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#142004 - 04/21/05 07:19 AM Re: Raised by wolves
marilynmonroe Offline

Registered: 07/29/04
Posts: 11
And wolves raised by people? Any term there?

#142005 - 04/21/05 07:43 AM Re: Raised by wolves
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
welcome, marilyn!

> Any term there?

how about fidopus?

formerly known as etaoin...

#142006 - 04/21/05 08:02 AM Re: Raised by wolves
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
>And wolves raised by people? Any term there?

Killers. When we live3d in Colorado we had a neighbor with kids exactly the same age as ours, and they had a 90 plus wolf hybrid. I asked my veterinarian whether I should let my kids play over there.

His response was, "Not even no, but hell no. It is not a matter of whether that animal will hurt a human but when. They are wild animals even when raised from birth among humans."

So guess whose kids did not go to the neighbors to play?


#142007 - 04/21/05 08:53 AM Is there a word...
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
...for people who raise wolves as pets? Yes: idiots. Is there a word for people who raise wolves around children? Yes--well, a term anyway: willfully criminal idiots.
Wolves are extremely territorial; and even if/when they accept the children as part of their pack, there is a high probability that at some point the wolf is going to believe that a child is trying to take its food. And since a child is not going to be considered the alpha male, the child is likely in for a mauling. [shaking head e]

#142008 - 04/21/05 09:21 AM Re: Raised by wolves
TheFallibleFiend Offline

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA

It think wolf hybrids were common when we lived in AK. Our first dog up there was half-husky and half wolf. He used to go on walk-about ... literally, he would break his chain (these dogs are amazingly strong) and go off for weeks. He was gone for some time - days, maybe weeks. He comes back one time with a 'friend.' I don't recognize the breed. It looks so much like a husky, but not quite. I can't find anything that looks quite like it in my (copious) books.

I turn to my wild animal encyclopedia and I find her, a siberian wolf. By this time, she had already been living in our house for a while. She was very shy, but eventually got used to the members of the family.

Had we known she was actually wild, we would not have taken her in, but other than the extreme shyness we really had no idea what she was.

She did not like anyone outside the family to touch her. When strangers came to the house, she always acted nervous.

But she was always extremely patient with us kids and very pleasant to be around.
We just called her girl. She was not really our dog. We let her stay in the house and come and go as she pleased. She was with us over a year, I think. One day she vanished.

At first I was sorry for King. He was owned by our neighbor who never took him walking, kept him chained outside all the time, never cleaned up after him, and beat him mercilessly. As we lived next door, the smell in summer was unbearable. But, while my main job was baby-sitting, I had a lucrative sideline taking care of dogs and shoveling poop from yards. So I took care of him. Eventually my dad convinced the neighbor to let us have him. He seemed happy. But he hated - and I mean really hated the previous owner. He growled and acted horrible around the guy.

To everyone else he was a perfect gentleman in most circumstances. One day in winter I went out to feed him. He ate a lot so I was carrying quite a large dish full of dog food and leftovers. I was very small for a 12 year old, maybe 65 pounds or so. As it was winter he had done what he always did - dug holes in the packed snow. In AK, your porched is often raised several feet above ground with steps leading up. In winter, the snow is many feet deep, but it often packs down to just 3 or 4 feet. It also drifts up against your house (aside: I think there was a lot more snow in AK than in NH, but my memory is that the snow drifts in NH were really scarey, at least for newcomers, as the stuff can actually cover your house.)

Anyway, I was feeding King and I got my snow mobile boot stuck in one of his numerous holes. I couldn't get my foot out because he kept licking me and jumping on me. I tried to calm down, but I started to get scared and began screaming and crying ... which just got him more excited. More licking. More jumping. I started punching him as hard as I could right in the face. He wouldn't stop. Finally, I took my foot out of my boot (it was only maybe 20 below and I only had about 15 feet to hop to the door). I really hated that stupid dog for a long time after that. But I will say this: that for all my screaming and punching on him, he never bit me hard. I got some heavy scratches (it's a big dog), but no real injuries.

Eventually, my hatred subsided. As I grew older and developed more experience with more breeds around the neighborhood, my ability to handle all of them radially improved. Every day after school I made rounds to clean poop and play with a few of the rascals. At any time I might have 1 to 10 customers and I would take care of each about twice a week. It payed crap, but with the number of customers it added up - and I really liked doing it. After many more months, King and I developed a significant rapport. I can't say that he ever respected me the way that a dog ought to respect his owner. But he would listen to me most of the time - and I came to understand that I could control him more with body language than with words. He was the family dog, but he was really *my* dog. In all this time, the only person to whom he ever expressed anything against to dislike was his previous owner who by this time had become a threat and a nemesis to our entire family. His previous violence towards King was just one manifestation of his generally being an asshole. He threatened my brothers and me once and then he and one of his buddies used a pickup to chase my dad (on a small motorcycle at the time) down and threaten him with a gun. My dad is not easily intimidated, though, and has a collection of knives most of which were involuntarily relinquished by the people stupid enough to brandish them. My dad had a 'talk' with him and eventually got him kicked off post. (This all took place at and around Ft. Wainwright, AK.)

Back to the point. Bonehead was out of the picture and there was no question that King was now our dog. He was so funny. We went out into the woods several days of the week - especially the weekends. We went out to the Chena and would let King run loose for hours (sometimes days). We'd call him before we'd be ready to go, but he wouldn't come. He never came. Eventually, we'd have to really leave. We'd get in the jeep and drive slowly back the dirt path towards the road. Soon we'd see him in the rear view mirror, coming like a bat out of hell, so to speak. We'd stop, open the door, and in he'd jump. He never came when called. But always, within minutes of driving down the road, he'd be chasing behind us to get in.

There was this bully in our neighborhood. He was only one year older than me, but a LOT bigger - the same size as my dad. One day I said something that really pissed him off and he started chasing me. I was generally fast, but his legs were so long, that I couldn't ditch him. He was just about to get me ... I didn't have time to open my door to get in the house ... I dived ... into King's dog house (which was humongus and always filled with fresh hay). The next thing I know King, the dog who had never made a violent gesture towards anyone other than the asshole, lunged at this kid with more ferociousness than I have ever witnessed in any animal. Having broken up dog fights between very large dogs, I'm pretty familiar with how ferocious dogs can be. But this was different. He was like a really wild animal, like a crazy animal, like he was rabid or something. I've never seen that kind of thing before or since. It's a terrible and terrifying thing to witness, but it is also humbling and somewhat majestic.

Fortunately, Frank stopped himself in time and remained out of reach. Had he been even a few inches closer to me, I don't have any doubts that he would have been seriously injured, perhaps even killed. For weeks after that, Frank wouldn't come near our place. Eventually, King and he also came to a agreement to not mess with each other, but they always seemed to eye each other with suspicion.

It was my habit on weekends, to take my weekly earnings and walk across to the other side of the post. I always stopped in the four season's store to buy the latest model tank, then the book store to buy a chess book or a stamp book, and finally the library for a few hours, before heading home to eat lunch and then go fishing or hunting with my dad and brothers. One day I came home from the library and went out to wrestle with my big, scarey beast. There was a fair chance he'd be coming with us. But he was gone. I thought at first, 'Dangit, he broke another chain!' But the chain wasn't broken. Nor was the latch. Nor was the house. His harness was missing, so he had not slipped out. This was a little strange. I went in to tell dad that I think someone stole him. My parents told me that we'd be moving back to the lower 48 soon, that we would not be bringing him with us, and that they gave him away to a musher. They did it when I wasn't there and without any warning, because they didn't want me to suffer. They wanted it to be quick and painless and I suppose it was.

We had him almost the entire time we lived in AK, more than 3 years. In that time, he only ever made violent stirrings against two humans that I'm aware - once to Frank, and a few dozen times to the asshole who had abused him. Despite the fact that I punched him myself numerous times on that one occasion, he never growled at me one time, never bit me in seriousness, never gave the remotest indication that he wished me any harm whatever.

Even now, just about 30 years after the fact, among my most cherished memories is me punching that hairy monster in the face as hard as I could and him just licking me and jumping all over me as if to say, 'Ah, so you wanna play do you!'

This is not a recommendation for them. It's a statement of one person's recollection of certain facts. In general, I am opposed to making pets of any wild animals - and particularly exotic animals. I'm not a fanatic about it, but I have to say that I disapprove of people doing this. Animals do what their instincts tell them to do - whether they are wild or dometicated. And it's very difficult to predict how a wild animal will react in proximity to humans.

People should own pets because they love them and want to take care of them - not because it's just so bloody cool to walk down the sidewalk with a python on your neck. Again, I'm not a fanatic about it. I think it's okay for a someone who really loves snakes to have a python. (I even had an amateur herpetologist friend who owned several.) This feeling doesn't just apply to wild animals, either. Pitbulls are wonderful dogs, but I'm alarmed at the number of people who don't socialize these magnificent pets. I could even say this for dogs in general. Someone gets some dog without doing any research at all, then figures out that it requires some minuscule effort - oops, guess I better turn him loose in the wild and let him fend for himself.


#142009 - 04/21/05 09:35 AM Re: Raised by wolves
inselpeter Offline

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
I once met an Alaskan woman on the corner of Second Avenue and Third, or maybe Sixth, Street. I approached her, because I was curious about the strange dog on her leash, which turned out to be such a wolf/dog hybrid. But the thing I remember most about the encounter is her eyes. Her green eyes. Wild as northern ice. I flattered myself, as I walked home, accompanied by none but the voice of my own unreliable narrator that, had her eyes not only bored but beckoned, I'd have followed forever to the rhime shelf from which northern goddess standing naked on king crab shells emerge to ride ididerod in the lights-draped night.

#142010 - 04/21/05 05:13 PM Alpha status
Elizabeth Creith Offline

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
I read an account once of a family who adopted a wolf from a circus. The man was told that the wolf was a serious danger to his children, and did some research, including wild-wolf observation. His observations were that in cases where a cub was killed by an adult wolf, it was ALWAYS the alpha male who killed the cub, never any other male, possibly an alpha female might have killed one.

This family had carefully impressed upon the wolf that the man was the alpha male and his wife the alpha female. Logically, he felt, his children were safe with the wolf. Nonetheless, the family rule was that neither child, nor both together, would ever be alone with the wolf without a parent. I think this was an excellent rule.

I don't approve of deliberately taking animals from the wild as pets, and few enough people understand how to handle dogs. We do the pack structure in our house, too. At one time we had an eighty-five pound shepherd cross who had odd eyes (one blue, one marl) and looked quite the sod. He would growl at people (not us) who came near "his" car (we just drove and paid the bills), though he never, ever bit. He was, I believe, psychologically incapable of biting either my husband or me, because we had impressed upon him from puppyhood that we were the alphas.

I growl at my dogs if they aren't behaving. Works great. And, yes, I hiss at my cats.
I've kept snakes (because I do love them), and seriously disapprove of people who go out in public wearing them. Snakes don't really like to be draped around your neck - it's an uncomfortable position without proper support. Also, they are cold-blooded and so can't maintain a healthy body temperature in the face of damaging cold or heat.

#142011 - 04/21/05 05:19 PM Re: Alpha status
inselpeter Offline

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
This family had carefully impressed upon the wolf that the man was the alpha male and his wife the alpha female.... Nonetheless, the family rule was that neither child, nor both together, would ever be alone with the wolf without a parent. I think this was an excellent rule.

Do you think the inconsistency was lost on the wolf?

#142012 - 04/21/05 05:39 PM Re: Alpha status
Elizabeth Creith Offline

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 500
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
I don't know. Pack animals like to have the pack around, so maybe the wolf didn't notice. On the other hand, Farley Mowat recorded non-alpha males "babysitting" cubs. On the other other hand, many say Farley Mowat did his wolf observations in the bar....I still don't think it's a good idea to keep a wolf as a pet, though I'm charmed with the story of the "shy dog" who turned out to be a wolf.

#142013 - 04/21/05 05:50 PM Re: Alpha status
inselpeter Offline

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
Oh, I like to think Farley Mowat really was out there stewing field mice and crawling into wolf dens. He was pretty open about taking the bar with him, in writing, at least -- with the bush pilot he hired, he was a bit less candid. It don't hurt to lie when the stakes are high, I guess. My goddaughter the archeologist is not too keen on his account of the "Albans," but he is a sometimes charming read. As to wolves, I can't really see a good reason for keeping them around the house, myself. Unless to catch mice. And there are cats for that, or?

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