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It made me happier than I can say that after two hours after I arrived in the house he relaxed enough to lie down only a few feet away from me, albeit with a table between us.
He has been living with Jayne and Mike Belskey at the Grey Wolf Central Wisconsin Rescue for two years now, having been rescued by them as a panicked, huddled, terrified mess from a shelter.
He was also young, perhaps six-months old, but with a massive head and huge paws and his owner thought it a tad amusing that the animal was biting his wife and downright hysterical that he bit me after I traded the toy he had for a piece of chicken.
The wolfdog ate the chicken while I picked up the toy, and then I offered the toy back to him. If you let me take your toy, then you get something better and you get the toy back too! Not so with wolves, as I learned in my “Possession is the Law” training session with this particular individual, in which case I became the trainee and he the trainer.) The next week I heard that the wolfdog badly bit his male owner and was euthanized. “Wolfdogs” doesn’t flow off the tongue, it is awkward to say.
The wolfdog, 75% wolf reportedly, was gorgeous and brilliant and virtually unstoppable.
While we talked, she climbed on the table, then the top of the couch, chewed on my hair, began eating my notebook, then played with the coffee cups, then squatted to pee, then lept at the blinds and pulled them down. Of course we intervened whenever possible, but it was like trying to stop water coursing over a water fall.
But everyone involved in rescue can understand about those life changing moments when a certain animal points the way to a new life path.
I am positive that there is a message in his face, I just can’t say that I know what it is. The two that I remember best were both adolescents: a four-month old living in an upstairs apartment with a young couple who got him because, well, they were idiots and didn’t have a clue what they had taken on.
The ethics of captive wildlife is a struggle for me.
I view *Captive Wildlife* is an oxymoron, you can be one or the other but you cannot be both.
They don’t fit in our domestic world with our domestic expectations and they wouldn’t fit in the wild world either.
So they are doomed to life at the end of a chain or stressing and fearful in a small pen out back where the owner can use them for a show & tell ego boost.