We have lived with dogs for over 14,000 years, writes Simon Foden. As pets, protectors, farm hands, hunters and transport, but without dogs, the inspiration to change the world, the courage to fight and win battles and the people who made the most difference would have been missing. Read on and be amazed at just how many times the humble dog has lent his paw to the development of the human race.
In a world without dogs…. would we have telephones?
Alexander Bell, long before he decided to add the name Graham into the mix, found fascination with the noises that emanated from the mouth of his family’s pet dogs. He would sit for hours, pressing his hand against the chest and throat of the dogs, whilst encouraging them to bark and growl. It was at this formative juncture in his life that he became obsessive about the relationship between sound and vibrations.
The young inventor moved to Boston, Massachusetts and with the help of a financial backer and his close friend Watson, he started work on developing the idea of the telegraph machine that could send multiple messages.
Still fascinated with the idea of transporting sounds as vibrations, he and Watson abandoned their initial plans and focussed on the idea of the telephone. One hot night in 1875, Bell communicated the following message to Watson via his device. “Watson, come over here, I need you” and the telephone was invented. But had Bell not grew up with pet dogs, would his interest in sound and vibration have been ignited?
In a world without dogs…. would Europeans have colonised the Americas?
Dogs have been endemic on the continents of North America and South America for thousands of years, many dogs had their homes in Indian settlements. But when the conquistadors arrived from Spain, the dogs they brought with them were not mere companions, but warriors. Bloodhounds were employed by the Spaniards to chase and capture any escaping natives as they began the process of colonising the newly found land. It was at this time that the idea of purebred dogs was introduced.[premiumcontent]