Humans and dogs evolved together
Scientists, philosophers, and archeologists have long debated this question: Are we big-brained primates, hairless apes, or talking monkeys? Maybe we are all of these things, but our earliest evolutionary branch from the tree of life, the one that made us truly unique, is our way of moving.
We are the only species on earth that naturally walks upright. Archaeological remains tell us that millions of years ago, when we were still coated with fur and had a brain the size of a chimpanzee, our ancient hominid ancestors were wandering the world on two feet. If our way of walking is what makes us human, what makes a dog a dog?
The dog is the wolf who walks beside us. Fossil evidence indicates that, anatomically and behaviorally, our canine companions began to distinguish themselves from their nearly identical biological brother – the gray wolf.
But wolves are not human helpmates – they don’t read our body language and gestures the way dogs can. Even the highly intelligent chimpanzee cannot do that. Without the dog to assist us, it is unlikely that the transformation from a hunter-gatherer existence to an agricultural one would have been possible.
Over 10,000 years ago, when we journeyed across the Bering Land Bridge from the Old World to the New, we had dogs walking with us. Scientists say it is doubtful we could have made it on our own.
Throughout their history, dogs have helped us in many ways — as hunters, herders, protectors, and most of all companions. Now we need their help in getting healthy. We need to get moving. The price we pay for all our modern conveniences is that we have become sedentary and sick. So we have our dogs.
If you find it difficult to find time for your own walking wellness… consider doing it for your dog. A yard is nice, but a true companion on the road is priceless. The first step to better health is just that… a single step.
We walk. Dogs wag. Why wait? Start making health happen on both ends of the leash. Walking is what makes us human. What better way to do it than with a dog?