Canine Companionship


Since ancient times, Homo sapiens have sought out the companionship of canines. It is estimated that this relationship has been going on for somewhere between 10 to 15 thousand years. Archaeologists have found the skeletons of canines on the hearths of long lost civilizations. Scientists believe that today's dog, Canis familiaris, is a direct descendant of the wolf, Canis lupus. The DNA of dogs, including everything from the Chihuahua to the Saint Bernard, is almost identical to the DNA of the wolf. Only 0.2 percent of their DNA is different. We humans have manipulated an incredible diversity in our dogs, considering that they are basically just domesticated wolves.

So how is it possible that two species, Homo sapiens and Canis familiaris, have become so intertwined? The wolf and the modern day dog are very social animals. They live in groups with social ranks and bow to the wishes of a pack leader. They are very flexible, adaptable beings. Does this sound familiar? Could it be that humans and canines are very much alike in their social hierarchies? Canines, with a little encouragement, are easily able to accept man as their pack leader. It is a mutually beneficial relationship for both man and dog.

For many people having a dog is an enrichment of their lives. They cannot imagine being without a dog, or even multiple dogs. A number of famous dog lovers have summed up their thoughts on the subject in canine quotes:

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."

Mark Twain

"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience."

Woodrow Wilson

"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person."

Andrew A. Rooney

"The only creatures evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants."

Johnny Depp

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons."

James Thurber

"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."

Will Rogers

"Dogs provide affection without ambivalence, the simplicity of a life free from the almost unbearable conflicts of civilization, the beauty of an existence complete in itself."

Sigmund Freud

Need some companionship? Payson Humane Society has some wonderful dogs for you. Come meet them and other adoptable pets at the shelter at 812 S. McLane Road, visit our Web site, or call 474-5590.


MoJo is a glorious 1-1/2-year- old neutered male Shepherd mix dog. His name comes from the culinary term for curried red pepper because his medium length coat is a rich red/orange. MoJo is the quintessential red dirt Arizona dog with his copper colored eyes and fur the color of chili powder. He's a joyful, ready-to-do-anything you ask kind of dog. He sits on command, or rolls over on his back for a tummy rub. MoJo is an active dog that loves a good hike through the forest or a gleeful romp at the dog park. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body and he gets along splendidly with children and dogs.


Gypsy is an animated 2-year-old spayed female Catahoula Leopard Dog/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. Her short pale tan coat is dappled with darker muted brown spots -- very attractive. Gypsy is a super friendly girl and she loves to be part of the action. At her age, she requires mental and physical challenges to keep her balanced. She would love to learn more obedience skills and some fun tricks. She'd also enjoy a good exercise regime so she can stretch her long legs and stay trim. She would proudly accompany you on long walks across mesas and meadows or on rides in the car. Gypsy could be a great companion for a dog of a similar energy level, as she loves playing with other dogs.


Sadie is a good-natured 11-year-old spayed female German Shepherd mix. You couldn't ask for a better dog on leash and she is responsive to basic commands like "sit." Sadie is a polite, housebroken dog. She gets along beautifully with the dogs in her play group. Sadie is looking for a soft place to land in your heart and your home where she promises to be the best dog ever. She would make a sweet companion for another calm dog in an adult household.


Shilah is a loving 3-year-old spayed female Pit Bull/Lab mix. She is so angelic with her snowy white coat, pink nose and lips and a touch of brown here and there. She is medium sized and weighs 50 pounds. Shilah is a very sweet, docile dog and she is great with people and other dogs. She's a dainty eater, softly caressing your fingers with her lips and whiskers, when offered a biscuit. She listens well and walks nicely on leash, though, like all Pits, she has a good strong pull. Shilah has good house manners -- so gentle and polite. She's a lover girl and would give anything to be your valentine!


Smooch is an irresistible 4-month-old spayed female Hound mix puppy. She is full of personality with her cute freckles, soft floppy ears and her habit of giving abundant wet kisses. There is nothing shy about this confident puppy. Smooch is at our shelter with her adorable sister Mooch. Smooch loves children and playing with other pups. She will make a great family dog"

Commenting has been disabled for this item.