The domestic dog is, at the genetic level, a wolf. The wolf is known to biologists as Canis lupis; dogs are merely a subspecies, Canis lupis familiaris. Tens of thousands of years ago, some enterprising caveman tamed a wolf, perhaps thinking in some vague cavemanish way, "Perhaps having a wolf living in the cave with us will be beneficial in some fashion." Since then, thousands of years worth of cavemen, kennelmasters and weirdo dogshow types have been carefully and selectively breeding for desireable traits, giving us more than 800 modern breeds of domestic dog.

I like to go running in the park near our apartment. The park is also tremendously popular with the local dog owners. Every time I go running, especially now that the weather is nice and the days are longer, I see dozens of dogs. Canine variety simply astounds me. Speaking in purely genetic terms, those things that look like a rat on a leash are the same thing as an English Mastiff, and both are the same animal as a gray wolf. Hard to believe, but true. That's intelligent design.

Every time Mle and I are out walking and we see a particularly cute or cool dog, I say the same thing: "I want a dawg." And I do. As you might guess, I can't stand those things that look like a rat on a leash, what the AKC calls "the Toy Group." The dogs I like are from the Sporting Group (the family dog when I was a kid was a German Wirehaired Pointer, and he was the coolest dog ever, and I also really like Weimaraners, aka William Wegman dogs.) and from the Working and Herding Groups, too.

In the end, though, when I do get my dawg, it'll probably be a kickass mutt from the Dumb Friends League. And who knows...moving into a house with lots more space and a yard...hmm...