Namaste' dear souls!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Namaste' dear souls!
Photo of my friend dustin with my grey beauty paradox, who comes out to visit the wolves every couple months
Every winter I juggle around what wolf will go where, I have a few separation pens to separate the wolves during breeding season, it's but for a couple months and they can be placed then back with their mate for the rest of the year, as wolves unlike dogs, mate only once a year in the winter. But I see no sense in breeding wolves every year only for pups to be placed in zoos continuously, with no goal other than to see wolves in captivity. Plus how many zoos can possibly be out there. Unless there is something specific like for example with my arctics and they needed pups for an endangered species program etc. It is best to just separate.
But let me tell you, even though necessary to do in captivity, (I talk about those reasons in another blog) once you see pups pulled from mom, it rips your heart right out, and I don't care what any zoo keeper or other caretaker of pures says, that they *get* over it...I don't think they do. Do such people speak wolf? I hardly think so. The difference between *dog* moms, and *wolf* moms is this. In the wild the *pack/ family units bonds and ties are STRONG* they are primal in their instincts, their ways have not been altered the ways dogs have been, dogs have been *bred* specifically for pups to then be dispersed as soon as they are weaned, and the dog mothers are only too happy to see them go!
This has over time created dogs, whom can take or leave a pack unit. Dogs that are content to be an only, in a household of humans and at such humans beck and call, they have lost their *independance* and rely heavily on US humans for everything.
Wolf mothers are FIERCE in their protective instincts, and this post reminds me of Stacey and her husband Mike (hawks ) blog for mothers day about mothers. Though yes I have seen this initial instinct in many dog mothers when pups are FIRST born , and for the first few weeks, but have also noticed they start to lose it once pups are weaned. Not so for wolf mothers, that bond has only strengthened in nature between pups and mom, and other family members. You see puppies are very highly valued within a wolf pack structure, it means a packs very survival and fine tuned operation.
I have watched a wolf mother literally dig for a number of MONTHS, all over the grounds a zillion dens and holes looking for her pups that were pulled from the den, and dispersed. This was one mother whom was NOT just forgetting in a few days about her puppies. So when I hear such generalization about such intelligent animals, I simply shake my head and think they have not YET then experienced what I have, or maybe they have and just don't *see* it that way. You have to TRICK many wolf mothers out of the way, in order to get their puppies in captive situations, cause she will NOT willingly give them up to you like a dog will. And if you are lucky to be *trusted* enough to interact with those puppies, whilst they are still so young, that wolf mother *entrusts* YOU enough as a human, to not take them from her too.I can completely understand pulling and bottle-feeding wild animals for a time if in a captive situation, and then the family unit placed back together once the pups are completely socialized to humans, (Wolf Park comes to mind for this) and thus more safely handled for life then, by human caretakers. BUT the majority of places that breed pure wolves, pups are dispersed and the pack unit is not reunited a few months down the road. (I mean no disrespect, nor am I saying that places that do this are outright *wrong*, some of my pups came to me that way.) But I am complex in my feelings on this topic too, so I mean no insult to other professional colleagues. The longer I have been involved, the more my feelings/ thoughts have evolved about this. They can't not. When you view ALL life as sacred and free thinking, and you have wild animals in captivity, well for ME at least this has been a part of the struggle along the way in my journey.
Maybe some would call this anthromorphizing but if you ever get to see such a look as I witnessed with this one wolf, you would KNOW, and you would FEEL what I say, if you truly have a connection to the sacred circle of life and living. Over the years as I have gotten closer to these animals and their world, I have also gained a different respect than when I first started out, the lessons they have taught me have been invaluable, and it is best to never think you know it all, cause just when you even start to think you may know enough, they may knock you on your collective assets *grin*, to say "You NEVER graduate, so keep studying."
How can you not admire another creature for being what it is, and thinking for itself? Not allowing, no matter what, to be manipulated into something it is not.
But wolves can also get into familiar *habits* of comfortability like humans can. Almost ritualistic in behavior. Is there something you HAVE to do daily, no matter how small like maybe you check the doors twice every night that they are locked, or maybe it is a glass of apple juice right before bed , you get the picture. Do you feel that something may not be quite right if you are taken out of that *comfortable* zone you have forged, and that ritual you have created not played out? It could be as simple as a certain kind of blanket you HAVE to sleep with, heck even on camping trips THAT blanket has to be with you?
Well one wolf this winter had a serious issue with being placed into one particular separation pen, it would have been alright had I placed her in a couple of the others, but just not this ONE. She had never been placed into THAT one before in her life, so instantly she felt *uncomfortable* I thought to myself, she's such a calm animal, she'll do alright for a couple months. WELL, she had other ideas. ;0)
Another thing in *general* about wolves is this, they THINK before DOING they dont take temper tantrums like dogs do when they want something, they simply think and DO. My dogs would sit there taking tantrums like little kids destroying as much they can FIRST, to get what they want. Before then accidentally stumbling their way upon the solution. (Different thinking processes at work here)
I had gone inside to get changed to go in for shopping, and laid out on the bed for a couple seconds, I remember feeling for some reason that she was NOT going to settle into where she was, well then I heard this THUMP (the cabin has a metal roof so even when it rains, it's loud) I shot straight up and yelled "Holy He* she's on the roof!" this is where all that palmolive soap down my throat over the years as a kid, proved it's mad methods not to work, as I had a few cursive words to express ;0)
Ten foot tall, 9 gage, zoo strength chainlink, she climbed and got onto the freakin roof! It's a separation pen, and though fairly close to the cabin, within a number of feet. I have never had a single issue with it with any other wolves till she came along, *grin* and decided to teach me something.
I ran out praying to all the powers that be, that I was wrong. But nope miss smarty pants was up there and grinning at me. I was picturing firetrucks, and oh gawd, how the heck was I going to get her off the roof. I was able to coax her down by throwing weiners into her enclosure. Well I think I can say I have nearly seen it all now. And no, there were no worries or chance of her running away from home. ;0) not on this land, and she loves her home.
In fact I often tell people I could let them all run around my land freely at will, and without worry of them leaving, IF I lived in a world where the rancher down the ol country road wouldn't shoot them, at first notice. So I keep them safe, as they are in my world even though I also allow them to be in their own as much as is possible.Of course, I took her immediately to another enclosure and she was as content as punch then. I should have *Listened* to her, but I didn't, sooooo being the ever independant thinker, she let me know what she wanted. Paradox thank you, you keep me in check to make sure I am listening. Which also makes me think of Robins post about communication and how it is vital for ANY relationship to have the Respect, Understanding, Tolerance, and most importantly being a GOOD listener. I guess you can say My dear Paradox of Providence was fearless ;0) in her communication.