No man can be condemned for having a dog.
As long as he has a dog he has a friend
and the poorer he gets the better friend he has.
Reckon that may be true enough as I have had dogs that helped walk me back to the light often enough that I think they can smell light, and it must smell like a fine cooked roast. When the darkest of times came up on me, the cold of the night winds would break through whatever blanket I had, no matter wool or a good book. Yet a dog's cold nose at these times may seem startling to say the least, but after a moment, it becomes apparent to be a warm spirit that easily gives of itself. Ask any person who has had a dog give that warmth and comfort to them.
That's the thing, isn't it?
It seems that there are three ways to see the question answered...first by logic, second by intelligence, and third through belief systems...
#1 It was a totally random act of chance, that the dog felt compassion towards a needing being and offered its best reply, but then, it repeats itself, so that doesn't work out to be true so much. Like believing in Darwin's Natural selection with a blind eyed trust. Sure...one cell may find itself alive and well on Earth, but, for that same cell to be part of a city of cells reproducing and recreating themselves is not exactly a chance event, is it?
Or, perhaps they had little tiny adverts in little tiny newspaper classifieds? "Single cell looking for a second single cell to propagate the Earth. References required. Call me anytime. My number is 12"
#2 That the dog was smarter than us, and so much so that we must seem like such a stupid animal as to need to reap intelligence from a dog, but again, this doesn't work out in truth so much because to what end does the dog react? Is it that it IS smarter? It cannot do math nor reckon with grammatical concepts... but then, maybe that isn't as important as we put that to be. What is important is, can they invent a can opener and use it without opposable thumbs.
#3 That some greater spirit has moved the dog to give comfort to this poor soul. This seems a more fulfilling concept to me, albeit an argumentative concept to both those who have no belief in a "soul" as well as those religious types who do believe in souls, but not in animals. It becomes such a terrible idea that man would eat something with a soul. Except possibly cannibals, as they care not whether there is a soul involved. Oddly enough, the American natives felt that animals were of a greater chain of life, and they offered up prayers of both sorrow and thanks for food stuffs brought to their hungry people. Meanwhile, the Hindi would rather starve than eat a living animal.
Yet there is a problem with this as well.
It seems that there are many connections from modern religions and modern sciences, and most of those connections are quite cold hearted and merciless. They would convey their beliefs whether religious in nature or scientific, to be the epitome of life, hiding behind their religious beliefs that they may hunt and kill life, hiding behind science in an effort to seem more righteous in practice by killing quickly, coupled with politicians and governments that bow to the business gods to give authenticity to the actions of madmen and their striving towards domination, but not be in even the slightest a concept that any creator would fathom. Whether burning folks they call witches, stoning sinners to death for harmless practices, or bombing buildings with airplanes or making entire cities disappear in a flash of light and heat is incompatible with a creation. Creation is making things or making them better or helping others. Making death is an evil that has no match.
But then where does the dog get it's power of comfort and well being? Perhaps it doesn't matter any more than when and why life itself began. It suffices to state that as long as a person has a dog then that person has a friend, and the poorer one gets the better friend the dog is.