Canis through the peep-hole

The Canis Lupus  had been domesticated thousands of years ago, precisely how these animals were broken-in remains a mystery.   Archaeological and genetic evidence traces the practice of domestication back some 33,000 years.  The most popular theories are:  [1]Orphaned Wolf-cubs  and [2]Comfort Enticement (Food/Shelter ).    Experiments have been conducted to test these theories with other animals to determine the animal’s relationship with humans after a few generations [see: Belyaev Experiments].    Domesticated foxes lose luster in their coats after a few generations but gain an empathic relationship with their human care-givers.    While this information may be disappointing to furriers, promising to the theory of domestication.

Caninus in Latin, means “of the dog,” the term had been applied to several species of animals with specific attributes, specifically the teeth and the way it would hunt and kill prey.  Canidae encapsulates many animals that would not be considered true dogs (such as prairie dogs, and foxes).  What makes a true dog, is the domestication, i.e. you wouldn’t have a fox or a prairie dog in your household .    Today’s domestic dogs still carry behavioral traits of their ancestors.    Even if a dog has been taken from a breeding kennel to a home, its instinct is to operate as a pack animal.  Human companions become a surrogate pack.   If given opportunity, the animal would seek out ‘familiars’ in the wild.    It’s among the reasons the modern dog is classified as Canis lupus familiaris; a direct ancestor of the domesticated Grey Wolf.     As recently as 1993, the Smithsonian reclassified the subspecies and all previous references to C. Domesticus were rendered archaic.

A few years ago I became fascinated with Feral Children.  There have been several cases in which a feral child had been taken into the pack by domesticated dogs.  The dogs recognized a small defenseless child as a familiar, not prey to otherwise starving animals.  Unlike so many other species of animals, the pack animal senses something familiar.

In the 21st century, the case of Andrei Tolstyk gained much attention.  The child was thought to have been abandoned at 3 months old, having been born with hearing and speech problems (though no details have been released as to how this was determined early on), and had been cared for by the family dog.   The child wasn’t discovered until age seven  by Social Workers.  It’s  mind boggling to many to imagine how a single dog took on the responsibility of surrogate parent to a human child for so long, with not much to work with but a shelter.    Every basic need would have to be managed by the dog until the child was physically developed to move about on his own.    Like other Feral Children that miss the markers for language (thought to be between the age of 0-4 years old), his brain will not likely develop this ability and he will have to rely on his innate animal instincts to survive.  He will bond with a pack, he will use his body language, and integrate as best he can with what he’s got to work with.  Just as modern dogs can be taught to communicate, have their behaviors conditioned and perform for their care-givers so too can domesticated Feral Humans.

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090515 14 Siena cathedral Romulus and Remus mosaic

The founding of Rome was based in a Feral mythos.  The twins Romulus and Remus had been abandoned as children and a female wolf took them in and they survived by suckling her milk.    Along came a wandering shepherd to discover the great She-wolf Lupa and the children were raised to men on Palatine Hill.  The birth of the Roman Empire hangs from the teet of a wolf.  SPQR [Senatus Populus Que Republicus]!     Long Live the  mytho-memetic historica!  

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Augury   from the start of the Roman Empire and was used to determine matters of State.  As such, naturally this would grandfather in the role of the Auger within the Roman class system ( collegium ).    Romulus and Remus would look to the birds to settle the dispute over which hill to build upon.  When each confirmed their own desire, it would then become a battle to the death.   Rome is named after the Alpha dog (Romulus) and serves to reason why the plebs live on the Aventine and gaze at the Palatine through the key-hole.   

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You don’t get a foothold on the Palatine by wagging your tail for the Master; this is the domestication of the Canis Lupus.  You go for the throat.  Alphas lead the dog and take control of the Hill.    This is how you build an empire and why the Alphas keep birds in cages.

Sin Jones

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2 responses to “Canis through the peep-hole

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