Some time around 32 thousand years ago, a young, confused and possibly too violent species of great apes who had already exterminated a handful of animals, even bigger and stronger carnivores to extinction, somehow made friends with another one of nature’s most furious four-legged creatures. The four-legged creature was perhaps, the best trackers ever in nature; aided by their exceptional sense of smell and possibly, an uncommon ability to learn and adapt. 32 thousand years later, we still don’t know why our ancestors didn’t just kill-off the ancient wolf, which in time co-evolved with the humans for the next 32 millenia; even before we invented agriculture where civility was first-born.
Many ancient civilizations praised dogs as part of their mythology, and so did above all myths and tales, they became “man’s best friend”. One can find at least one native word for dogs in every single language that has survived till now. They helped our ancestors hunt and track better, giving us an advantage over other stronger and more agile carnivores. When we settled down with farming, they were with us. One might even argue that it maybe even be due to dogs, that humans understood of unconditional love towards another.
Our society wasn’t the only thing to evolve; Our canine friends (wolf), via co-evolving with us became a whole new canine species we now call “Dogs”. They went with different groups of migrating humans to different lands and necessarily learnt to adapt to the geographical specifications (so did humans, with them), giving way to the origin of different dog breeds (like races in humans). It was only at the time when Queen Victoria ruled England (Victorian era), did humans seem to have taken a special interest in this variety in dog breeds. We began mass breeding dogs, to amplify the qualities we prefered and quench the qualities which we found not much use of.
This, is the story of how one of nature’s most furious hunters became that cute furry creature by your side or that loyal guardian protecting your home. It is a “Genetic Lovestory” which began 32 thousand years ago when an uncommon alliance was forged between two competing carnivore hunters.
In the Victorian era, we killed off many dogs who had the less prefered qualities or because they were slow learners ( We still continue to do this to the canine members of the Armed Forces). That trail of blood leads us to the present where we are still killing dogs because of the very same reasons, moreover, in India, we throw unwanted liter (mostly consisting of females) to the streets.
Those lucky enough to survive till adulthood, as social animals, will learn to stay together as packs and hunt as a pack (an instinctual trait from the ancestral ancient wolf). And the absolutely terrifying quality-of-life on the streets and those horrible abuses humans inflict on them(think what we usually seen done to these street dogs). Together, in the process of natural selection, these conditions would aid the more aggressive and human-mistrusting of the throw aways to survive better than the more trusting and loving ones. And the complex urban landscapes they don’t understand anymore than a forest will become their wild to hunt. Afterall hunger is a necessity no being alive could ignore for long.
It would just be about time until one of such packs inevitably bite a human. Do you think they chose such a terrifying street life? Or, did we, The Inhumane humans, force it upon them?
(Will be continued)
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