When Dogs were Gods

A boss is someone you get to do a lot of things for, and not one who does things for you. A person who does things for you is your servant or employee. In the workplace the person is mostly a person below you in rank.

Looking at the relationship between us and our pet dogs, we can correctly conclude that the lucky furry babies are our bosses, based on the conclusion above. Think about it. We make sure they are well fed and we serve their food, something we probably wouldn’t do even for our spouses on a daily basis especially in this day of gender equality. For your dog though, you serve him every single time. When he is done eating, you also scoop his poop to keep your surroundings clean. You also clean him every once in a while. So who’s boss?

It seems we are not the first among humans to place our dogs on pedestals. In ancient civilizations where the religions had multiple gods, the dogs had a respectable place as gods.

Among the Sumerians, Bau the goddess of fertility and healing was a dog. This god was also the guardian of the ancient city of Lagash in ancient Babylon.

Among the Greek, the god Kerberos served the role of guarding just like the modern dog does. The only difference is that while the modern dog guards from human intruders, this three-headed hound god guarded the entrance to hades and made sure ghosts did not escape and come back to the land of the living.

The Aztec worshipped a god who had the body of a man and the head of a raggedy-eared dog. This god’s name was xolotl and he was the god of fire and lightning and was also Lord of the West. He was in charge of overseeing the sun on its transit through the underworld.

Today, dogs are still worshipped in religions such as Hinduism. In Hinduism the dog is worshipped in November for about five days in the Tihar festival. The god Shiva is depicted sitting on a dog, and the dog is also honored in this religion because the followers believe Yudhishthira approached heaven with his dog. This belief makes them take good care of dogs in the hopes the animals can help pave way to heaven.

Science has already proved that gazing into the eyes of a dog releases oxytocin hormone that is similar to the one released when we gaze into the eyes of newborn babies. Well, it seems the Zoroastrianism had discovered a long time ago that gazing into a dog’s eyes has a calming effect. They believed gazing into a dog’s eyes drives off demons and has a purifying effect. If that is not a divine characteristic, I don’t know what is.