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Monday, December 16, 2013

Wolf Teacher

 
 
I have known a couple of wolves, 
and they were pretty socialized animals, 
but they also did have their own agenda, 
which might or might not include you 
as a human in their plans. 

The most striking difference between 
dogs and wolves was the wolves’ lack of 
being affected by what you thought of them. 
 
Dogs always care and want to know you are pleased with them 
– and adult wolves could pretty much care less what your needs
were. It's part of why wolves have self-respect. 

I have experienced exceptions to that lack of care. One of the 
wolves I knew I accepted the responsibility to take care of as 
a house sitter for six weeks while her people traveled. Of 

course I had been friends with the wolf, having met her 
previously. But I did not really appreciate how the wolf had 
accepted me into the pack as a “family” member when I began to 
take care of her. Ten days into taking care of the wolf, I got 
some very bad news that a former boyfriend of mine had 
committed suicide. I was on the phone for days helping my ex’s 
relatives find places to stay when they arrived from out of 
town because of a ten year relationship that had continued 
with his family, despite us breaking up the five years 
previous to his death. Of course, there were many cleanup 
details of sorting out the loose ends of an end of life 
scenario.

The strange thing was, with the wolf and I having spent only 
ten days together, for three days following the news, that 
wolf did not leave my side when I was with her. I was both 
touched and shocked to have become adopted as a pack member by 
her so absolutely as was evidenced by this wolf’s actions. The 
wolf was a source of solace by matching my state of mind and 
then transitioning me out of it better than any ever-enthusiastic 
doe-eyed dog could have been. I’d never experienced anything 
like it then or since.

Strangely enough, this experience with the wolf made me understand 
how many advantages there were to tempering my blinding enthusiasm 
with a little friendly reserve. I began to show certain others with 
my actions their relative importance to me, and they responded. 
People in my community took me so much more intentionally (even 
when I wasn’t serious) as I made these changes in being aware of 
how I affected them. It was quite a rite of passage for me.

But maybe there was perhaps another thing going on entirely... 
Have you had experiences with a wolf?