The close relationship between man and dog has endured for many thousands of years. The world's oldest fossilized pet dog carcass was located in Siberia in the 1970s, according to AnimalPlanet.com. It dates back 33,000 years. The fossilized remains demonstrate the enduring status of the dog as man's best friend.
Domestic dogs are believed to derive from a group of wolves that interacted with hunter-gatherers in prehistoric Europe, says The-Scientist.com. These ancestors of modern dogs may have worked alongside hunters to bring down large game. They were probably rewarded for their work by being allowed to eat the game carcasses, thereby cementing the emotional relationship between human and dog.
Today, approximately 37-47 percent of American households include a dog, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA. That represents a total of 70-80 million dogs.
Adopted dogs live longer and have healthier lives than strays. Depending on the breed, dogs can be expected to live from 6-18 years, reports Caninejournal.com. This longevity contributes to the dog's status as a valued member of its human family.
Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not color-blind. While they do not perceive as many colors as humans, they can distinguish between certain colors, especially blue, yellow and grey, according to PyschologyToday.com.