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    A dog’s best friend

    Properly trained, a man can be a dog’s best friend. Corey Ford (1902-69), U.S. magazine writer and author. Quoted by Jim Dratfield and Paul Coughlin in The Quotable Canine (1997).

    Man has been the dog’s best friend for more than 20,000 years, says The Economist (August 3, 2011):

    “In the Chauvet cave in the Ardèche region of France, which contains the earliest known cave paintings, there is a 50-metre trail of footprints made by a boy of about ten alongside those of a large canid that appears to be part-wolf, part-dog. The footprints, which have been dated by soot deposited from the torch the child was carrying, are estimated to be about 26,000 years old.”

    Dogs share 96.6 percent of the same DNA as their ancestral wolves; which makes them closer than people are to chimpanzees, whose DNA are 96 percent the same. Fortunately the dog brain is wired differently than the wolf brain, after thousands of years of evolution. Outside of their families and packs, wolfs are defensive and hostile; dogs are mostly friendly because, it is said, of their dependence on man. Which does make man the dog’s best friend.

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