Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Wonder of Wolves

As you may or may not know, I have a love for all things wolf. My first novel, Reunion, centered on the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. I did a lot of research, in part to make sure I depicted the wolves accurately, and in part because it was such fun to be immersed in these amazing, noble animals. Knowing how unwise it is to own a wolf or wolf-hybrid, I have the next best thing: Siberian huskies. In fact, here's my little girl, Dasha, who is all of 7 months old now:
And here, in my first effort to share a video (please let me know if you have any issues with it), Dasha is in action, with a cameo from Kodi (whom you may remember from my novel Kaleidoscope Eyes):

Anyway, I've made it point when possible to visit wolf sanctuaries. So on one of my trips to speak at the Glorieta Christian Writer's Conference in New Mexico, a friend and I took a side trip to visit Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.

The drive took us to the middle of nowhere, but what we found there was wonderful. We were able to walk through the sanctuary and watch the wolves as they interacted with each other. Yes, they were in enclosures, but it was the closest I've ever been to a wolf. When we came to one enclosure, our guide told us the wolf housed there was Raven, who sometimes honors visitors with a howl. Now, one of my lifetime dreams has been to hear a wolf howl, so you can imagine how excited I was. I lifted my head and did my best howl...and without hesitation Raven followed suit. As did all the wolves and wolf-hybrids throughout the sanctuary! The sound was haunting, chilling, and exhilarating all at once. I closed my eyes and let the symphony wash over me. It is, to this day, one of my most treasured memories.

As you can imagine, I've sponsored a wolf from the sanctuary. The work they're doing there is invaluable. So I encourage you to check out their site. And even consider taking part in what they're doing. All you have to do is look into one of the wolves' eyes to know it's worthwhile.

Peace to you today.



Nicole said...

My husband and I visited "Wolf People" in northern Idaho on Highway 95 near/in Cocalalla. They had their oldest wolf there at the shop in a large fenced-in area. And I got to hold a wolf puppy! He was adorable. They have a wolf sanctuary on their own acreage and their shop which features pictures, clothes, etc. is dedicated to wolves.

Lori Benton said...

I've been fascinated by wolves since the fourth grade, when I wrote my first novel (a year in the life of a wolf pack). I used to send my allowance money to a wolf sanctuary in Montana and dreamed of one day living "out west." *s*

The vid worked fine. Dasha's eye is really getting brown. It's always getting dark by the time we leave the cottage, and she's usually moving far too fast for me to see her eyes!