Second Chance: The Origin Of The Bond

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.

Mallory

Lately my relationship to humans has been transforming. I don’t understand it, but while I used to fear humans I am now finding the best part of my day is when the staff and volunteers here at Second Chance Humane Society pet me and shower me with affection. I don’t understand it. You humans are so tall, slow, furless, loud, and, prior to being rescued, I found you rather unkind. But it is starting to feel almost instinctual to desire human contact. That has led me to wonder why human’s call us their best friends and how long this connection has existed?

While I am sure there are many spiritual, emotional, logical, and meta-physical answers floating about, I chose to use a scientific study and anthropological findings to determine an answer that the broadest audience could swallow. I found that the domestic dog, which has been determined to originate from the Old World wolf, began developing an interdependent relationship with humans some 15,000-40,000 years ago when the chumming about with nomadic hunters led to benefits for both species.

As the wolf was transforming into the domesticated dog, and realizing that life was easier when hunting or scavenging with these bipedal wonders, biological changes further occurred to secure this relationship and an “inborn liking” between the two species emerged. Dogs physical features transformed in a way that elicited the biologically natural nurturing hormones and tendencies of humans. For reals this is true.

Our facial features flattened, our eyes lowered, and we took on a more innocent and infant-like quality. We also developed an inherent skill at reading the body language of humans and, beyond any other species (even chimpanzees), we can determine and respond to direction and communication from humans. Such changes in our appearance and nature correlated with the almost universal love that humans now feel for dogs. Across cultures and ages, there is evidence of true emotional bonding between our species.

So essentially, humans and dogs were “made for each other.” What a wonderful concept and it explains so much. And if we extend this notion a bit further, integrating it with “there is a particular dog out there waiting for you,” well it explains how so many adopters who come through the shelter doors seem to know exactly which dog is “theirs.” Sometimes you can almost hear the “click” that happens when an adopter meets the dog that they go home with. Others tend to second guess and not trust their gut and so the process takes them a bit longer, but most matches really do appear purposeful.

Mallory

As for me, I am a six-year-young, adorable lovable Chorkie (Chihuahua and Yorkie mix), who is also a puppy mill survivor. Every day I let go of more of my fears and shyness that were survival mechanisms in my former life. Now I approach people, love sitting on human laps, and walking on a leash. I also enjoy a nice warm bath.

I have been spending my Fridays at the Telluride Farmers Market lately and enjoying those excursions too, since it involves more people time. People time is definitely my new favorite thing. So if you recognize me as “your” new dog – come down to the shelter to confirm your hypothesis. Just ask for Mallory.

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