The relationship between Man and Dog

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The relationship between Man and Dog is one that’s evolved through pure necessity. It’s difficult to see nowadays how Man might’ve needed Dog for more than just companionship, but when these two first got together, life was very different. In those days, Man and Dog lived in a similar fashion. As is still the case today, food and shelter were particularly important. However, Man didn’t have the creature comforts he has today, and lived, like Dog, in a very minimalist fashion. Both Man and Dog lived in caves, and hunted for their food. One scenario of how Man and Dog first got together is that when food became scarce, Dog, having been around a little longer than Man and therefore perhaps a little bolder in his actions, stopped off at Man’s home to see if there was anything going begging. And there was: big bones from Man’s latest killing, and which man couldn’t himself digest. Man also had a big roaring fire that Dog was quite taken with as well. And to Dog’s delight (and perhaps more to his relief) Man didn’t seem to mind the company (what else was he doing to do with the bones, after all). So Dog became a frequent visitor to Man’s home, as did Dog’s family. And as is the case with all new relationships, theirs eventually moved from the confines of inside to the big bad world of outside. It was then that Man noticed how acute Dog’s sense of smell was and how more easily he was able to catch his prey. Man couldn’t sniff out the hiding place of a rabbit in quite the same way that Dog could. So Man decided to train one of Dog’s puppies to catch his food for him. Puppy soon realized that all he had to do to continue to get food and lodgings was to hunt and kill food for Man, which he decided was a good bargain. And so the relationship between Man and Dog was born, and being able to help man stay alive, Dog thoroughly deserved his title of Man’s best friend.

The saying that a man’s best friend is his dog comes from the “Eulogy to the Dog,” a speech by Senator George Graham Vest that was used in a court case in 1870 in Warrensburg, Missouri, by Charles Burden whose dog, Old Drum, was shot by a neighbor, George Hornsby. Hornsby had vowed to shoot the first sheep-killing dog that came onto his land, which unfortunately for Burden—and Old Drum—was Old Drum.

As with all the best relationships, the relationship between Man and Dog has endured over the years. Man now relies on Dog not for his food—he’s now able to shop for that on the internet—but for those things that are a little more difficult at times to find in today’s world: loyalty, devotion, and true companionship. And perhaps now he’s not needed to hunt out rabbits for his master, Dog’s more than willing to make up for it with loyalty, devotion, and true companionship. Dog might not have been the one able to make fire when he and Man were living in caves many years ago, but he’s far from stupid…