Our furry canine critters are affectionate, playful and make us laugh. Our dogs are also good listeners and empathic counselors. Trust them to be flawless in judging the character of people around you. They teach us to be brave and loyal, to live in the present and not hold grudges. From being wild wolves, to attending our ancient campfires, to becoming millions of our dog companions, to sleeping with us – how did dogs do this?

Maya Magee Sutton got her first dog when she was three – a wirehaired terrier that she called a wild-hair terrier. Her childhood in a family of swimmers was enlivened by water-loving cocker spaniels. Later, two sleek Weimaraners were strong hiking and camping companions. But now her heart belongs to swift and elegant whippets, her first in 1986 and the sixth now, named Misty.