Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our oldest friend

Dogs are fascinating not only because they are our best friends but also because they are our oldest friends! Wolf pups were taken care of as early as 15,000 years ago, mainly in Asia, and eventually bred to match man’s need for a hunting companion, herder, watch dog and pet. Amazingly enough, researchers recently found evidence for a 31,700 year old dog in Belgium. Its DNA seems to have little to do with present-day dogs but what amazes me the most is that history never fails to tell us that everything is much older than we always thought.
This is a mesolithic dog reconstructed from Bennike’s and Lepiksaar’s studies of bones, and modern but primitive breeds such as Jamthund, Norwegian buhund, Finnish lapphund and Swedish vallhund.