It’s been said that pets are more than just that, but true members of the family. They’re really the only ones that will show us true, unconditional love no matter what. They’re there for us when we’re sick and are equally happy to see us each time we return home -whether we’ve been gone for one hour or one week. The bond we have with our pets is undeniable and truly special.
Of course, we’ve probably all heard the phrase “Man’s best friend” but where and when did this saying come into being? One of its earliest uses can be found in a poem published in an 1821 edition of The New York Literary Journal.
The faithful dog – why should I strive
To speak his merits, while they live
In every breast, and man’s best friend
Does often at his heels attend
Before this time however, dogs were merely seen as working companions to humans and the relationship was viewed as such. However, the tides began to turn and attitudes towards the animals started to shift. It’s been argued that the discovery of the rabies vaccine may have played a hand in this – now it seemed safer for humans and dogs to interact on a more personal level.
An 1870 court case in Missouri would cement this phrase in history once again. In it, George Graham Vest represented a farmer suing for damages after his dog had been shot and killed. In his closing speech Vest said the following, “The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.”