What is the only dog breed specifically mentioned in the Bible?
Greyhound in the Bible. The only breed of dog mentioned by name in the Bible is the greyhound (Proverbs 30:29-31, King James Version):
“There be three things which do well, yea, Which are comely in going; A lion, which is strongest among beasts and Turneth not away from any; A greyhound; A he-goat also.”
The Greyhound or better the hound is one of the oldest dog breeds. It is the only dog breed mentioned in the Bible and many of Shakespeare’s works and is the protagonist of the famous introduction of Don Quixote. Even the Simpsons dog, Santa’s helper, is a greyhound.
Formerly a race reserved for nobility and royalty, Cleopatra, for example, surrounded itself with greyhounds, as reflected in some hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt.
There are ten breeds of hounds, among which is the Spanish Greyhound.
For many years and, unfortunately, even today, the Spanish Greyhound has been an extremely exploited and abused breed, mainly because they have unique physical and physiological conditions, their use as a hunting dog, and, from my point of sight, wrongly called culture.
The Greyhound is the fastest dog breed and one of the fastest animals on the planet. This is because it has a light skeleton, a very flexible column, and very long limbs. All these qualities, in addition to its thinness, allow you to reach speeds of between 60 and 70 km / h.
But there are many more amazing facts in this breed:
- No one doubts the spectacularness of a greyhound in the race while running; he spends 75% of the time in the air.
- Greyhounds have a hematocrit higher than other dogs; that is, they have a higher red blood cell count, so they can send more oxygen to their muscles to meet their demand when they run.
- Their long, thin tail serves as a rudder, allowing them to change direction quickly.
- The shape of their head and the position of their eyes also makes them unique. They have a 270 ° field of view; this makes them able to see objects located almost behind them. They can also see objects over 800 meters away and, due to their stereoscopic vision, they can see those that are in motion better than those that remain static. They also have a privileged nose.
- Thanks to a fantastic genetic inheritance, they enjoy excellent health in terms of inherited and congenital diseases. They have a higher than average body temperature and a universal blood group, which makes them perfect blood donors.
- If you look closely, they don’t pose the hindquarters when they sit down. That is due to the length of their limbs and their bone structure. That is why they do not sit too long; it is a position that they do not find comfortable.
- They have fragile skin and, in most cases, short hair, which makes them very vulnerable to cold.
But the best of this breed is its character. The Greyhound is exceptionally affectionate, faithful, noble. They love being inside the house, huddled close to us. A sofa and a blanket is for them a paradise. Spectacular, beautiful, elegant, and clean, they are magnificent dogs to be part of the family. Silent, obedient, intelligent. A bit stubborn and thieves, but with an unparalleled tenderness.
Dogs are the only Torah animals that received a reward for their actions. When the Jewish slaves fled from Egypt, it is written: “No dog barked” (Exodus 11: 7). As a reward for this, God said: “… and flesh in the field you will not eat, you will throw it at the dog” (Exodus 22:30; Mejilta). However, God’s affection for animals is not limited only to “man’s best friend.” Friendship extends even to insects.
King David learned this teaching when he asked what is the goal of “creatures as evil” as spiders. Subsequently, God created an event in which a web of spiders saved his life, teaching the greatest of the kings of Israel that every creature has its purpose (Midrash Alpha Beta Women of-Ben Sira 9).
The Talmud teaches that the reason God created animals before creating humans – on the sixth day of creation – was to teach humans humility so that they understand that even the smallest mosquito can be more deserving of life (Sanhedrin 38a).
So one could infer from here that God effectively loves dogs. And also the rest of His creatures. Now, does this manifest in practical activism for animals, or is it just a general and undefined value of Judaism?
Jewish law is full of animal care requirements. For example, some laws prohibit making animals suffer (Késef Mishne, Hiljot Rotzéaj 13: 9) and that require us to feed them with love (Igrot Moshe, Even HaÉzer 4:92) and prevent them from being made to work in excess (Joshen Mishpat 307: 13).
We see from these and other laws how far the Torah goes to ensure the proper care of the animals. Even when one has to kill an animal to feed his family, many Jewish laws apply to ensure that the death of the animal is quick and painless (Guide to the Perplexed III: 48).
An idea we can draw from Torah regarding why God made animals is that they were created to express the “glory of the Creator” (Pirkei Avot 6:11). The immense diversity and beauty of animals lead us to appreciate the Creator, even more, leading us to exclaim: “How great is Your work, Lord!” (Psalm 92: 5).
It could be said that the Creator has also placed us, the descendants of Adam and Eve, in His beautiful garden so that we may be “the caretakers of the Garden of God and all the animals that are in it” (Genesis 2: 19-20 ).
Humanity was created on the last day of creation because the human being is the pinnacle of nature; we are the beings that were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). When we use our free will with responsibility, acting with compassion and sensitivity, we become like God, as it is written: “Just as He is compassionate, you must also be compassionate. Just as He is right, you must also be right” (Midrash Sifri Deuteronomy 49b). When we work ourselves to become more spiritually refined, we make our title of “caretakers of the world” useful.
We are the caretakers of the beautiful world of God and all the animals in it.
Imagine the message a child receives when daddy and mommy teach him that God wants all our animals to be fed before us (Talmud, Brachot 40a). Imagine the message your son receives when mom and dad teach him that God watches us see if we are compassionate to the animals around us (Talmud, Baba Metzia 85a). And imagine the message we give our children when we say that to be truly straight and spiritually complete, we must cultivate a sensitivity towards animals, as it is written: “A righteous person knows the needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10).
Perhaps that is why God made Nóaj build an ark to save all the animals during the Flood. After all, God could easily have performed a miracle that would keep the animals without Nóaj having to enslave for 40 days and 40 nights attending to each animal in the ark and even sharing his precious table with them (Malbim, Genesis 6:21 ).
We could say that this was precisely to highlight that our responsibility as caregivers of the garden did not end with Adam and Eve, but is an essential responsibility of humanity for all eternity. Also, one could even say that the way we treat animals is a reflection of the way we treat people.
In the Torah, we see again and again the story of a dedicated shepherd who is chosen by God to lead the flock of the Jewish people after demonstrating his dedication to his flock of sheep (Midrash, Shemot Rabba 2: 2). A barometer of the sensitivity we have towards others is the way we treat animals around us. This emphasis on caring for animals can feed us feelings that will eventually lead us to wish good to all humanity.
Finally, there is a fascinating idea that the Torah teaches us: animals can serve as teachers. There are qualities that God put into the instinctive habits of animals that can inspire humans to rise in spiritual fulfillment. For example, the first law of the Jewish Law Code is:
“Rabbi Yehuda ben Teima said: ‘Be powerful as a leopard, light as an eagle, fast as a deer and strong as a lion to do the will of your Heavenly Father'” (Avot 5:20).
Interestingly, this is part of the first law in the Jewish law book. This idea can be fully appreciated in a statement by Rabbi Iojanán:
“If the Torah had not been delivered, we could have learned modesty of the cat, honesty of the ant, chastity of the dove, and good manners of the rooster” (Talmud, Eruvin 100b).
Perhaps we can learn from the dog the power of devotion, loyalty, or even having a positive attitude.
I will conclude with teaching about man’s best friend: the dog. The remarkable sixteenth-century Jewish leader, the Maharshá, says that the dog is a creature of love. Therefore, the Hebrew word for dog is kélev, which etymologically derives from kuló lever ‘wholeheartedly’ (Rav Shmuel Eidels, Jidushei Hagadot, Sanhedrin 97a).
Now, remember that God instructed Adam and Eve to give all the animals of the world their Hebrew names (Genesis 2: 19-20). When they made this personal connection with the beasts of the earth, the names they chose had prophetic precision to encapsulate the essence of each animal in a name that reveals their soul (Bereshit Rabba 17: 4).
Then, one can extrapolate from this that the dog’s Hebrew name was chosen precisely to indicate the loving soul of this beautiful creature.
So yes, God effectively loves dogs. And we should love them too.
24 curiosities about greyhounds
Today we want to share with you these 24 curiosities about the greyhounds.
1. It is the fastest dog in the world and one of the fastest animals on the planet.
2. They can reach speeds between 60km / h and 69km / h.
3. While they are running, greyhounds spend up to 75% of the time in the air while running.
4. Greyhounds have a higher number of red blood cells than any other dog breed, which allows them to send more oxygen to their muscles and run faster.
5. The Greyhound’s tail acts as a rudder while running.
6. They can detect objects that are more than 800 meters away!
7. Greyhounds have a vision range of 270º, which means that greyhounds can detect objects that are behind themselves.
8. Greyhounds have stereoscopic vision, this allows them to see moving objects better than those standing.
9. The Greyhound is possibly the healthiest dog breed in terms of the development of inherited or genetic predisposition diseases.
10. Some greyhounds can sleep with their eyes open.
11. Greyhounds have a higher body temperature than any other dog breed.
12. They have a universal blood group and thanks to that, they are sometimes used as donors to save the lives of other dogs.
13. They have a great ability to jump. There are descriptions of a specimen that jumped 9.14 meters.
14. Most greyhounds have difficulty sitting directly on the ground or find it very uncomfortable.
15. Greyhound fur can be up to 18 different whole colors and more than 55 combinations between them.
16. At present, gray is the least standard color of Greyhound because, at one time, gray greyhounds were believed to be slower and run less than others, so nobody wanted them.
17. Greyhounds, in terms of temperament, are incredibly affectionate, delicate, relaxed, and very obedient, leaving everyone who knows a greyhound surprised for the first time.
18. Most have a very high hunting instinct that wakes up at the slightest chance of acting like a predator.
19. Many famous people, such as Cleopatra, Al Capone, Frank Sinatra, Leonard Nimoy, and Enrique VIII, among others, have owned greyhounds throughout history.
20. Shakespeare mentions the greyhounds in 11 of his works.
21. The Greyhound is mentioned in the introductory phrase of the famous work of Don Quixote in addition to numerous Españolé sayings s.
“In a place in La Mancha, whose name I don’t want to remember, there has not been a long time that a knight of the spearmen in the shipyard, adage, skinny rock, and greyhound corridor lived.”
22. Formerly, the Greyhound was reserved only for nobles, aristocrats, and of course, royalty.
23. It is the only dog breed named explicitly in the Bible.
24. Greyhounds are very addictive. When you become a greyhound owner, do not be surprised when you enter wanting to have another, and another and another …!