(This column was first published in the August 30, 1999
Sometime between 100,000 and 10,000 years ago an
early human tossed an
already well gnawed bone to one of the less vicious wolves that howled
around camp every night. That wolf's progeny have been repaying the favor
The wolf's ancestors, domestic dogs, have radiated
into scores of
American Kennel Club recognized breeds as well as an array of
unrecognizable mutts of bewildering variety. Some are bigger than their
lupine relatives; many are smaller, but they all differ from wolves in
one way -- their teeth aren't nearly as large.
From Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers and with
such oddly named
specimens as American Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, Rhodesian Ridgebacks,
Komondors and Chinese Shai-Peis thrown in for good measure, dogs have
become an integral part of our day to day experience. They have, for
example, become a part of our language. We speak of dog days and complain
about being treated like a dog.
And everybody talks about them:
- Edward Abbey: When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a
- Dave Barry: Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with
you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently
at nothing right in your ear.
- Dereke Bruce: In order to keep a true perspective of one's
importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat
that will ignore him.
- Robert Henlein: Women and cats will do as they please, and men and
dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
- Gene Hill: Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot about
- Aldous Huxley: To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant
popularity of dogs.
- Ann Landers: Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive
evidence that you are wonderful.
- Abraham Lincoln: I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat
are not the better for it.
- Christopher Morley: No one appreciates the very special genius of
your conversation as the dog does.
- Andy Rooney: The average dog is a nicer person than the average
- Rita Rudner: My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a
child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives.
And: I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird
- August Strindberg: I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards
who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves.
- James Thurber: If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that
certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few
- Mark Twain: If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he
will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a
man. And: Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out
and your dog would go in.
- Anne Tyler: Ever consider what they must think of us? I mean, here we
come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul --chicken,
pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth.
- Joe Weinstein: My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up
to 99 cents a can. That's almost $7.00 in dog money.
- Ben Williams: There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy
licking your face.
Please read this column to your watchdog. And, as
you do so, try to convince
him to see me as a friend not worth biting.-- Gerry Rising