DOGS ARE DOGS

Here is me with the second oldest wolf-dog on the reserve. He is 25% wolf, but he is a big movie star because he is so large and looks so wolf-like.

I had the amazing experience today of visiting Howling Woods Farm, a wolf-dog reserve in New Jersey. As a writer, reader, and imaginer, I have always been fascinated about the wolves’ role in stories. It always seemed extreme or overrated. Even I, someone who started their first trilogy as a werewolf trilogy (it has changed over the years, luckily), thought of wolves as large, wild dogs who tended to be less predictable than our furry friends in our houses.

One of our very educated tour guides today made a statement:

“Wolves are far more predictable than dogs.”

This is actually incredibly true, though it seems like an overstatement at the first hearing. Wolves are portrayed as vicious, but, truly, they are non-confrontational. Our own dogs, who we come to love, accept into our families, and trust with our lives on so many occasions.

This is me and my boyfriend, Jacob, posing with two other wolf-dogs who are 41% and 65% wolf.

Now, I’m not trying to discredit dogs or say that you smoosh your face into a part or full-wolf like you would with your own pet, but it is interesting to think about, the fact that wild animals are more predictable and more regulated behavior than our most beloved friends.

Can this be true of people, too? Sometimes, our most trusted people may turn on us. Our students may do something unexpected. We may say something to our students that they never expected to hear, something that can either cause them to fly or fall.

But perhaps I am looking for too many metaphors in life.

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6 thoughts on “DOGS ARE DOGS

  1. Years ago I took my class to a wildlife sanctuary for a field trip. They had rescued some Timber Wolves from a zoo that had gone bankrupt. They were too wild to go anywhere else, and too tame to be set free. To see them, we had to walk through a strand of trees that looked like an archway. The forest was quite dense. If we stood very still and stayed very quiet, the wolves would sneak out and take a peak at us. The class was quieter than they had ever been before! It was eerie to look through the trees and spot a wolf that had likely been watching us for some time before we noticed it. They were so enormous! It was an amazing experience, but I have never forgotten that feeling of being watched by them.

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  2. I am absolutely jealous. I dreamed of having a wolf, or wolfish dog anyway, when I was young. Now I’m too practical. I just want dogs that don’t shed, so I have a Shih Tzu poddle mix. Takes up less space on the bed, too. 😉

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  3. Wow, they are such gorgeous dogs!! I love the message – a lot of times too much management can hinder the situation. Letting the children problem solve without always jumping teaches them independence.

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  4. I liked the way you offer us the option of playing with your metaphor. You don’t belabor the point, you put it out there for our considerations as good, thought-provoking writers will do. I appreciate the ideas in this post which do make me reflect on seeing, believing, and perhaps changing my mind about what I thought before.

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