Many years ago, our family adopted a rescue dog, Emma, who lived with us for 14 years. She was a terrific companion. We have not had a dog since she died and almost every day, my kids and wife tell me that we should get another. I am not sure how or why the idea that we should have a dog became so ingrained in our family. My eldest son has a rescue dog and my second son plans to move into a pet friendly apartment so that he can adopt one of his own. Perhaps it is because dogs have been part of domestic human life longer than almost any other animal. As reported in The New York Times, humans domesticated dogs almost 9,000 years ago. The most recent evidence for early domestication comes from archaeologists exploring 1,400 panels of rock art with more 6,600 depictions of animals found in the Saudi Arabian desert. They found portrayals of humans with dogs hunting gazelles, ibex, and even large predators such as lions.
Remarkably, they even found images of dogs apparently on leashes. The carvings date back approximately 8,000 to 9,000 years ago and were found beneath depictions of cattle, suggesting that domestication of dogs preceded humans herding cattle. While not all authorities agree with the dating, dogs have nonetheless been pets and hunting companions of humans for a very long time indeed. As for us, my wife and son filled out a form to adopt “Maggie”, a seven-month-old rescue dog. Here’s hoping for another terrific companion.