So dogs are playing us for fools...Man. I feel like a chooch...[More]
Dogs have evolved gimmicks that are perfectly attuned to turning humankind's instinctive foibles to their own purposes. In the natural order of things, any self-respecting prehistoric cave-dweller would have thrown a rock at any wild animal that showed up to steal some food. But the same wheedling, appeasing gestures that keep the lower members of a wolf pack from getting walloped by the alpha wolf — effusive greetings, mournful whining, abject cringing — turned out to work like a charm on egotistical, anthropomorphizing human beings. The best wheedlers lived to pass on those wheedling genes to the next generation, and the rest was dog history.