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Pets Theme Unit
Life with a Dog



Life with a Dog
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.65

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bulldog, canem, colleys, dog-like, greyhounds, gristle, heeler, kelpie, mastiff-type, nipping, pooper, scooper, slobbery, straggly, feisty, intelligent
     content words:    Ancient Egyptians, One Greek, American Kennel Club, In Switzerland, United States, One Roman


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Life with a Dog
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Dogs have been called "man's best friend." Some people think it is because dogs love us no matter what. Other people believe it is because dogs have helped people for thousands of years. Many people love dogs just because they are wonderful friends and companions.
 
2     The first dog-like creatures appeared about thirty million years ago. Later, wolves and people began to hang out together because they hunted the same prey. Soon, the wolves chomped on leftover bones around the blazing, prehistoric campfires. People liked their company and their help in cleaning up old bones and gristle. They played with the scruffy wolf cubs. These straggly wolves became the first domesticated dogs about 12,000 years ago.
 
3     Ancient Egyptians liked dogs. They bred big mastiffs and slender greyhounds. Many breeds of dogs existed by the first century B.C. Pictures of dogs were on paintings, on models, and on plaques from ancient cultures. Egyptians worshipped Anubis, a jackal god, about 3,000 years ago. They even put collars on their pets like we do today.
 
4     Other ancient people used dogs for hunting, herding, and for protection. Romans even wrote Cave canem on their gate, which means "Beware the dog" in Latin. The Greeks also kept dogs as pets. One Greek vase showed a girl teasing her pet dog by dangling a tortoise over its head! Asians also worshipped dogs as gods, but dogs never let it go to their heads the way cats did. Someone once said that dogs have owners, but cats have staff.

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