History tells us a working relationship was formed with early man and the wolves that lived around man’s camps. Gradually the animals evolved until certain ones became tame and were then regarded as settlement dependents and helped in hunting and guarding duties.
Selective breeding followed domestication and we find in ancient carvings and painting that giant mastiffs were used in lion hunting in Mesopotamia. Egyptian tomb paintings depict greyhound-like dogs and short-legged terriers like those of today.
Even the Bible has two references of keeping pets. In Samuel, Nathan speaks of a ewe lamb brought up in a poor farmers family. In Mark, chapter 7, verse 28, he speaks of a foreign women telling of her little pet dogs that sat under the table.
For years now many people have been trying to convince the medical community that writing a prescription for a companion animal has value.
Many studies have been conducted concluding that pets are beneficial. One researcher determined that pets can help lower a person’s blood pressure and improve the chances of survival of heart disease patients. Another report indicated that pets helped significantly with disoriented or withdrawn people in nursing homes or retirement communities.
The goal of those who believe in the pet therapy for some human aliments is to convince doctors to prescribe pets where they can and to get the government to allow pets into nursing homes.