Was man's best friend also ancient man's best friend? According to a new study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Paleolithic people likely cared for a sick domestic puppy nearly 14,000 years ago. We have to say, this is the sweetest history lesson we've learned in awhile.
An eye-popping discovery found in an ancient burial shed light on this heartwarming possibility: The grave, originally discovered in 1912, was once thought to contain two humans and one dog. But a February 2018 analysis of the previously discovered grave revealed that two dogs were actually buried there — one of whom was severely ill with canine distemper, a serious virus that can lead to death. Fortunately, we have vaccines for canine distemper today, but back then, there was no such thing.
Researchers say the poor ancient pup was only about 28 weeks old when he or she passed away — and he or she had been suffering from being sick from the age of only three or four months old. (So sad!) In fact, researchers say the dog's illness was so severe in this case that he or she would have likely died even sooner had the dog not received human care — including being kept warm and clean and provided water and food.
"While it was sick, the dog would not have been of any practical use as a working animal," said lead researcher Luc Janssens, PhD student and veterinary surgeon. "This, together with the fact that the dogs were buried with people, who[m] we may assume were their owners, suggests that there was a unique relationship of care between humans and dogs as long as 14,000 years ago."
Wow! We always knew we loved our precious pups, but we never had a clue that ancient folks felt the same way. It just goes to show how strong and deep this type of bond truly is between dog and man. We just have to wonder: How long did it take for man to say, "Who's a good boy?"
Next, learn seven reasons why dogs are great for your health in the video below:
h/t Live Science