these dogs were either to accompany deceased people to the other world or to guard the other world.
We don’t necessarily see dogs as deities anymore, but we did start realizing how special they are to us.
The phrase “man’s best friend” originated in 1870 when a talented lawyer named George Graham Vest defended a man who loved his Coon Hound named Old Drum. Vest argued that when his neighbor killed Old Drum for trespassing, the neighbor took more than just a pet, he killed a family member.
As a society, we started to see dogs as another family member rather than just a pet. That idea kept growing to where we are today.
How it’s going
Today, dogs have definitely grown on us. Dogs are more than just pets, they are a member of our family and of society. We make sure they have a place to stay when we’re on vacation, we put them in doggy daycare when there’s a busy day ahead of us, and we make sure they are properly groomed. They are seen in designer clothes and dog parks are created all over for them to have a space. Sure, we still benefit from one another. We give them food, they give us love and comfort. As time goes on, we hope the bond will continue to strengthen between us and our animal counterparts. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy our days with our furry best friends.