Creatures of all shapes and sizes have played a pivotal role in humanity’s history. Animals such as dogs and horses have transformed the way we live and work.
Partially blind Mohammed Salim Patel has a phobia of dogs. Yet he needs help to navigate his way through his daily activities. The BBC journalist will receive assistance from an eight-month-old miniature horse called Digby.
Digby will be serving in a role usually associated with guide-dogs. It’s not the first time another species has worked to help human beings.
Oysters are another creature which has been put to work helping humanity. The magical mollusk has an amazing ability to filter out water pollution. On the East Coast of America, they plant many oyster beds for that very reason.
And then there are the dolphins which are in the employment of the U.S. Navy. These aquatic mammals are trained to patrol the coast. Their job is to identify, tag, and in some instances, trap enemy divers. These daring dolphins are also trained to sniff out explosives and mines.
Rats often get a bad rap for being disease-carrying vermin. Yet in war zones, these remarkable rodents are sometimes used to save lives. Their keen sense of smell allows them to detect buried landmines. And their small feet will not detonate the explosives. In 20 minutes the rats can clear an area of 2,000 square feet. A human-being would need four days to do the same task. Hats off to the rat folks!
Famed for its flexibility and fleetness of foot, the ferret has not gone unnoticed by the human eye. The lightning-quick creatures have been used for over 50 years to lay electrical cables and more recently, internet cables in hard-to-reach places.
Humans have long relied on the cooperation of other species to keep their place at the head of the table. But will our position as top dogs in the pecking order be one day threatened?
Will dogs and cats one day call the shots?
In some cases they already have.
In 1981, Bosco Ramos defeated two humans to win the mayoral election in the town of Sunol in California. The dog served as mayor until his death in 1994. A statue of Bosco now stands in front of the town’s Post Office.
Our feline friends also refuse to be outdone.
Stubbs the cat was honorary mayor of Talkeetna in Alaska for 20 years. Rumors say he was ‘purrrfect’ for the position.