Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - Jan. 19, 2006)
2006 Year of the Dog
The squirrels in my garden have learned without a
doubt that hanging out in our garden guarantees that there will be scraps of bread
and cake, nuts and raisins offered, and there are feeders overwhelmed with
|Photo by Karen Mitchell Tremmel
|Eileen LoSasso and her
faithful friend enjoy our good weather while playing in the park
The rabbits have learned that we never throw out potato peelings, carrots or
romaine, but use the leftovers to mulch around needy plants.
As for the raccoons they devise clever new schemes to pry the lids up on the
garbage bins as quickly as we put deterrents in place.
It is my experience that some animals have learned that living next to and near
humans can be lucrative.
Dolphins and sea birds chase fishing boats, pelicans hang out on fishing piers,
mice invade granaries, and then there are all those pigeons in the parks. Then why
is it so difficult for scientists to agree on at least one thing: That the
ancestors of dogs sought the advantages of living close to humans?
Thousands of years later and thousands of dollars spent, the origins of dogs is
still being debated. One fact most scientists agree upon is that dogs originated in
the Orient, most probably China. Second fact: Dogs were mobile and traveled on
their own or alongside humans to uncharted territories. Most scientists also agree
that one of the ancestors of dogs is the wolf.
Thats about the extent of what is agreed upon. It is conjectured that dogs
first became domesticated between 135,000 years ago to 3,500 years ago. These
studies are based on DNA remains of dogs compared to DNA of present day dogs. What
then accounts for this enormous discrepancy? Wolf and dog behavior seems to be at
the center of the debate. Some believe that wolves with immature personalities,
less fearful, ever-more-docile animals, or perhaps not as aware or alert to danger,
accepted the first offerings or leftovers from humans as a trade off for living in
close proximity with a potential enemy.
Over time the wolf dog became protective of this ready supply of food, going into
defensive battle. Humans quickly realized that this benefited their needs and began
taming the wolf dogs, feeding them and providing them with shelter and warmth from
On the flip side of this argument some scientists propose that the dog must have
many ancestors: Jackals, wolves, and possibly an extinct wolf. This would explain
the vast variety of dogs today. The argument is partially based on the fact that
wolf puppies of today do not readily show or take on the same personality traits of
domestication as does the dog, even when the wolf pups are hand reared by
However and whenever dogs became domesticated we all agree that a synergist
relationship emerged. That relationship would continue to span thousands of years
with love, faithfulness and companionship.
Jan. 29, 2006 is the first day of the Chinese New Year. 2006 (as well as 1922,
1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994) is known as the Year of the Dog.
If your birth date falls within one of these years, it is said that you are a
faithful and most honest person. You also can be a little stubborn, selfish and
eccentric at times but you are tenacious, gregarious and willing to try and solve
the problems around you with a smile.
Even if you are not a dog person, everyone must give credit that dogs
have touched our lives and worked beside us with loving loyalty. They have assisted
us through wars, defended us against invaders, walked with us upon beaches and
hiked with us in the wildest woods. They share many of our homes; guiding us,
saving us, assisting us and always loving us. In 2006, lets celebrate our
faithful friend, the dog, back to nature.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.