Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Connection

I'm dog-sitting Rocky here on Level Three, a connected group of apartments, town houses, parks, skyscrapers, a movie theater and a comedy club in San Francisco's financial district. 

All this is twenty feet above the city streets. It extends  (with foot bridges) for many blocks. 

I'm thinking about the connections between dogs and people, which go back maybe 30,000 years. 

There is new evidence and new thinking about this connection, much of it tentative. DNA shows that all dogs descend from wolves (dogs and wolves are closer in DNA than some groups of humans are). That's not in doubt. If the connection to humans is 30,000 years old--maybe 20,000 years older than any other domestication--then the connection began when humans were Stone Age hunters, before there were villages. Apparently small families of humans connected with small families of wolves. A wolf pack is a family, structured much like a human family. Probably the two groups found they worked well together. Loyalties, alliances began to build. People learned to hunt like wolves and with wolves.

Now Rocky and I sit together, maybe 20 feet up, looking out at the Bay Bridge. Rocky is content to rest for a while, taking in the breeze. He's eaten well.

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