Dogs were the first non-human members of the human group. They are our original companions. The first animals we domesticated, they share a 40,000 year history with humans. To them humanity owes its very survival and evolution through enhanced meat acquisition dogs made possible via hunting, as a consequence of which humans grew physically and intellectually.
It was co-evolution of both species which shows up in the parent-child relationship between dog and human, as psychological research has recently uncovered. Only after the agrarian revolution when the importance of the dog to food acquisition declined did we see a loss of status of the dog.