The First Domesticated Dog to His Old Wolfpack, c. 10,000 BCE

"He'll be back once he realizes how delicious they are."

From the writing rock of Thak Ooonga

Dear friends,

Hey guys! Remember what you said about those scary monkey things with the clubs? About how they were going to steal all of our food and all the best caves? They’re actually really nice once you get to know them! I was just wandering around a big pile of garbage, looking for some tasty scraps, and one of the little ones came over to me and totally started giving me food! And like, real food too, not some rotting goat carcass that has been picked clean or snow or something.

I followed it back to its lair in the hopes it would give me more food, but one of the big ones started yelling really loud. Then he started waving a pointy stick in my face. Totally not cool, right? So I was gonna growl at him, maybe take a snap to let him know who’s boss, but then the little one started yelling at the big one. I got distracted, so I started scratching myself.

And then, the little one started scratching me.

Guys, I cannot stress how awesome this felt. It was like the little monkey thing was built for scratching. My leg started shaking. I couldn’t even help it! Then it gave me more food. I didn’t even have to slaughter a vulnerable wounded deer or anything. They had pre-slaughtered deer right there! So now, I have this little thing that gives me food and scratches me and rubs my belly whenever I want. Guys, you are seriously missing out.

I know Gary said they would try to stab me with a pointy stick or throw a rock at me, but they totally don’t do that if you don’t try to bite them in the throat. Yes, it is a little disconcerting that the big monkey-thing is wearing the hollowed out carcass of Larry all the time. But they have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to stay warm, since they only have stringy, greasy coats that don’t cover very much. I’m sure once their winter coats come in, they’ll stop killing us and wearing us.

You guys should totally try finding your own weird monkey-things. If you get one, try not to eat it–unless you really have to. Also, remember to–oh shit, the little one just threw a stick into a lake, and I totally need to go get it!!!

Much love,

Ernest

 

“Oh the noble dog, truly man’s best friend when he is not being eaten alive by them,” begins Welsh zoologist Theodore Posner in his classic 1939 treatise on the modern canine.

Of course, modern scholars recognize not only the ability of dogs to be friendly and loyal, but also to carry on extended correspondence with each other. While pre-domestic dogs were unable to sustain the concentration to write more than a postcard, today’s well-bred dog can write letters that are dozens of pages long, and contain biblical allusions and figurative language to rival Marcel Proust (see The Collected Letters of Rufus the Beagle Volume I: 1913-1921).

The example above is one of the earliest known letters written by a dog. It shows that while dogs’ love for human beings has developed significantly, the concerns of dogs have changed very little in the past 12,000 years. Sticks, scratching, food–a cursory glance at the vast number of “dog blogs” currently being written reveals that these three interests have not wavered.

The “Larry” in question is of course Larry the Pointer, one of the first dogs to learn tricks like standing on two legs and shaking hands. While his misguided quest to be accepted by human beings as one of their own was a failure, Larry’s research into ancient human behavior–before he was killed by an irate chief–is still regarded by scholars as one of the most reliable sources of dog writing on the subject.

“Today they welcomed me into their den. While I was allowed to sleep with the small one they call “Gorkus,” I was forced to sleep across his feet at the end of the bed. I know they still consider me an “other,” but I will never lose hope that one day I will be–holy crap, a stick!!”

Sadly, we know from the letters of the Egyptian dog Hieronymus Bitch that dogs did not learn to swim until c. 8,000 BCE, suggesting that Ernest probably drowned when attempting to retrieve his beloved stick from the lake.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The First Domesticated Dog to His Old Wolfpack, c. 10,000 BCE

  1. Wow, how far we’ve come. Oh shit – a stick!

  2. Laura

    Poor Ernest. What a sad fate.

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