Showsight December 2017

On The Line THE WOLF IN YOUR DOG? BY BARBARA J. ANDREWS W hat is the ori- gin of the dog? Was he really a wolf or was he

13000 BC, the dog became the first domesticated species.” — We’re also told Canis lupus familiaris came to us 30,000 years ago because we had scraps of meat around the entrance to our cave. “No way. Here’s the hole in that donut, we didn’t eat meat back then!!!”— The fact is, the wolf is the wolf and along with the coyote and fox, he does not domesticate. Yet we know that “dog” was the first domesticated species. There is no mystery here. The “first undisputed dog remains” were found buried beside human remains 14,700 years ago, with “disputed remains occurring 36,000 years ago.”— Wikipedia All archeological evidence proves a bond between the dog and mankind that is unequalled in the animal kingdom. It also brings into question how and if the dog evolved. Inter- estingly (and thankfully!) we have not subdued the wolf as a species. Wolf remains the undisputed symbol of the wild even as his global territory shrinks and his hide is a bounty- paid trophy. But don’t you find it interesting that when the mammoth became an elephant and the saber-toothed giant became today’s tiger, their former forms disappeared? The

always a dog? Bedtime story or professorial paper, the FACT is, nobody knows and few agree. Theories abound; you’ve probably read a few. Your “domestic dog evolved from European wolves… between 18,800 and 32,100 years ago— Ignoring

the 14,000 year discrepancy, Wikipedia nails it: “Where the genetic divergence of dog and wolf took place remains con- troversial, with the most plausible proposals spanning West- ern Europe, Central Asia and East Asia.” So the fact is, no one knows when wolf first met man or even if the dog is descended from the wolf. The closest we can come seems to be cave drawings and Native American lore but that was post-prehistoric. Sure, there are similarities between wolf and dog; both love to dig holes. Dogs still turn around a time or two before laying down. Put those two things together and you’ve got a wolf digging a den or making a bed in the brush. We are told “The closest living relative of the dog is the gray wolf and there is no evidence of any other canine contributing to its genetic lineage.”— Wikipedia But then there’s the not-living. We can read- ily believe the genetic connection between the gray wolf and Canis dirus as shown in this skeleton. The Dire Wolf evolved in the New World and is believed to have become extinct in the Americas near the end of the Pleisto- cene epoch. So there’s early wolf (Wolfhound size) but what if the Creator-Evolution didn’t cut the wolf and the dog from the same DNA? As advanced as DNA science is, there is still no evidence that the wolf is a direct ancestor of the dog. Some universities mention a “genetic connection” while other researchers care- fully refer only to a “common ancestor.” Most dog lovers believe God gave us the dog as an exam- ple of the honesty and devotion mankind should emulate. But dogs are rarely mentioned in the Bible other than as an offhand reference. That makes sense because the dog goes back much further than Biblical records. “In about

only prehistoric connection we have is the Dire Wolf and he hardly resembles a Chihuahua! Think—if in fact, the Wolf became Dog as is com- monly believed, how could he have also remained him- self, virtually unchanged for thousands of years while at

the same time he simultaneously morphed into such diverse descendants? The Bison is still a bison and crocodile and tur- tles haven’t changed in 150 million years. While theories abound, who can explain how dog, unlike any species on earth, evolved into so many differ- ent sizes and coat types and behavioral characteristics? A rodent may take different forms but he remains a “rat” and a bird may be as little as a sparrow or as large as an eagle but it is still a bird and all they instinctively fear man. Leave your horse unfenced and unfed and he will be off to greener pastures. Ditto your cat. Among all living creatures, dog is unique in that he will not leave you. Scientists may tame and gentle a wolf but first they have to confine it. If the wolf gets loose, he’s gone. Only the dog will stay with you through deadly threat, abuse or even starvation. No other species that will do that. None. Let us hope that the wolf and the bald eagle remain unchanged as symbols of American freedom. In the mean- time, the dog, whether descended from the wolf or a creation we can’t explain, is unchallenged as Man’s Best Friend. For more on the wolf-human bond, type “TheDogPlace dogs changed evolution” in your search engine.


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