History of the Saying
Did you know that the saying “Man’s best friend” was first coined by Frederick the Great of Prussia? He was stated as saying that one of his Italian Greyhounds was his best friend back in the 1700’s. According to Wikipedia, the writer Voltaire famously wrote about dogs in 1764 saying:
DOG. — It seems that nature has given the dog to man for his defense and for his pleasure. Of all the animals it is the most faithful : it is the best friend man can have.
It was also used in a poem by Odgen Nash in 1941 and has since stuck as a household saying.
The dog is man’s best friend.
He has a tail on one end.
Up in front he has teeth.
And four legs underneath.
The term refers to the dog’s long history of friendship, companionship and loyalty with their owners. It is said to have started back when humans and wolves worked together to hunt game. Wolves were fantastic trackers and man was the better killer.
The animal would track the animal and lead man to it where man would kill it and leave some meat for the wolves to feast on. This was the beginning of the evolution from wolves to dogs.
Owning a dog before the 19th century was mostly a functional thing. They were hunters, watchdogs and guard dogs. Starting in the 19th century and more so in the 20th century, roles seemed to evolve into what we know today as a domesticated dog. Some feel that this is due largely to the discovery of the rabies vaccine in 1869.
Having a dog is certainly a commitment but can be on of the most positive experiences someone can have. They become an integral part of the family and are the cause of joy, laughter and love.
You must make sure that you can devote the time to your animal before you make the decision to own one. Walks, exercise, proper grooming and protection are all things you will need to provide to your best friend.
In turn, your dog will provide friendship, someone who will listen when you need to talk and someone who will protect you and your family. They are someone to play, laugh and exercise with and have also been known to be great cuddlers.
The time you devote to your dog will grant you with lifelong companionship and loyalty.