Thursday, March 12, 2009

I really did cry

I cried watching a documentary about wolves, and if that makes me a dork, I’m OK with it.
My passion for dogs goes far beyond what is average. For instance, one of my favorite things is having all of Sensi’s friends over so I can watch the dogs communicate with each other.
Being so interested in canine behavior naturally leads me back to wolves.
Years ago, I caught a portion of a documentary on TV called, “Living with Wolves.” I was instantly fascinated.
When my sister asked for birthday ideas for me a couple years ago, I asked her to get me this DVD. She did, and I watch it every now and then.
The DVD is the result of wildlife videographer Jim Dutcher’s work to find out more about the social lives of wolves. He and his wife, Jamie Dutcher, got a permit to set up the study in a remote area. They lived with the wolves for years.
The wolves were all introduced to the enclosure as puppies. The Dutchers raised the puppies until they could be released, but they didn’t coddle them.
Their goal was to form a wolf pack, but have the wolves trust them enough so they could document their social behaviors. What they were able to document was amazing.
One of the parts that makes me cry is when the leader of the wolf pack approaches Jim as he sits in the woods. The wolf raises his paw to Jim’s hand. This, I know, can be a sign of submission, benevolence and respect.
Another part is when the Dutchers revisit the pack after having released them to tribal grounds. Though a year later, the wolves remember and greet and Dutchers warmly.
Watching this documentary gives a good look at the beginnings, the roots, of canine behavior. It is fantastic, and I highly recommend it to dog lovers.
To find out more, visit the Living with Wolves web site.

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