The domestic dog is a domesticated canid which has been selectively bred for millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes.
Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, pulling loads, protection, assisting police and military, companionship and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This impact on human society has given them the nickname "man's best friend" in the Western world.
In mythology, dogs often serve as pets or as watchdogs.
In Greek mythology, Cerberus is a three-headed watchdog who guards the gates of Hades. In Norse mythology, a bloody, four-eyed dog called Garmr guards Helheim. In Persian mythology, two four-eyed dogs guard the Chinvat Bridge. In Philippine mythology, Kimat who is the pet of Tadaklan, god of thunder, is responsible for lightning. In Welsh mythology, Annwn is guarded by Cŵn Annwn.
In Hindu mythology, Yama, the god of death owns two watch dogs who have four eyes. They are said to watch over the gates of Naraka. Hunter god Muthappan from North Malabar region of Kerala has a hunting dog as his mount. Dogs are found in and out of the Muthappan Temple and offerings at the shrine take the form of bronze dog figurines.
The role of the dog in Chinese mythology includes a position as one of the twelve animals which cyclically represent years (the zodiacal dog).
Source: Dog from Wikipedia
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