Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tika & It's A Dog's Life

Did our ancestors keep dogs for pets or for food? For companionship or to help haul burdens?

The Non-Sequitur cartoon in our paper today showed a fellow sitting on a bar stool with a sign on his back: "Treat me like a dog." The bartender tells somebody looking at the sign: "He's hoping someone will take him home, feed him, and let him sleep all day." That's a dog's life for sure!

But has it always been so? Since the 1660s a proverb has explained a dog's life:  "It's a dog's life, hunger and ease."  In common usage today, a dog's life usually means that life is hard and unpleasant.

But if my Tika is any example, a dog's life is pretty cushy. She's kept safe (baby gates on the deck), fed only good-quality kibbles, walked only on a leash and tucked in warmly at night (into our bed). Some dog's life.

My grandfather, George Louis Gurney (1895-1964) had a little black Cocker Spaniel appropriately called "Blackie," whom he doted upon. My Dad and his father had "Turk" a rangy looking hunting dog and I have several B&W pictures of father, son, rifles and dog.

My opinion: I think besides being food, carriers-of-burdens and hunters, I think dogs have been companions of mankind since very early times. Does this rock art prove that???

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