It is believed that dogs have accompanied man since around the time of the Pleistocene epoch, a period ending around 12,000 years ago. Our canine friends have watched the failures and triumphs during man and womankind’s darkest and most enlightened times; they have witnessed humans evolve from rudimentary to technologically advanced lifestyles, and learned to successfully adapt to each challenge and all the related changes.
Dogs have learned to modify their behavior since the first paw shake – even more so than cats – in order to coexist with the most advanced and fearsome creature on planet Earth: Homo sapiens.
Today, as social media saturates the web with videos showcasing dogs capable of mind-bending theatrics and all manner of astute exchanges with humans, a thought-provoking question emerges comes to the forefront: How far will dogs be able to advance biologically and mentally, particularly concerning their relationship to man? Dear reader, after contemplating these things for a while you may never see your pup the same way again!
Over the years, the phenomenon of limbic resonance (a.k.a. brain-to-brain correlation) has been the subject of extensive research and scientific study. Dr. Michio Kaku, a laureate theoretical physicist and futurist, presents the case for the possibility of this brain-to-brain communication being possible between humans and dogs. According to Dr. Kaku, in the future this type of communication would not be limited to mere exchange of information, but feelings and emotions as well, “because these are also part of the fabric of our thoughts.” Just how possible could it be for this phenomenon to also extend into our relationship with that tail-wagging, four-legged creature that enjoys stealing our socks from the dirty laundry basket? Dr. Kaku and other scientists believe this is not only possible, but that it is in fact beginning to occur today; scientific research has revealed valuable data to support this theory.
Along with all other biological life, dogs dance in perfect synchronicity with the universe: a natural skill man has tended to rebel against over the course of his existence.
Of course, it is known by dog lovers the world over that a canine can tell with Swiss-watch precision when it’s time for a visit to the vet, or when the pack is on its way to the off-leash dog park. Dogs also seem to have an uncanny ability to immediately classify any furless life forms approaching their domain with any sort of catch (read, food packaging) while wearing shorts as persona non-grata. I am personally convinced that volumes of information are being encoded by our dogs in messages attached to any manner of horizontal ornament installed on the side of the street, and acknowledged as they go about their daily walks. That would explain their rebellious lingering when approaching the withered solitary tree, the nondescript light pole, or the abandoned water hydrant… all part of tactical maneuvering to gather intelligence and keep current the neighborhood’s latest developments. I encourage you to pay attention to these key spots next time your dog urges you to take him or her for a stroll.
Gregory Burns, a professor of neuroeconomics at Emory University and the author of How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain, participated in a study involving the administration of MRI scans to several trained dogs. After exposing the dogs to various samples of emotion from both humans and animals, his conclusion was tantamount to “dogs are people, too.” These findings should cause more people to reevaluate their relationship with and treatment of dogs, as these animals have been proving over the years that they are quite capable of experiencing consciousness and emotions very similar to those of humans.
The MRI analysis showed the temporal lobe, formerly believed to be stimulated only in humans, to be switched on in all eleven dogs when exposed to 200 different sounds emitted by the scanner. NOTE: The dogs remained calm and collaborative during the entirety of the rigorous study!
The overall conclusion of the study included the statement Although parallel evolution cannot be excluded, our findings suggest that voice areas may have a more ancient evolutionary origin than previously known. So it’s possible that dogs and humans, over the course of the past 18,000 to 32,000 years, have been evolving together, helping to explain why dogs (in particular) are capable of processing the emotions embedded within human vocalizations. Is it an evolutionary skill, or is it something much more profound? Furthermore, is it possible that dogs have learned through thousands of years of sitting, staying, and rolling over for humans, how to interpret the signals emitted by the human brain (also seemingly imperceptible to humans) with singular accuracy? The answer as it is now being found through scientific research seems to indicate that we may be underestimating our four-legged friends when expecting them to eat a $2.99 on-sale bag of kibble with the same enthusiasm they would a beef pâté recipe.
Nevertheless, none of these elucidating findings will truly matter unless we become more aware of the how our faithful companions are being so easily disposed of by haumans. It is estimated that 1.2 million dogs are being euthanized every year in the United States alone, according to the ASPCA, with just about 1.4 million dogs being adopted. The numbers are rather close, but this is not taking into consideration the estimated 1,880 cases of animal abuse reported in a 2007 analysis by the Humane Society. Of that number, close to 65% of the cases involved cruelty towards dogs. Man has gone to great lengths in the quest for self realization, and it appears much is still to be gained regarding respect towards coexisting with other life forms. One example of the easy dismissal these creatures have been and are still subject to by Homo sapiens society: Laika, a terrier mix, was the first non-human cosmonaut aboard the Sputnik II launched from the former Soviet Union on March 11, 1957.
Dogs have proven to be capable of adapting to the most austere environments as they have followed man to just about every recondite corner of the Earth. In the process, they have learned to trust man’s guidance through observation. May we always do our best not to teach them to distrust us. There is potential for so much more in this multi-millenary association.
In 1972, Benjamin Solari Parravicini, an Argentine priest known for his accurate predictions and prophecies of world events through psychographic writings, predicted that man will become a telepath in the future. Perhaps then we may truly understand and deeply know the furry quadruped sitting at our feet. While pondering why I keep getting frustrated when my dear pooch won’t sit on command, I can only wonder if he may just be trying to engage in a more profound conversation!