Museum of Natural Mystery – Exhibit 15: Making Friends



Dogs: mankind’s constant companions. They love us, and we love them. Anyone with a dog knows that the bond runs deeper than owner and pet. Personally, I spend about 90 percent of my time with my dog Luna, and if she has anything to say about it, we’re rarely more than a few feet apart in those moments. She goes where I go, she sleeps where I sleep, and even though she doesn’t use words, we never seem to have trouble understanding each other.


Meet Luna.


The connection between us feels so natural to me that I rarely give it much thought. It’s like we’re instinctively tuned in to one another. And perhaps we are. After all, dogs have been around almost as long as human beings could rightly call ourselves people. It’s a symbiotic relationship that predates the domestication of cats, livestock, and even crops. Before we invented agriculture, math, or written language, we invented the dog. Today on Museum of Natural Mystery, we examine the processes of unnatural selection that shaped man’s best friend.

Here’s a closer look at some of the topics we cover in this episode:


Dogs are the most successful subspecies of wolf on Earth.


“Sub” is the operative term.


Belyaev Experiment – The Russian Fox Domestication Project


A look at tame vs. aggressive foxes:



Successfully domesticated foxes:



Dog Breeds: 100 Years Ago vs. Today


The St. Bernard


The Dachshund


The Bulldog


The Boxer


The Pug


Retromops are an attempt to crossbreed the pug back to a healthier place.


A retromop pug.



The Origin of Dogs: When, Where, and How Many Times Were They Domesticated? by Ed Yong

The Origin and Consequences of Canine Eugenics by Jason Murphy

Pride and Pedigree: The Evolution of the Victorian Dog Fancy by Harriet Ritvo

BBC – Earth – A Soviet scientist created the only tame foxes in the world by Lucy Jones

100 Years of Breed “Improvement” by Caen Elgens

Retromops by Scottie Westfall


Museum Management:

Museum theme by Michael Guy Bowman

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Rachel: Designer #UkuleleWitch @rachelvice

Tour Guide: Emery Coolcats

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Museum of Natural Mystery is part of the POMEcast network, and thanks a million to the ladies of POME for helping this show get up and running! But above all, thank you for listening!

Emery Coolcats

Emery Coolcats

Podcaster. Extinct animal enthusiast. Host of Museum of Natural Mystery!
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