A Middle-Eastern Origin for Small Dogs

The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) has its opinions about dogs. To call someone a “dead dog” is to insult them as ineffectual and non-threatening.[1] In conversation with a superior, you might humbly refer to yourself as “but a dog.”[2] Dogs return to their own vomit.[3] They growl at passersby,[4] but can be shooed away with sticks.[5] Like the birds of the air, they will eat your flesh, if you do not enjoy a proper burial.[6] They are not brave like lions, but for that reason, may live longer.[7]

Perhaps the dog would have cut a more impressive figure in the ancient Near East if at least some of them weren’t so small.

A genetic study has found that small domestic dogs probably originated in the Middle East more than 12,000 years ago.

Here, a modern dog attempts to capture something of the deportment of his diminutive but noble ancestors:

Copyright G. Brooke Lester

h/t to BAR on Twitter.

REFERENCES:
BACK TO POST (1 Sam 24:14 [all numberings English text]; 2 Sam 9:8; 16:9)
BACK TO POST (2 Kgs 8:13; cf. 2 Sam 9:8)
BACK TO POST (Prov 26:11)
BACK TO POST (Exod 11:7)
BACK TO POST (1 Sam 17:43)
BACK TO POST (Psa 22:20)
BACK TO POST (Eccles 9:4)

[A Middle-Eastern Origin for Small Dogs was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/03/15. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

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