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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Long Lost Myths

How Man fooled Dog into Becoming His Best Friend...

Long ago Man and Wolf led two separate existences. Both were filled with hardship and cruelty, and both desired the same things, food, shelter, and companionship. You know this by the fact that both creatures followed a pack mentality, basically, we are more as a group than we are separate. The man being very ingenious quickly noticed the strength and intelligence of the wolf, the quickness and alertness, their increased sense of smell and hearing, and realized that they would work together well.

At this time the Earth was still young and there were only two tribes, the Tribe of Man and the Tribe of the Wolf. One day, after a particularly good hunt, the leader of the Tribe of Men approached the Wolf Tribe that had hit upon a dry spell. He walked among the pack with a large side of meat and offered it to the pack the leader.

"What is this, charity?" asked the proud leader.

"Wise Brother Wolf, I bring you meat and offer that will better us both. We are both strong and wise, and we both are successful hunters. Think of what we can do together. If you come and ally yourself with the Tribe of Men, I can promise you always a full belly, a warm cave and security for you mates and pups, with our spears and your teeth, we will prosper and take over this land." the Man said.

"We have fasted, before silly man, and we will find meat when the time is right. We do not need your offer. The Wolf Tribe is strong on its own. Our own teeth have always filled our bellies, our thick fur has kept us warm, and our females are strong enough to protect themselves and our pups. We need nothing from a furless being that can only keep warm with the skins of other animals, and only kill with sticks and rocks. Come pack, we will go." But it had been long since many in the pack had eaten, and they did not all get up to follow. The leader noticed this and turned snarling upon those who stayed. "We are the proud Wolf Tribe, measly man has nothing to offer us. Any who stay behind, will no longer be one of us and may no longer consider themselves of our tribe. If you try to return to our ways, you quickly meet with the long dark sleep." Many more quickly hopped to their feet and followed the leader away, but four stayed behind. From that point on, the wolf vowed to no longer speak with men. The ones that followed the men home, since they were no longer wolves, adopted the name of dog as their tribe.

For many long years, things were as the man said, they would hunt prosperously together, they would come home to cave kept warm by fire. They all shared in the choicest cuts of meat. They remained strong proud beings and at night would often mock the words of the Wolf Tribe leader. The dogs were very grateful to the men for their prosperous life and thanked them often for the partnership.

Fast forward many suns and things have changed slightly. Man has found that it is much easier, rather than traveling following the food, to keep the food close to home. They had vast herds of livestock, which they kept in line using the dogs. The dogs no longer ran as much or were allowed to kill, but had to wait for man to bring them their food. They quickly grew fat from lack of exercise and were dependant on man for food, as their stretched bellies could no longer survive a long dry spell as the wolves' could. Man lived in houses, but reserved smaller, less luxurious accommodations for the dogs. But the dog was still happy, they still had no fear of a lack of a full belly, though they no longer received the choicest cuts, and they were always warm, though man rarely would share his fire. Their mates were always safe, but their pups became weak from constant play with the human children, and never matured in the mighty beast their ancestors were. They slowly forget the tongue of man, but for simple commands. The dogs followed their ancestors wishes and remained grateful to man.

Many, many, many more suns passed and the role of the dog has now changed considerably. They are often restricted to houses for many hours at a time, they become dependant upon couches and treats. They will often awake to find pink toenails, and sometimes can be found carried around in purses. Many find they are persecuted simply because they and their ancestors look a certain way. But, they cannot claim that man has violated his contract. They still always have a full belly, they have a warm cave at night, their mate and pups are well taken care of, though often by others than their men. When they meet other dogs in the street, they are quickly jerked away from each other, no longer allowed the companionship of their fellow beast, because they will often attack each other without provocation. They no longer share a partnership, but consider man their masters. The once proud and mighty dog has been reduced to a lifelong pup. You will still find your dogs who remember their wolf heritage, the sled dogs of Alaska, the herding dogs found all over, but they are by the minority. The dog no longer knows anything but blind devotion to man.

Many times dogs will escape their bondage, and attempt to return to their wolf roots, but they make sure to steer clear of the genuine article, for they know the bond that was broken with their tribe.

So next time you look your dog in the eye, remember the mighty beast he once was, and take him for run, or to a dog park, or let him sleep on the bed. He's given up a lot to be with you.

case in point (and yes, I bought one for my dog, and its on backorder)

"Mysticism and exaggeration go together. A mystic must not fear ridicule if he is to push all the way to the limits of humility or the limits of delight. " -Milan Kundera, author

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