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This story was probably published in Analog, Galaxy or F&SF forty or more years ago.

Humans have left Earth, and dogs have evolved to be an intelligent, technological species. By some device, which I do not remember, a human lands on Earth. The dogs, who have always known something was missing from their lives, recognize the human as the missing, and essential, part of their emotional lives. This is 100% of what I remember about the story, except that it was very moving, and it might have been by Clifford Simiak (sp??).

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    Could this be the same as the one asked about here? scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/163335/… (if not, one of the rejected answers to that one is City by Clifford Simak, so maybe yours could be that one?)
    – Hypnosifl
    Mar 11, 2023 at 23:48
  • @user14111 Re S&SF: Yes, fingers don't always obey commands.
    – user48960
    Mar 13, 2023 at 1:12
  • @Hypnosifl Yes, it is "City". Now to see if Amazon has it!
    – user48960
    Mar 13, 2023 at 1:19

1 Answer 1

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Possibly "City" by Clifford D. Simak. Published as a "fix-up" (several related short stories put together in a novel) in 1952. The stories are a future history of Earth where humans first vigorously expand into space, then languish as all their physical needs are taken care of by robots. Uplifted dogs become the new masters of Earth, and begin nuturing other species into sentience as well. In the last story, humans (which the dogs refer to as Websters after the family that once owned their ancestors) are only a few in number and preserved cryogenically. One dog wakes a human up to ask for the solution to the threatened war with intelligent ants. The human recommends ant poison, and the dog sadly returns to tell the others that the websters had no answer, because he can't stand the idea of genocide.

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    In City there is a scene where the last Webster visits the intelligent dogs. And the dogs instantly recognize the human as the missing, and essential, part of their emotional lives. Mar 12, 2023 at 13:33
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    @Winchell Chung This is what I remember most. A powerful scene.
    – user48960
    Mar 13, 2023 at 1:20

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