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Sniff out the facts about dogs in new exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum opening Jan. 14

Today, dogs enhance the lives of millions in countless ways, but they are also some of humans’ oldest friends. Ancient clues like cave paintings and burials reveal that dogs and people have lived together for thousands of years. But why have humans formed such close relationships with dogs, and not cows or chickens? “Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs” sniffs out the facts on dogs and explores what makes the human/dog relationship so unique.

The exhibit opens Jan. 14 at the Virginia Living Museum, Newport News, and runs through May 14.

“Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs” is the largest and most comprehensive traveling exhibition ever created on the history, biology and evolution of dogs. It uses the familiarity and love of these four-legged friends to explore science and biological concepts.

Through multimedia displays, dioramas and interactive stations visitors can learn about the different types of dogs, how they are related to wolves, how they have helped humans and what we can do to help them.

Recent fossil and genetic evidence has confirmed that all modern day dogs are the descendants of wolves. Ancient clues from cave paintings and burial sites reveal that dogs and people have lived together for thousands of years. Over this time humans have transformed, through selective breeding, the wild canids into the first domesticated animal; the tamable, the trainable, the incredibly diverse dog. No other single species in the animal kingdom has their variety of shapes and sizes and their abilities as hunters, herders, guards, and companions have made them truly our ‘best friends.’

The exhibit has four themed sections including multi-media displays, artifacts, photo murals, and dioramas of taxidermied wild canines and sculpted modern dog breeds. Additionally interactive, hands-on components demonstrate key exhibit concepts. Enter a “howling area” and guess what dogs are saying, test your nose against a dog’s great sense of smell, and climb into an avalanche scene to see what it’s like to be saved by a search-and-rescue dog.

Created by Wonderworks Exhibits Co., the exhibit is sponsored by Judy and Henry Morris.

The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for children (ages 3-12); ages 2 and under and VLM members are free.

The museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, I-64, exit 258A.

For more information visit thevlm.org or call 757-595-1900.

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