Wednesday, September 22, 2010
An Abundance of Wolves!
A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to talk two of my co-workers into going on an adventure and we drove 2 1/2 hours south to walk with wolves at the St Francis Wolf Sanctuary in Montgomery, Texas.
It was hard to get a picture of the carved wolf head beyond the gate, but here is the gate to the estate of the St Francis Wolf Sanctuary.
Wolf Dog Grieving:
Part of the reason I write that my werewolves have long lives is I don't want them to lose their mates at an early age. This is a part wolf, part dog, but looks very much like a wolf and acted like one, who lost his mate, Spirit, three weeks earlier. This was the first time he came out of his home to sit on top of it after losing her.
He actually came to the fence and howled a couple of times, but it was hard to get a picture of them howling. They'd howl, then pace and with their long legs, moved very quickly.
One thing that can distinguish a wolf from a wolf dog is the narrow chest, longer legs, and many constantly paced around their pens. Arctic wolves do have shorter legs and ears though. Arctic wolves are gray wolves also.
But he really did come out of his grief somewhat to finally come to the fence and participate a little in the excitement caused by visitors and volunteers who were there to see them and that was good to see. He was very alpha--his ears always perked up. I'll show a very beta wolf also--and how different the posture.
When the wolves howl, it was pretty quick, so capturing a picture of them with their head tilted back and giving off a howl was hard to do. The volunteers said that they normally didn't howl much during the day, and one of the wolves was doing all of the howling at first. Then several began howling. Which for here was also really unusual. I wonder if they knew they had a werewolf writer in their midst. :)
Here is a wolf and a wolf dog--the wolf howling. She howled constantly, then later some of the others howled. But she was the first. She was very alpha, scent marking and scratching the ground with her paws.
Here is the beta wolf.
This was one of the wolves that was walked when we were at the St Francis Wolf Sanctuary. She's a beta, as you can see from the way she stands. She was thrilled to go for a walk, yet she kept her ears back, her tail tucked between her legs, her body slightly bowed.
She has always lived alone, so she stays alone in her pen, while all the other wolves or wolf dogs had companions. But those who managed the sanctuary felt she wouldn't allow anyone in her pen to share it. She's the only one of the full blooded wolves that they walk. She loves the man who walked her here, but some women, she doesn't like he told us!
When you see the wolf like this, it reminded me so much of one of my standard poodles, how she would do this on occasion.
I'm wondering, though, if she found the right male, would she be happy to share her pen with him?
Of course, she would. :)
Whether a beta wolf or alpha, everyone deserves a delectable mate!
This is the beta Arctic Wolf scent rolling. Dogs will do this also, and bring back the "delightful" smells they've picked up--the scent of dead animals, etc, to their pack. Our yellow Labrador Retriever would love to do this after we gave her a sweet smelling bath. Not to her taste. :) She would prance around, telling us how she was dying to go outside right after her bath and once we let her out, she'd scent roll to gather something nicer smelling to bring back inside with us--to share her good fortune.
Here, the she-wolf looks like she's just taking a nice nap in the open field. Her nose is buried in the grass--taking in all the delightful aromas. :) Her pen was just as grassy and comfy, but she wouldn't have the fun of smelling all the little animal fragrances that collect in the surrounding area--rabbits, mice, all those tasty treats.
Yummy. What did they eat? One of the volunteers showed us chicken bones. Haven't you always heard how dangerous bones are for dogs? Particularly splintering kinds of bones? Well, not for wolves. They can exert 1500 pounds per pressure per square inch, twice as much as a German Shepherd can.
And here I am with a wolf dog. She loves people, but also loves to jump. Wolves can jump 35 feet, and she managed to jump on top of the tarp shading her den, then leapt over the double fencing, that's angled in to prevent them from jumping over it, and took off. One of their neighbors called them and said they thought one of their wolves was loose. Yep. And she did it again. So even though she's really very sweet with people, trying to keep her confined in a regular yard would never work.
When I was doing research for To Tempt the Wolf, I had read about an Arctic wolf sanctuary in Oregon and the trouble they'd had with people not wanting their sanctuary situated in the area. So I asked one of the men giving the tour about St Francis. He said they don't mind. Now, I have to say many of the neighbors had extremely fancy homes, and it looked like race horses.
He finally said that one of the neighbors said if he saw a wolf loose, he'd shoot and ask questions later.
In my posting in October, I'll share another couple of stories and one has to do with the Arctic wolf sanctuary I researched for To Tempt the Wolf.
I know Linda has lovingly owned and raised a wolf dog, and that Judi was fortunate enough to see wolves as she drove through a preserve. Anyone else have the fortune to see them up close?
Have a super last day of September, and hope October is filled with abundant joy for everyone!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."