Fourteen thousand years ago in Israel, a Natufian woman was buried with her hand resting on a pet puppy. ©Laura Lachman, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

About 14,000 years ago in what today is the country of Israel, hunter-gatherers buried a body with its hand holding a pup. It’s not known whether the animal was a dog or a wolf. But it is believed to be one of the earliest pieces of evidence regarding the dog’s domestication. And it seems that ever since then, stories about the devotion of dogs have fascinated and awed us.

The tale of Skidboot is a case in point. Although this video has been around since 2006, it still has the ability to warm your heart. Watching the relationship between Skidboot and his human companion, David Hartwig, is definitely worth another look—or your first viewing—on a cold February day.


Dogs have acquired human-like communication skills and—likely as a result of the domestication process—the ability to read our emotions. In short, dogs and humans remain close.

Since that time in Israel so long ago, nothing much has changed at the molecular level: the DNA of wolves and dogs remains almost identical. Sadly, Skidboot passed away in 2007, but his offspring continue to perform, showcasing the connectedness and close communication that humans and their dogs share.

Here’s to you, Skidboot. May there be many more like you,