It’s interesting how the most wonderful time of the year is also the coldest time of the year. Given the choice, ADinLOS would definitely prefer caring for our pets in the warm over bitter cold and snow. Like all changes though, it gives us new opportunities. I can’t think of a better time of year to huddle up next to a fire and remind ourseleves what we are grateful for. With such great friends, family, and home it’s difficult to sum it all up. Recently we got into a discussion with one of our friends about our pets and family. To us, pets and family are synonymous. Talk to our friend, and their pets are their best friends. Talk to a farmer, and you will quickly understand the boundaries between working animals and pets.
One thing is for certain, the way we treat our pets now, is vastly different than the way we used to treat our pets. Domestication began thousands of years ago and it may be difficult to say what animal was the first domesticated animal, but many speculate the dog to be first. However many years ago, a lazy family member didn’t close the lid to the garbage. Quickly learning that Fido had a good, consistent chance at a cheap meal they returned. The lazy family member recognized their ‘affability’ and continued to feed them. Ok, so it probably didn’t happen quite like that, but it’s probably not too far off knowing the sentiment of our modern dog. The first domesticated cat came thousands of years later.
The Native Americans believe in a nostalgic story where the dog freely chose to accompany man. Long ago, a spirit assembled all of earth’s creatures searching for the perfect human companion. Some said they would tear the humans apart, others intended to steal. The dog said his only wish was the share, hunt, and protect. 
From an archaeological perspective, we have seen evidence in pottery, jewelry, and cave art. After all, as we all know, dogs have personalities so similar yet so dissimilar to humans. How many of have grown up with a smart, friendly, obedient Labrador Retrievers, and when life wills it, and it is time to welcome a new smart, friendly, energetic, obedient lab into our lives. And we end up with a stubborn, lazy, surly dog who feels like a different species. Loved all the same, but for different reasons.
These differences can probably develop a connection to our dogs ancestors. One exuberantly playful wolf kept defying their pack leader, shunned, the wolf felt an connection to their human neighbors who have been feeding them for weeks, openly looking for a new leader, entered the community. 
It’s also easy to see why we as humans would accept the wolves into their lives. Much different than we are today, Native Americans bond with nature. We tend to think of a dog barking as a nuisance that we need to rectify. Despite what we feel, it serves a distinct purpose, communication. A skill Native Americans recognized and utilized as protection. Combined with their effortless loyalty and bravery, the dogs secured a place in Native American society.
It wasn’t until the early 1600’s that domesticated Native American dog no longer resembled a hybrid wolf often referred to as a rabbit dog .
Surprisingly, Native American’s in Virginia (Powhatans) rarely domesticated animals and felt the only tame part of a dog was their ability to hunt. Even suggesting they were promiscuous and filthy animals, approximately knee high, 20 pounds, with a short snout and howling rather than barking.  Aside from the few publications referencing dogs in Powhatans society, so few illustrations of dogs in society corroborate this dissuasion for dog. At times, Powhatans would even dogs would even be sacrificed.
In 1620, on the Mayflower, Pilgrim John Goodman brought over his two dogs. To the Powhatans, these must have been. The only dog the natives have ever seen is a small, wolf-like dog, and these new strangely dressed settlers bring an English Mastiff and a Springer Spaniel. And The Pilgrims had a much different connection with them. John Goodman frequently utilized the dogs to explore new terrain and hunt for food and supplies. Many stories have been told of mutual protection between the dogs and their masters. Placing such an important role in the lives of the Pilgrims it is still difficult to tell if dogs were actually present on Thanksgiving, though Jean Leon Gerome Ferris’s painting of The First Thanksgiving includes a Springer Spaniel front and center. Seems a bit coincidental, though at minimum it would show the importance of dogs in society.
 PetPlace Veterinarians. “The History of Dogs and Native Americans”. Pet Place. Retrieved 2014-11-25.
 Rountree, H. C. “Uses of Domesticated Animals by Early Virginia Indians.” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 30 May. 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.
 Marion Schwartz. “The Creation of the American Dog” A History of Dogs in the Early Americas. Web. Retrieved 2014-11-25.