The bond between dogs and people goes back long way. Dogs were the first species to be domesticated, and evidence is mounting to show that it was a social and emotional bond, not just a utilitarian one. One theory was that doggy ancestors used to hang around the outskirts of human camps, making themselves useful by scavenging rubbish and warning the people about the approach of intruders.
But other evidence suggests that dogs were brought into the heart of human groups. Women probably breastfed puppies. This may have helped lactating women whose babies had died, as well as serving to tame orphaned pups. This is known as the “oxytocin theory” of domestication, because the hormone oxytocin, associated with the let down reflex for breast milk, produces an emotional feeling of bonding.
We had a “two dog night” in Melbourne last night, and I’m sure that they had plenty of three dog nights in ancient Siberia. Dogs would have made excellent stone age electric blankets. Recent research into burial sites shows that dogs were buried alongside people. They probably slept with their human associates. Some dogs were wearing necklaces.