Why do some people form such a deep attachment to dogs and/or other animals? I came across a really interesting and well written article today that suggests our connection with animals is ancient and has been an important and significant driving force, defining the path of human evolution. Have a look at this: http://patshipman.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/New-Scientist.pdf
This article suggests that the human-animal link makes sense of three of the most important leaps in human development – tool-making, language and domestication. It explains how developing an understanding of prey and predators was required to develop and make the most of tool-making skills. Prehistoric art from 50,000 years ago shows that understanding animals was the most important thing to the people that depicted them, and observing animals, compiling and sharing information was a strong impetus to developing language and communication. It suggests that the first domesticated thing was the dog, the earliest known dog skull is estimated to be 32,000 years old. Domesticated dogs may have provided hunting assistance, protection, and possibly even transport, and could live on animal remains that were not so desireable to humans (meaty bones and tripe!). In addition, domestic animals could be seen as a mobile source of wealth and personal power (and continue to be seen as such on the streets of cities today!). It is easy to see how important, beneficial and valued it would be to develop an understanding of how to keep them alive and well, of being able to communicate with them and control them, and of understanding how to change their genomes to enhance or diminish certain traits. All these things may have driven human evolutionary success and development. We probably owe dogs a great deal more than we realise! Food for thought.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I have not felt like blogging for quite a while.
In the beginning of May, less than a week after finding two lumps, Beckys lymph system was overpowered by cancer (multicentric lymphosarcoma). Within a few days she was unable to eat, struggling to drink, and fighting for every breath. By the time I knew what was going on, it was too late to even take her somewhere nice for a last walk, as she was too ill to walk far. I couldn't leave her side that last week, being torn apart as I watched her fade away so quickly.
It was the worst week of my life by far.
RIP Becky I miss you so much
Becky always gave every bit of her spirit and soul in everything I asked of her, all she ever asked in return was to be near me.
It breaks my heart that she did not have the many happy golden years that she deserved, that I expected her to have.
The evening she died I wrote this for her:
How quickly time slips away
We were having such fun only yesterday
Plenty of time for our lives to be totally entwined and united
Not as much time as was taken for granted
Not enough time in forever to make this feel right
Part of my soul, part of my shadow, is lost tonight
Becky (aka Squecky, aka Wildkap Wannabe) 3.3.00 - 5.5.11
Now, some six weeks on, I still think about her (and therefore cry) many times every day. However, I realise that the reason it hurts so much to loose my Golden Girl, and the reason that loosing her has left such a huge hole, is because of the enormous amount of life and great and good things that she brought into my life. I am grateful for every single day that I had her there with me.
My other dogs have pulled me back to functioning in the real and present world, and I realise how lucky I am to have them, how precious every moment is. I think I appreciate them more than ever now. I feel the need to enjoy every moment I can with them. After all, the only thing we can be certain of, is that we have the moment that we are in.
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