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Namesake

Namesake
This cannot be
They must leave you be
Your descendants co-evolving
Companions of our species
Since a cub somewhere was rescued
Back in time
Raised by a sapien tribe
Neolithic hunter-gatherers
Both ice-bound, bonding
Grew up to earn its living
Co-hunter with food rewarded
Becoming more as time unfolded
Evolutionary, running beside
Travelling companion through the ages
Followed humans to every clime
Farming and settling changed the course
Knocked them off the pedestal
Previously buried with pride, honoured
Part of the tribe, co-hunter made redundant
Changed the journey, changed the status
First subject for accelerated species modification
Started many a new line
Gradually we bred them for whatever game
Depending on the task
Changed them in many ways
But still kept their bark, woof, yap
Useful alarm, alert to opportunity
Or danger, sentinel eyes, scent followers
We made them big and small
Insulated from the cold
Or heat resistant panters
Bewildering in their array
Hard to think of a Chihuahua
A Shitzu, a Pomeranian, a Great Dane
Canines bespoked by the human world
As even the same species, familiarising
However, our shared history is checkered
Sometimes fraught, hard on thought
The magical and the macabre
Eating them has always been around
Ritual sacrifice back some time
Bones around campfires, in the ground
Some cultures holding onto cynophogy
Parts of the world a way of life
In others, unthinkable, taboo
Yet others elevating dog status to friend
Member of the family, pet industry
Evolutionary puppy dog eyes
Dog history is a bitsa, surely
Lucky the dogs in nations developed
Adopted into the human family
 
Humans took the dog out of the wolf
And made it a companion
The surviving wolf species remained the same
Attempted to take that wolf out of the picture
Hunted them down, in numbers
On the run from the gun
All too few remained
Once, second only to humans
Most widely spread mammal
Now some want to rewild
To restore a natural order
To acknowledge the niche
And the ecosystem services
While others want to gun them down
Supposedly to protect livelihoods
But we know for gun-loving fun
Bloodlust incomprehensible to most
Recognition and protection needed
Can’t come a moment to soon
To see them return to their rightful place
Ancestor, progenitor, bestower
Of our mostly much loved
Faithful companions
canis lupus familiaris
So we don’t owe the wolf
canis lupus
, whatever the colour
A debt of gratitude?
 
You can’t kill a wolf
Without thinking about the dog
A child without the parent
About the lineage
About the first pup
By humans adopted
About the shared path
We still travel together
On two legs and four
Feet and paws
Telltale tracks
 
I’ve never seen a wolf in the wild
But our ancestors crossed paths
In some dimmer distant past
Where folklore and misunderstanding ruled
Taking the name from an encounter
‘Little wolf’ was appropriated
And Lovell carried on
Namesake!
Must love lupus

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