The connection between dogs and humans is timeless, going far beyond geographical boundaries, cultures, and generations.
Some human/dog connections are so amazing, they get global recognition!
Do you know about these human/dog dynamic duos?
1. Audrey Hepburn and Mr. Famous
Mr. Famous was movie star Audrey Hepburn’s closest friend, and even scored a shot on the big screen in the film Funny Face (1957)!
Audrey Hepburn is noted as being one of the first in Hollywood to bring her dogs with her everywhere.
2. Alexander the Great and Peritas
While little is known about the specifics of Peritas and Alexander the Great’s relationship, what is known is that a city in India was named after Peritas in his honor!
3. Sir Paul McCartney and Martha
The Beatles’ Martha My Dear is a beautiful love song, but not to any human. Martha was Paul McCartney’s beloved dog!
4. Hachiko and Professor Ueno
Hachiko has been the subject of many books and movies because of his loyalty to his guardian. Hachiko would wait at the train station every day for Professor Hidesaburo Ueno to return from the university that he taught at, and the two could walk home together. One day, Professor Ueno tragically passed away while at work. For over nine years after Ueno's death, Hachiko returned to the train station every day at the usual time, waiting for his guardian to return.
5. Scooby and Shaggy
And of course, the celebrated detective duo, Scooby Doo and Shaggy. They may be cartoon characters, but still worthy of a Rooby Rooby Roo!
The special relationship between people and dogs has been nurtured over thousands of years, resulting in a bond that is profound and deeply ingrained in many societies around the world.
Most Dogs Won’t Get the Chance…
All dogs deserve the chance to have the protection of a human guardian. The reality is that hundreds of millions will be born without ever having the chance to know the love and friendship of a human.
In many countries around the world, dogs are viewed as “pests” and are brutally killed simply for existing.
Here in the U.S., every year millions end up in shelters, hoping someone will take them home. The grim reality is that far too many of them will be put to death, without every knowing what it feels like to curl up on the couch with a human family.
Dogs certainly don’t need to be film stars as in the case of Audrey Hepburn and Mr. Famous, and they don't need a city named after them like Peritas, but they most definitely deserve the chance to live a life with their most basic necessities met. Humans domesticated dogs, and it's humanity's responsibility to take care of them. They have given a lot to us, and we need to give back.
That’s why 600 Million Dogs is working to address the #1 cause of suffering and death for dogs and cats worldwide: overpopulation.
Our nonprofit science-centered mission is to significantly reduce animal suffering on a global scale by developing a safe, edible, one-dose, permanent-lasting birth control Cookie for stray dogs and cats.
The bond between humans and dogs is profound, and deserves to be explored to the fullest!
But how did this bond come to be? The history of domestication provides some fascinating insights.
The Beginnings: Domestication and Coexistence
The story of dogs and humans begins with the domestication of wolves. While the exact timeline remains a matter of scientific debate, most researchers believe that this process started around 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. Early humans likely observed certain wolves scavenging near their settlements and began to notice the benefits of forming an alliance with these canines.
It is believed that the wolves that were less aggressive and showed a natural affinity towards humans were more likely to receive food scraps. Over generations, this selection process resulted in wolves that were calmer and better suited to coexist with humans. These "proto-dogs" played multiple roles — from hunting partners and guards to, eventually, companions.
The Evolution of Roles
As human societies evolved, so did the roles of these early dogs. The domesticated canines were selectively bred for specific traits, leading to the emergence of different breeds being used by humans for distinct functions. Some dogs were bred for herding, some for hunting, while others served as guards.
Despite these functional roles, a deeper emotional connection between dogs and humans began to take root. Ancient burial sites have revealed instances where humans were buried alongside their dogs, indicating a spiritual and emotional bond.
The Emotional Connection
Fast-forward to today, and the bond between dogs and humans is stronger than ever. Dogs are often referred to as "man's best friend," and this title is well-deserved. The emotional support and unconditional love they provide have been well-documented in pop culture and countless heartwarming anecdotes.
Research has shown that interacting with dogs can lower cortisol levels, reduce stress, and increase oxytocin — the hormone associated with bonding and affection. The simple act of petting a dog brings about feelings of comfort and happiness.
Today, dogs are celebrated in festivals, revered in religious ceremonies, and even remembered on dedicated international days. Their stories are told in books, movies, and songs, further highlighting the depth of the bond shared with humans.
Every Dog Deserves this Kind of Love!
Will you join us in creating a world where every dog has the chance to know the love of a guardian?