Sunday, December 4, 2011

Canis Lupus

I have always been fascinated with wolves. Black, white grey, jungle, mountain...they have always attracted me in that mysterious way that the flame of a candle attracts a moth. Not that I have ever had the good fortune of patting or feeding one. The closest I've gotten to them is while on a trip to the Himalayas, I saw a beautiful grey female walking on the streets of a small town pretty much as though its family owned the place for generations.

I love wolves not just because I am a dog lover, but because in my opinion, wolves have more spirit than dogs. I have read it somewhere, most probably in the memoirs of the celebrated Reuben David of Ahmedabad, that once a wolf or a pack of wolves decide to hunt something down, that something doesn't really stand a chance in the world. Tenacity is a quality I have always admired in anyone, be it human or otherwise, and when that is coupled with a cute snout and a wagging tail, I just can't resist it.

There's also the fact that dogs have been domesticated through centuries of human contact and hence they behave nicely with humans. Wolves, on the other hand, do so completely out of choice. Choosing to love someone when you can maim them requires a level of sophisticated thought process.

Wolves have, I learnt from a reliable source, an aversion to fighting. They are playful and affectionate by nature. But when a wolf enters a fight, there are few that can match its ferocity.

According to Dr. Gordon Haber, a wolf biologist with Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve, if you imagine the most unusually intelligent, emotional and sensitive dog you've ever known, that's how wolves are like.

Amen.

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