This time of night, Denali likes to snuggle on the green couch as close as she can get, with her nose touching my chin, if possible. Who can resist this? We are her pack, and she just wants to go where we go. Outside is best for exploring and throwing the ball, inside is best for napping. She sends the universal black lab message: might as well enjoy the moment, live a simple life.
I look at her and I think of that looooong thread that ties her to the wolves. It’s a stretch, but still a canine connection.
|photo: courtesy of Sheryl and Bonnie-location– I’ll NEVER tell.|
Always I’ve loved the wolves, even when I didn’t know any of them. They are fast and beautiful and sneaky, and they can collaborate and catch deer. Can you imagine? Without a doubt they’re the smartest animals in the woods. Which is also why they make the hair on my neck prickle; I know they might be able to kill me. Dr. Mech reports 19 million visitor days in the Superior National Forest with not one aggressive wolf encounter. Denali and I have encountered them several times, and not been threatened. It’s almost as if they could take us, and they are wiser than that. They just don’t attack people.
Yet, they’re predators, and people search for the outliers, the horror stories. My ears perked up to this this runner story last month in Alaska. I heard on the radio that The Gray is the hottest movie out right now. It’s because those wolves are big and baaaaad.
Apparently the wolves in MN are prolific enough to be taken off the endangered species list. The DNR reports that hunting/trapping might begin as early as next fall. I listened to guru Dr. Dave Mech‘s ideas about managing the wolf population. I’ve been reading his books since I was 15: I’ll defer to him. He knows wolves, and seems to have a balanced approach when considering all the stakeholders.. I won’t picket the DNR, but I don’t have to like the idea. I’m not sure, it just seems like—they’re our allies. Partners in the hunt, not the hunted.
Our galloping girl broke a tooth a while ago, and she was drooling drooling drooling all over, so we paid the vet to pull it out. The vet said we’d better quit giving her the soup bones to chew on, her teeth have to last quite a few more years. So we can keep feeding her and housing her, and throwing the ball. She’s ensured her survival in the craftiest of ways. She wins the evolutionary battle, doesn’t she?
|Photo courtesy of Sheryl and Bonnie Location: BIG SECRET.|
Check out the wolf in this photo. If he breaks a tooth, I’ll bet he doesn’t even FEEL it, he’s so tough and cool.
What kind of crazy world do we live in where our goofy dog trumps this wolf in survival tools?