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.