The dog has been a loyal companion to Humans for a long time that extends up to twelve thousand years in the past. The dog is one of the very few domestic animals that prove a very good companion to humans along with being very useful in many practical ways. The dogs have followed humans back to an urban civilisation from the forests and are always ready to adapt to newer surroundings without losing their instinctive edge.
After the last Ice Age had come to pass, the two most successful predators in the Northern Hemisphere decided to form a bonding between them and enhance chances of survival. Dogs chose human company because in it they found a leadership they wished to follow, source of easy food, shelter and comfort. The dogs also had the scope of having a definite area marked for them as habitat.
The relationship with dogs is also very mutual, as by petting them, we find a source of happiness, playing with them gives us physical exercise, and the attention we give to them is returned manifold times through the constant company they give us. Not only do we talk to dogs without bothering to think whether they understand our language or not, we also find talking about them very interesting and a source for relaxation and fun. However, with time, trust your dog to pick up what you are trying to say, and your aim to converse will not be an exercise in futility. The dogs even when they are not in direct contact with us make for a pleasurable watching through their playing and other idiosyncrasies. And when they eventually return to you, the owner, you feel like they had never been gone!
An Emotional Bond
The companionship of dogs has been a matter of research for scientists lately. Scientists think that the Athabaskan Hare Native people in the Canadian Northwest Territories are free only when they are in the company of children and puppies, and otherwise are totally oppressed. The puppies are diligently looked after by the people and are helped to reach maturity with utter fondness. The feelings of cultural oppression are expressed tenderly through the looking after of these puppies and they provide an outlet to emotions which could otherwise be very melancholic and repulsive. The dogs are an easy way to make a physical display of emotion and show that you care. In a world where human bonding can be restrictive, dogs can even be ideal replacement for humans and a way to channel emotional capabilities.
Recent statistics show that dog ownership in central and Eastern Europe is considerably higher than in many affluent western European countries. In the United States, Australia, Belgium, and France one third of the total population own dogs. However in Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and the rest of western Europe- 10-25% percent of total people have dogs as pets.
In Hungary, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics-the Baltic countries dog keeping is a common pastime. However, if judged by the demography of having dogs as pets, Poland leads the pack as 50% of the households there own dogs. These people, who now live in urban areas but had originated from villages, keep dogs as a mean of showing that they have no forgotten their roots.
Dogs as therapists
Dogs will never judge us. They are as loyal as anyone can be, and can never be found to criticize any of your moves!They are a source of comfort and protection at the same time- an unparalleled combination. Constance Perin, a cultural anthropologist, has said that humans receive a pleasure akin to parenting when they give care to dogs. However, there are other aspects to it too. Stroking a dog can make our blood pressure drop, slow our heart down and diminish our sense of anxiety. Most people feel secure when a dog is around. Perin also says that the dog can even play the role of the caregiver as humans receive care, thus making the relation a mutually beneficent one. The cares that you receive from dogs might not necessarily ensure you a longer life, but they will surely help you lead a much more healthy life. American researchers found that Heart attack patients survived longer after recovering if they had a pet around than the ones who did not have one. Australian research in the 1990s revealed that dog owners have a lower risk of heart disease (lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels) than those who do not own a dog. British research demonstrates that dog owners have far fewer minor health complaints, such as colds, sore throats, headaches, stomach aches, and back pain, than those without a dog.
It is hard to point where dogs come handy in human life, but one thing we realise is that the relation is not give and take anymore, dogs are just too good and you must have one around you. They will always cheer you up, and love you from the core of their heart.