Part Wild reader shares her experiences

I was given your book the other day & started reading it last night. I finished it in the early morning, reading it all in one sitting. I sat staring at your book, lost in all that you had shared with me. I wish I had the words to tell you how much your book means to me. You have put my thoughts & many of my experiences on paper. It was a bit uncomfortable at times to read how similiar our experiences have been, but good for me to read.

All my life I wanted a dog. Dog & then horse were my 2 first words, literally, not momma or dada, much to my parents frustration. I got my first dog at the age of 29 year old & she was all I ever dreamt of & more. Booker was my constant companion, my best friend & the daughter of my heart. She was well worth the wait. A beautiful little blue merle Aussie, Booker brought me along the path of rescuing dogs that no one else wanted. She taught me everything I know about not only helping animals, but about being a better person & being able to (sometimes) accept that I am worthy of breathing the air. Through her & the dogs that have come into my life over the past 21 years, I have become a positive dog trainer, a behaviorist, massage therapist, Ttouch Practitioner, vet assistant & super pooper scooper. I cannot imagine who or what I would be if it were not for Booker & all the animals that have come our way since 1990. Each one of them brought me things I needed to know to help the other animals who came my way & surprisingly, myself.

I worked with several wolfdogs early on & since. I was mystified at the difference, when everyone around me was telling me that dogs were descended from wolves, the whole alpha pack teachings, people who thought they were Shamans, & what I was actually experiencing & learning. I had no one but Booker to teach me & only my heart & mind to go on. I am a horribly entrenched people pleaser, so going against the crowd was not something I was wired to do. So I did it quietly. I watched & learned. The wolfdogs broke my heart. All of them were as you described & my experiences mirrored your own. I doubted myself & thought if I just was a better trainer, a better listener, a better…”FILL IN THE BLANKS”…, the wolfdogs would be fine. I was letting them down because of my own failings & had to try harder. It was Booker that showed me wolves are not dogs. I went back to watching her & how she handled herself when she was among them. I watched what they did. I watched what their owners did. And so it was that I learned what Booker & the wolfdogs already knew & were showing me. Wolfdogs are not wolves, they are not dogs. They are stuck in the hell that is inbetween. The inbetween is not life, it is imprisonment. It is painful. It is hell. Agreed, for some of them, not so much, but for most of them, this isa true story.

Most all of the wolfdogs I have met have had to euthanized or were killed. A few managed to survive with one woman I know that considers herself a shaman & they live a life in the prison of 4 concrete walls, with no windows, a hotwired door, with some limited exercise & interaction. It hurts me to this day to know they are there & what they endure in the name of love & religion.

Thank you for sharing your & Inyo’s life with me. Thank you for putting into words what Booker & the wolfdogs taught me & I have tried so hard to teach other people. I hope your book helps teach more people & save more of these beautiful, tragic wolfdogs from being born, bought, & live only to die for being who they are.

Thank you for being you.

Warm regards, woofs & whinnies,
Karin & the zoo

PS: I have Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese”, printed & framed on my home office wall. I don’t know if I will ever fully feel that I don’t have to walk through the desert on my knees, repenting for the sin of being alive.

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One Response to Part Wild reader shares her experiences

  1. Lane Batot says:

    Although I must agree that very few people have the proper circumstances or mind-set to give a fulfilling life to a wolf-dog cross, I have to disagree that it is not “hell” for them being a cross–they are content or not depending on whether or not they are provided with outlets for their varying STRONG instincts(which they usually ARE NOT, of course!). But believe me when I say, they certainly don’t sit around in despair because they can’t “decide” whether they are wolves or dogs! If they are in despair, it is for other reasons! I had FIVE of the animals over the years, along with many varied dog types. My wolf dogs ran the gamut of percentages(and were all virtually rescues, by the way)–low percentiles, mid-contents, and one high percent animal. The percent of recent wolf genetics makes a HUGE difference–it is quite unrealistic to lump low percents along with high percents, for instance. I lived in a (very luckily) unique situation where I could allow them to roam and hunt(under supervision only!) with no nearby livestock temptations, busy roads, or human habitations. They also got to live in a cooperative pack situation, and were never closely confined(they had large fenced enclosures–acres worth–in natural wooded settings, which they got to get out of virtually every day to roam with me!) all were very happy content animals that lived their lives out and were faithful and devoted to me till their last breaths. I learned A LOT from these animals–but they DID make me appreciate fully domesticated dogs all the more! But all my fully domesticated dogs certainly enjoyed very much getting to do “wolfy” things on a daily basis as well!

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