Namaste' fellow Earth Aliens! on Dec. 27th 07 a new friend (artist) Judy Wood came out to the Ranch, I am always very excited to meet new people, so much so I can't sleep for a couple days prior in anticipation. Which is also funny because deep down within I am still that INCREDIBLY shy little girl.
Even better she was bringing along her grandson Mark, whom she was quick to point out that he was big for his age. These days though I walk into elementary schools the kids are bigger than my 5 foot 1 frame. ;0) So I expected a giant.
I couldn't wait to meet him! so I plastered him up a cast of one of the ambassador wolf's front paw print for him to remember his visit by. I tell people they are able to distinguish between a wild canid print and a domestic dogs print in the wild mainly through the single tracking. Wolves, foxes, and coyotes all single track meaning the back foot is placed in the front tracks. Dogs tracks are staggered (uneven and unsteady gait/movement) Thus their tracks will not appear as a single track. A Dogs chest is proportionally larger than a wolf's is, and the width of their stride is greater thus a dogs hind feet are placed beside their front.
(Pics of tracks made by one of the wolf's here.)
After Judy became lost in the county side, and after I broke a key off in the padlock that locks the front gates to the land (thank goodness for cell phones) she managed to finally find me, although I was locked in for the moment, so I had them come across and pile into my truck to drive them through the bush to the cabin. I fell in love of course with this precious child but then again I fall in love on a daily basis with so many things/people/ etc. and yup for being ten, he was pretty darn big. Think future line backer, that kid is drinking his milk!
I do not operate a conventional outreach, I grew up with my parents allowing me to *experience* life, they did not protect me from all the possibilities of simply living. I can say however I think they feared what orphaned or injured animal I would drag home next. At the same time they allowed me to be me, I loved ants, and frogs, grasshoppers, dragon flies, and name it didn't matter what type of animal or insect, I felt this overwhelming desire to touch it and understand it. To embrace it and it's fascinating world, so contrastingly different from my own.
(Pic taken of a doe by Sky)I knew what it was like to hold and bottle-feed a baby tiger, and bear when I was younger than Mark, the natural world was one I not only observed *but connected* with on a very deep emotional/physical and spiritual level. I got down at it's level and *participated* so it became a part of me.
(Pic taken of part of a lake/beaver dam that backs my land) The older I became the more society aound me tried to influence how I viewed such thing, by telling me spiders would bite me, that grasshoppers are pests, that frogs and toads will give you warts, snakes would kill you and on and on...but I have never walked a path someone else wanted me to, I realized early on that what I experienced was pure and I was not going to allow anyone no matter who they were, to *break* that connection and spirit shared.
I have a rule out here of certain age/height requirements, as to who may be able to interact with any of my friends, while also listening carefully and respectfully to the wolves themselves, for like people they will either like someone upon meeting them or they won't, sometimes they take awhile to think on it. I do not allow little kids in with any adult wolves, young children do not yet understand themselves yet, or how to control their own actions , let alone understand what a wolf may be saying to them.
But every child is different. One thing I am good at is understanding how the wolves feel at any moment in time through observing , their whiskers, their ears,their eyes, their lips, their tails, there is not one part of a wolf's body that is not communicating at *all* times. Their thoughts/intent/feelings are easily read. (Even in the wild if I am able to observe pack interaction I know what they are saying to each other, pretty wild )
(Pic taken by Sky of Dharma Windsong and Northern Lights Legend at WEV) If you understand wolf ecology they are easier to read than any human being, as humans have created various masks for themselves over time in different situations and circumstances as to not portray their true intent/feelings.
I am very protective and caring not only of the wolves but also any visitor and new friend I have ever met. If someone comes out and one of the wolves doesn't like the person, that is immediately known and also respected. Some feel sad that a certain favorite may not like them, but they are their own individuals and have their own reasons for this, reasons known only to them. I simply listen to them.
I have never forced the wolves here to be anything other than what they are ...wolves.
I do not try and make them into my dog , nor would that be right.
I allow them as pups to grow and explore and be themselves I do not discipline them for acting wolf.
(Pic taken by Sky of Legend in the fall trying to blend in with the furniture. ;0) Legend is an Arctic wolf, and though all wolves (minus the red wolf and ethiopian wolf) are classified taxonomically as *Gray Wolves* Legend is the subspecies canis lupus arctos. They are a rare subspecies in captivity, and are at risk in the wild. For more information on this special subspecies and all about arctic wildlife and wolves please visit my friend legends page on one of my main sites http://www.wolfechovalley.com/)A friendship that is built on respect and trust very early on is established.
(Thanks to Judy Wood for capturing these pics of me, without me knowing haha and my boy legend while here)
Mark reminded me of a child not yet overly exposed to stories about wolves in a negative manner, he was very open and one of the most relaxed kids I have ever had out here. What a NATURAL sense of being around wildlife, in a way that cannot be taught.
For example I give everyone that comes out here guidance, to follow my direction at ALL times, and I stay close to them, it is but one reason I do not have large crowds out here because the intimacy is needed. My concentration cannot be on some person acting out not within my immediate site and control that could cause problems out here. Such a special meeting is not granted to everyone, it depends on many factors. But I know for those who have, they are changed in *some* way, unique and special to them.
I know were I to visit another facility doing what I do (and I have in the past) if the person is ignorant (lack of knowledge) lets just say no amount of coaxing could convince me to touch even a cat at their place. I believe in building bridges with people and to do that I simply come to the table with who I am and accept all that I meet in a caring manner.
The simple act of taking anothers hand, allows energy to communicate. For us to meet each other.
Mark experienced something that allowed him to connect with a particular animal, not common to connect with on such a level, thus not only did he walk away better educated, but also with an appreciation, reinforced openness and sensitivity to the plight of such a creature out in the wild. He will be the type of boy that grows into a man, whom will not hold a pre-conceived prejudice, when this occurs, so does magic.