Volume 14, Issue 172, February 2019

SAFHOWL

The Monthly Free E-Newsletter of South African Friends of Wolves

Volume 14, Issue 172, February 2019

From the Editor’s Desk

When the Horror Clown was made King of America, one of my first thoughts was what he might have in mind for the wildlife of his realm – and the result of this contemplation was frightening. Now my nightmares are turned into reality, as you can read in the International News section…

We are happy to reprint another instalment of Rick Lamplugh’s sharp insights into the historic conflict of man vs. wolf here. If you are not yet following his blog – it is absolutely worth it…

As usual, we have wolf tale, and Erin updates us on her pack, this time calling on all readers to come forward if they have any useful calming strategy for canines during thunderstorms. And if you wonder how I felt after having been (indirectly) struck by lightning in the bath tub – it is something I just cannot recommend…

Till next month,

Ed.

Upcoming Events

International Wolf Center (info@wolf.ccsend.com); on behalf of International Wolf Center (info@wolf.org)

International Wolf Center’s Adventure Programs

Say Yes to New Adventures!

Turn your vacation into a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience. The International Wolf Center offers a variety of Adventure Programs led by informative and enthusiastic wolf experts for people of all ages. Visit our website for a complete list of adventure programs: http

  1. Upcoming Webinars 

Webinar rate: $15 Non-members, $12 Members

Wolf Conservation Center (contact=nywolf.org@mail63.sea91.rsgsv.net)

1. Wolf Camp for Kids!

It may be cold outside, but it’s time to start thinking about summer camp!

Give the young animal lover in your family a chance to thrive among wolves all week long! The five-day program will include opportunities for your child to learn about nature and wildlife through woodland exploration, scavenger hunts, wilderness games, live animals, etc. Children will learn about various habitats, animal communication and behaviour, food chains, and local wildlife.

Programs will run with a minimum of 4 children and a maximum of 12. All children who complete the program will get a special “Junior Wolf Biologist” certificate. Pre-registration is required.
SUMMER SESSIONS
Time: 
9AM – 3PM
Fee: $350 per child for the week-long program (Monday – Friday)

Information & registration HERE: https://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=2971075dd4&e=c4f881378d

2. Sleeping with Wolves – Our Wild Campout Adventure

Wake up with Wolves!

Sleeping with Wolves, the Wolf Conservation Center‘s popular nocturnal adventure experience gives guests a chance to camp out overnight with the 30 wolves that call the centre home! With all the howls and nature’s night-time chatter, you will feel like you’re camping under the stars with wild wolves!
Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and dates are selling out quickly!

Information and registration here

  1. Join Us for an Adventure in Yellowstone (https://nywolf.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=96aae4d71726eb91ae4d20fec&id=f466f0759e&e=c4f881378d)

The Wild is Calling!

Join us for an adventure sure to impart wild memories!
Join professionals from Yellowstone Insight and the Wolf Conservation Center for unique, educational, and wildlife-filled adventures in Yellowstone National Park!
Have you ever wanted to go to Yellowstone? Bask in the natural wonders of the first National Park? If so, one of these adventures is perfect!

News from the Wolf Front

National

From the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary (Frans Badenhorst, wolfrescuesa@gmail.com)

From Gary

I find it hard to believe that in the flick of a wolf’s tail we are already at the end of January with only eleven short months to go until we get to 2020, wow! Someone said to me many years ago when I was a child waiting for the excitement of Christmas and wishing that the days would stop dragging so, that I should not wish my life away because as we get older the years start to fly by at a faster and faster pace. Good grief, they were right on the button as the days now seem to go by like a charging elephant.

The good news is that we have very few (a handful) of calendars left. Well done to all those who made great work of selling them. If you have not managed to get hold of one yet or need another for someone special, please get hold of me but be quick as they are becoming as scarce as rocking horse droppings.

I have not been down to the Sanctuary since last year and Glenda and I are experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms and cannot wait to see the new additions, both animals and structures. Also, cannot wait to see how our special youngsters, Cheyenne and Cherokee have grown and matured.

I am also putting out an appeal to all those who would like to assist with the fund-raising efforts. Glenda and I both have full time jobs, and this takes up almost all of our time, we have also just taken on a new and very exciting agency which takes a great deal of time and nurturing, which means we do not have as much time as last year to devote to the Sanctuary. So please if you feel the calling to become involved in helping the animals and the Sanctuary evolve, please let us know as we do need extra hands this year.

Don’t forget to send Larry any news that may interest wolf people like us. Until then keep on howling and try to do it at least once in the Sanctuary, they all want to see you.

From the sanctuary

Well, the first month of 2019 has come and gone already, happened so fast I hardly had any time to enjoy it.

Volunteering

We had our first official volunteer, Kayla Smit who spent ten days here, she did a bit of everything from petting the animals, helping Yvonne with the cabin to brushing the wolves down at the house, even interacted nicely with the visitors and answering a lot of their questions during the tours, which helped me a lot with a large group.

Lightening / Storms

One of our concerns is the intensity of the storms that have been hitting us. Not only out here but elsewhere people and animals have been struck by lightning, not sure what to put this down to. We lost two animals, one was Damon, a youngster who was near and dear to me, and old Maya who had fought so well only for us to lose her to a strike that was too close and also left her old brother a bit shaken.

Durban Wolf Rescue

Went down to Durban to rescue two wolves. The owner was forced to sell his house and couldn’t take them with; Blackie, the young male, has never had any human interaction since he was born. Gillet (a Nordic name, which is where Gillian comes from) is an absolute sweetheart. As much as I like to be the hero, the real hero was Renata, a friend of mine down in Natal (she brought Marco to me) who worked really hard to capture Blackie. She got bitten five times in the process but never gave up.

Check out the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary’s Facebook page for more information here: https://web.facebook.com/huskyromi/?rdc=1&rdr . If you wish to subscribe to HuskyRomi’s monthly newsletter, mail Frans Badenhorst at wolfrescuesa@gmail.com and have yourself added to the mailing list. It’s FREE!

  1. From the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary

HuskyRomi’s Volunteer Programme

Ever dreamt of working hands-on with wolves?

Here is an opportunity of a lifetime!

Phone or mail for all the necessary information and request an application form

Larry Paul – 0027 71 679 5141

E-mail: Larry@HuskyRomi.co.za or Committee@Huskyromi.co.za

Note that this offer is available to volunteers from all over the globe!

Why not combine volunteer work with an exotic holiday?

Our GPS coordinates are:

27.776026, 28.442818 or S 27°46’33,5’’, E 028°26’34,0’’

From South African Friends of Wolves (www.safow.org)

500 x 50 – Calling on all South African Friends of Wolves

Set up a standing order with your bank and donate Rand 50 every month to support the wolves, wolfdogs and huskies at the HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary

Banking details:

HuskyRomi Rescue and Wolf Sanctuary

First National Bank

Account: 62296463989

Branch: 230833

Type: Cheque Acc

Ref: Donation / Your name

…and then get one of your friends to do the same.

Remember, it’s tax-deductible, sustainable, no Rand is wasted, …and it really feels good to support a worthy cause!

International

From Defenders of Wildlife (defenders@mail.defenders.org)

  1. USA: Trump to America’s wolves: Drop dead

When the federal government turns its back on wolves, wolves die.

That’s the simple heartbreaking truth. And it’s why the Trump administration’s imminent plan to strip gray wolves of all protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is nothing short of a death sentence for countless wolves.

Please donate today and help support our all-out effort to protect gray wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=qo7iMDp8lTs2tPipQOadSw

If this disastrous plan goes forward, decades of hard-won wolf conservation progress could be destroyed, and the future of gray wolf recovery would once again be in doubt. Defenders of Wildlife will do whatever it takes to keep this from happening, but we urgently need your help.

Your support will keep us on the frontline for vulnerable animals – please help out today: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=H5RkKuTyyqm_yi_BQplUhw

We’ve seen what happens when premature delisting leaves wolves to the mercy of anti-wolf politics and politicians that are unwilling to protect them. In Wyoming and Idaho, thousands of wolves have been killed since losing ESA protections.

And we continue to see some of Yellowstone National Park’s most iconic and beloved wolves shot and killed just across the park border.

Your urgent donation today will help support our all-out effort to keep gray wolves protected under the ESA: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=0MU5TAkC9tlXEBMMI_qO1w

It’s not too late to stop this reckless and cruel proposal. Defenders is ready to fight back for wolves:

  • We’re engaging a network of thousands of wolf-lovers like you to demand ongoing wolf protections at the first sign of this outrageous proposal moving forward;
  • Our experts are providing key ESA policy and legal analysis, making it clear that delisting is not only premature, it also sets a dangerous precedent for other imperiled animals; and
  • We stand ready to fight this administration in court if necessary to challenge any premature delisting of gray wolves.
  1. USA: Montana: A reward for killing wolves?

Montana’s wolves could once again be in extreme danger.

Anti-wolf extremists are pushing a bill in the Montana legislature that would essentially put a bounty on wolves throughout the state.

If this bill passes, it would be a lethal throwback to the draconian 19th-century tactics that led to the extermination of wolves throughout the lower 48 states.

Defenders is on the ground in Montana right now, mobilizing opposition to this and other anti-wildlife bills. And we need you with us.

Your emergency donation of $10 or more will help protect Montana wolves and other vulnerable animals: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=VVZ-OLiNcON5fVvjrV8N0Q

The bill, HB 279, would offer ‘expense reimbursement’ to trappers who trap and kill wolves. In the past, similar reward systems for dead wolves nearly drove them to extinction.

We’ve stopped anti-wolf legislation like this before. But to keep up our efforts to protect wolves and vulnerable wildlife, we need your help here

The bill also reminds us that wolves are still not safe.

Thanks to the support of wildlife lovers like you, Defenders maintains an involved presence in states like Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.

The good news is many people in these states support wolf conservation. But the extreme anti-wolf minority remains powerful – and this cruel bill is their attempt to exterminate wolves once and for all.

We won’t abandon wildlife in need. Please give $10 or more today to help keep us on the frontlines protecting vulnerable animals: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=_HjdZD3g13159cs81tl7Xg

Your urgent donation will support our team of on-the-ground wolf experts, biologists, and wildlife lobbyists – both in wolf country and in Washington DC.

We will never rest until America’s wolves are fully recovered and safe from the threat of extermination.

Thank you in advance for your compassion, commitment, and generosity.

  1. USA: New Mexico: One wolf dead and another maimed

Another tragedy strikes Mexican Grey wolves.

We just learned that four wolves were found caught in traps.

It’s hard to know how long they were trapped there, struggling to escape, dying of thirst or hunger or exposure. And it’s heartbreaking to think how many more wolves could suffer this same fate if we don’t put a stop to this.

Won’t you please donate $10 or more to help us respond to this latest tragedy, to fight for wolves and other imperiled animals: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=ummE6k7rXpXASRFSANpI3A

One wolf, a female – possibly a mom – died after she was removed from the trap. Another, a young male, had his leg so severely injured it had to be amputated. Yet another had two legs caught in two separate traps. The few remaining Mexican Grey wolves in America cannot survive this kind of devastation.

For me, this is personal. I was present on that morning in 1998 when the first captive-bred Mexican Greys were released. You couldn’t watch them go free without tears in your eyes.

We were so optimistic then. And now leg hold traps, snares and poisons are scattered across the New Mexico landscape.

Help us fight for these wolves: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=W9Dq2Zzaa6KvBUfrCIU_eQ

The fight to restore Mexican Grey wolves to the wild has been a long and at times bitter one. With their numbers in the wild hovering just above 100, lobos remain one of the most endangered mammals in North America and federal agencies have all but abandoned their recovery.

The loss of even one of these critically endangered wolves is heartbreaking, but it’s not too late.

$10 or more help provides the resources we need to meet these challenges everywhere they arise: In the field, in court, and in Washington, D.C.: http://action.defenders.org/site/R?i=jFks8wJNaItxQOT9d0CzYA

With your help, Defenders is on the ground in Arizona and New Mexico working at the state level, pushing for better wildlife policies in Washington D.C. and advocating to protect these animals in court. We will never stop fighting for wolves and so many other imperiled animals whose futures are in jeopardy.

Thank you in advance for your compassion and generosity.

From Change.org, Jan Olsson via Change.org (change@e.change.org), summarized and translated here from German)

1. Germany: Two Wolves will be shot by order of two Ministers of Environmental Affairs! Prepare for Action!

Two wolves, GW924m from Schleswig-Holstein and GW717m from Lower Saxony, will be shot and killed soon. The fate of the first-mentioned wolf was already determined on 31 January 2019 by the Minister of Environmental Affairs Jan Philipp Albrecht (Die Grünen), the shooting of the second wolf was ordered by the Minister for Environmental Affairs Olaf Lies (SPD).

This cannot be! It is a violation of the European and German Laws!

Beginning next week we will launch a number of measures and actions, so be ready! We must act against these shootings in unison!

We will keep you informed about further details and how you can participate. You can find background information about the planned shooting of the Schleswig-Holstein wolf at: https://www.w-i-s-z-v.de/

Everything for the Wolves!

From Change.org, Brigitte Sommer (www.wolfsschutz-deutschland.de) via Change.org (change@mail.change.org, summarized and translated here from German)

Wolfsschutz Deutschland on Facebook

2. Germany: Please sign this Petition for the Rodewald pack!

Presently we try with all our power to save the lives of wolf Dani and the Rodewald pack. Not everybody can be active on site, but by signing the petition everybody can make a contribution to make politicians understand that the majority of the public does not agree with lobbyist despotism.

We think that the shooting of the Rodewald wolf or even the whole pack is politically motivated: therefore, please support this petition launched by a Lower Saxony wolf friend here

From Endangered Species Coalition Leda Huta, Endangered Species Coalition (action@endangered.org)

  1. USA: The Trump Extinction Plan

The Trump Administration has unleashed chaos and destruction at the Department of the Interior from the president’s first days in office. One of his administration’s first moves was to roll back a ban on shooting with lead ammunition in wildlife refuges–a rule put into place to prevent lead poisoning that puts bald eagles and other species at grave risk.

Since then, they have gone on to allow brutal killing of hibernating bears and denning wolf pups, starved critically endangered red wolves of needed recovery efforts, allowed the importation of elephant and big cat “trophies,” and moved to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and other wild places to oil and gas drilling.

Now they are coming for the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Fight back against the Trump Administration’s attack on the Endangered Species Act and keep it working to stop extinction with your online gift today here

The administration proposed a series of sweeping changes to the way they protect endangered species last year. Activists like you submitted hundreds of thousands of comments opposing this plan, and scientists spoke out against it, but the Trump Administration is pushing their extinction plan full speed ahead.

The Trump Extinction Plan will slash protections for species designated as threatened–potentially allowing them to be subject to hunting and trapping seasons.

The Trump Extinction Plan may allow policy makers to deny protections for vanishing plants, fish, and animals if industry lobbyists perceive an economic cost.

The Trump Extinction Plan will make it much harder to protect imperiled species from climate change.

The Trump Extinction Plan will make protecting habitat much more burdensome despite habitat loss being a leading cause of extinction.

It is the gravest threat to the Endangered Species Act in decades. Even after the administration puts their changes in place, we absolutely must and will continue to push back until the very last day of Trump’s term. We can’t let the next president leave these cuts to conservation in place.

Add your opposition to these attacks with your donation today. Your gift will allow us to continue to publicly hammer away at these rollbacks and to keep them front and center here

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

Other News

National

Nothing to report

Next Door

Nothing to report

International

Nothing to report

Wolves and Wolfdogs

A Brief History of Wolves and Humans, Part 2 of 3

by Rick Lamplugh

Any partnership hunters and gatherers may have had with wolves soured after our ancestors became herders. Once we owned land and raised livestock, we came to hate wolves and treat them as unwanted competitors. Our history degenerated from a tale of two species partnering to a sad story of one species with a powerful arsenal—and few thoughts of long-term consequences—waging war on another.

To understand this war, let’s use the Middle Ages (5th-15th century) as a starting point. That was a time when horrifying rumors—some true—about rabid wolves killing humans spread across Europe. Governments declared war on wolves. In France in the 800s, the government hired an elite corps of hunters to control the wolf population. In England in the late 1200s, King Edward ordered the extermination of wolves in some parts of the country. In 1427, James of Scotland passed a law requiring three wolf hunts a year, even during denning season.

Those European wolf wars were not waged in a vacuum; Europeans were struggling with numerous deadly challenges. A Little Ice Age chilled Europe, and some experts believe it began as early as the 1300s and lasted until the mid 1800s. During that Little Ice Age, temperatures fell, snowfall increased, and the growing season shrank. This reduced harvests and created painful shortages of crops and livestock.

Also during the early 1300s, and perhaps due to the Little Ice Age, the Great Famine struck, killing 10 to 25 percent of the population of many European cities and towns.

To make matters worse, in the mid 1300s, the Black Death peaked. That plague eventually killed at least a third of all western Europeans.

With families and friends starving and dying, few would accept wolves taking livestock. I can imagine the war cry spreading across the countryside: Protect our families! Protect our livestock! Kill all wolves!

Once the Black Death subsided, western Europe’s population rebounded and doubled by the early 1600s. According to Jon T. Coleman, author of Vicious: Wolves and Men in America, more Europeans meant more mouths to feed. More food meant more land for livestock and crops. And less open land for wolves.

As Europe’s population grew and spread, wolves had to go. By the early 1500s, wolves had been hunted and trapped to extinction in England. They were eradicated from Scotland by the late 1600s and from Ireland by the late 1700s.

Wolf Hatred Sails to the New World

Increased European population also increased colonization of North America. When colonists disembarked in the New World, wolves probably watched from the woods; an estimated two million roamed most of North America, though colonists rarely saw them since wolves avoided humans. Nevertheless, another war on wolves was about to erupt.

The New World siege started quickly. By 1625, colonists were using tactics refined in the Old World to stop predation, according to Barry Lopez in Of Wolves and Men. They also had firearms and could kill from a distance. They hired wolf hunters and passed bounty laws—the first in Massachusetts in 1630. Other colonies followed including New Jersey in 1697.

Wolf Hatred American Style

The often told story says Old World wolf hatred begat New World wolf hatred. Even though most colonists had never lost livestock to wolves, had never seen or heard wolves, they stepped off the boats hating the predators.

But historian Coleman argues that these immigrants and their descendants—our ancestors—added an American twist to wolf hatred. Given the colonists’ Old World view of wolves as monsters, you would expect New World settlers to have avoided wolves. Yet Coleman discovered records from as early as 1621 that show just the opposite. A settler, in one example, stumbled upon wolves at a deer kill, chased the wolves away, and swiped the meat. Records also document colonists encountering wolves and the frightened animals turning tail.

If wolves were such cowards, why did colonists treat them so viciously? Religion was partly to blame, says Coleman. “The biblical version of wolves with its focus on greed, corruption, and theft flourished in New England…” Colonists thumped the Bible to rationalize wreaking havoc on wolves for the crime of killing livestock.

Yet settlers aided and abetted the predators’ crimes by grazing livestock in wolf country without proper supervision. Coleman found colonists entrusted their herds to teenage boys “short in stature and attention span.” Wolves—hungry and struggling because settlers had overhunted their natural prey—took some livestock. This scenario moved west with civilization: Everywhere settlers killed off wild game and brought in livestock, wolves came to dine. Settlers fought back. But they didn’t just kill wolves; they ravaged them, Coleman says, because Euro-Americans fantasized…”to overpower savagery one must lash out savagely.”

Lashing out included creating fantasies that were the opposite of reality. Colonists portrayed wolves preying on humans. Reality: humans preyed on wolves. Colonists described howling wolves surrounding humans and inducing panic. Reality: humans surrounded and panicked wolves. This belief in a savage wolf—a figment in minds fed with fantasies—prompted vicious eradication of wolves. By 1840 wolves were extinct in Massachusetts and vanishing elsewhere.

Wolves didn’t fight back. Their natural intelligence, speed, strength, and teeth were no match for our big brains and big arsenals. By the mid 1800s, that arsenal included more effective rifles and strychnine. By poisoning a carcass, hunters could kill an entire pack.

Wolf Hatred in Literature

But eliminating wolves wasn’t enough. Even as these essential predators vanished from the countryside, we kept wolves alive, feared, and hated in literature, especially in children’s stories.

Take Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example. Though wolves were almost eradicated in Germany by 1812 when that book was published, it contained “Little Red Riding Hood,” with its infamous wolf.

Around the same time—on a continent almost devoid of wolves—Europeans resurrected two thousand-year-old Aesop’s Fables. Those stories contained “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” with its wolf destroying the flock of a lying boy, and “The Dog and the Wolf,” with its wolf refusing to give up its freedom to become a collared, well-fed pet.

In 1886—more than three hundred years after the wolf was eradicated in England—“The Three Little Pigs” was published in The Nursery Rhymes of England. In that tale, a wolf with an insatiable appetite manages to eat two of the pigs before the third kills and eats him.

Stories such as these taught new generations to fear and hate wolves that didn’t even exist.

Stopping the War

The real danger for wolves today lies in this anti-wolf propaganda and hatred that sailed from the Old World to the New, underwent an American twist, and became imbedded in our culture.

This propaganda was institutionalized in the early 1900s by the U.S. Biological Survey—our government’s first wolf-killers. That agency and their prodigy, Wildlife Services—today’s secretive and out-of-control wolf killers—almost cleared the Lower 48 of wolves. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, wolves have made a comeback. But even after seventy years with few wolves in the Lower 48, the propaganda, the lies, and the fantasies survived and today breed intolerance of wolves and spawn vicious anti-wolf acts.

Wolves suffer most where they are no longer federally protected, where states have the final word.  In states with powerful livestock industries, “wolf management” is a vow to kill all wolves except the minimum number required by a state’s federally approved wolf plan. Plans like those do nothing to reduce wolf hatred or wind down the war on wolves. Worse yet, they give the false impression that wolf survival is just a biological issue, a matter of the number of surviving breeding pairs.

Looking only at numbers obscures the truth: To protect wolves, we must transform our nation’s culture from one that wages war on wolves to one that respects wolves. Wolf hatred was centuries in the making and will not succumb to reason quickly. Until then, wolves need federal protection from hunting and trapping. Wolves need a national wolf recovery plan.

(based on a chapter for In the Temple of Wolves.)

You can find more of Rick’s blog here: https://ricklamplugh.blogspot.com/

Wolf Myths and Legends, Part 158

Kia – A Wolf’s Love for a Leopard

Thousands upon thousands of years ago a legend was told by the too great clans, this is the legend known for of Kai and Midnight’s eve.

Many say that wolves travel in there pack and many say that animals should stay with their own kin….but this wolf is different for he does not care much what other wolves do or what the other animals think…for he loves a Leopard and that is normally forbidden for animals to love other animals like that. He travels alone searching for peace and his lost love but every time he gets closer, she gets further. He encounters many dangers on his quest and many friends, but doesn’t stay long to make himself rememberable.

One day, he goes out and crosses paths with another wolf and they stare each other down…the other wolf is part of the Kodaspring clan, his name is Kido, a strong and wise alpha leader that was on a way home from hunting and thought that Kai was going to steal his far share of the catch for himself, so he was ready and in defense mode. Kai did not like the idea that they were going to fight so he turned his back and walked away. Kido was confused by now and thought he was retreating to get his clan, so he attacked Kai. He tore at his side and scratched his right eye, making it a deep wound and blood of chunks flying everywhere. Kai stood up and still walked away, searching for his loved one, no time to waist was all he was thinking. Kido saw that he did not want to fight and figured he was no threat so picked he fare and left. Kai continued into the thick, foggy, forest until he came across an open field of hard, rocky ice land, for he was leaving the land he knew his whole life and would probably never return to Woodfall ever again. So he set forth for the long journey ahead, with high hopes of seeing Midnight’s eve very soon.

Kai was beginning to get dizzy from the wounds he was placed by from Kido and passed out on the icy cold ground. About a week later, he awoke to a cave of moss and trees so dark that light barely even shown threw the trees, he got up and went to the open area and meet up with a group of leopards. He looked around and realized that he was in the land called Piana, land of the Cats. He looked up to see the moon, only, the moon and sun was out and they had the sign of Leo, both were dark but shown light. Kai found this place fascinating and went on the search to find his love, he knew she was close by, he could smell her. He howled to let her know he was there and sure enough she came running to him. But she was attacked by a group of larger Leopards and dragged by the tail and neck to an opening in front of every clan member of Piana to be judged for treason. Kai went for her aid but was struck down. He awoke next to her and saw that the leopards were going to put them to death for her falling in love with a wolf and for a wolf to set foot on sacred land. Kai saw that Midnight’s eve was scared not for her, but for him, and went to aid off the leopards but was being over-powered, so Kai went for her assistance and they were able to make an opening threw them and ran for cover.

They hide until the opening was clear and left Piana to find a new life elsewhere, were they would be accepted. Before they could even set a paw out of Piana, a group of wolves and leopards were gathered there and the Alpha leader of Woodfall,

Kou, and the leader of Piana, Lansing, were in front of the two great clans to stop Kai and Midnight’s eve from leaving. Kai’s clan had tracked him down for leaving sanctuary of the land and had to punish him. Lansing was to decide what he should do to his daughter, the daughter of the clan’s leader! The leopards decide that she would be killed on sight and went for her throat. Midnight’s eve heard a loud rip and the sound of flesh being torn and blood filling the air, but she felt no pain… where did it come from she wondered? She looked down and saw that it was Kai, he had jumped in front of the attacking leopard and took the fatal kill to the throat. Midnight’s eve saw he love fall and was as cold as the ice land ground. Both clans saw the tears of the leopard leader’s daughter, fall to the ground and die next to her loved one.

The sky above started to shake and acid rain fell down upon the land like boulders, the ground shook and caved upward causing mountains to form, the moon shook away from the sun and disappeared and the sun was like a bright fire and no more shady and full of dark. The trees grew greener and some even turned different colors, the ground shot up grass that resembled small tiny trees over the icy land. The icy land was no more. The planet was blowing strong winds of anger. The clans looked down at the two dead bodies and saw their bodies no more, but to turn into a mere spirit being shot around all over their planet and disappear as a bright blue light. The clans believed that a wolf’s love caused all of this and called it a wolf’s curse. They believe every time the sky bleeds the water, a loved one is lost and Kai feels there pain as he did when he lost his own love. When the earth shakes, it is when someone is in pain and Kai shows his pain. When the sun comes out and the moon is gone, it shows that Kai is watching all of us, and when the sun goes down and the moon comes up, Kai is protecting us.

And when the wind blows, it is Kai running with Midnight’s eve.

Reader’s Contribution

A Wolfdog Diary

by Erin

It’s been raining cats and dogs until yesterday and I can hear the lawn and the weeds growing. I can only agree with Larry from HuskyRomi Wolf Sanctuary regarding the severity of our thunderstorms. We also have experienced quite a number of unusually heavy electrical storms up here, even though we are used to more severe lightning than what people in lower-altitude areas normally experience (okay, Larry’s place is a mere 60 m lower than our place, so that doesn’t really apply). Anyway, it began last season but this season it’s really bad and the pack has realized this too. Taima started to get nervous about thunder and lightning only three years ago when lightning struck the roof of the garden cottage, which is close to the main house, burning a sizable hole into it. I have to admit that the “bang” was so loud that even Ted and I almost slipped from the couch to under the table. Funny enough Kajack II and Ascar II got a fright too but quickly calmed down afterwards. Taima, on the other hand, was trying to find a place to hide, running around like a headless chicken and only calmed down when the storm was over. From then on she has always been getting nervous when a thunderstorm approached and also feels uncomfortable on New Year’s Eves because of fireworks. Kajack and Ascar in contrast couldn’t have care less.

This season it’s a different story – Kajack II now also clearly dislikes thunder and lightning, and although he does not panic as badly as Taima does he wants to be close to Ted and me, best to lie on the couch next to Ted with direct body contact or sit on my lap. The latter manoeuvre always gets him into trouble with Ascar II, because he thinks it to be disrespectful (or he is simply jealous that there is not enough space on my lap for the two of them). Taima starts to panic already when she hears thunder from what seems as far away as Bloemfontein. Ascar II is the only one now who stays calm, although he also gets as close to us as possible when the thunder gets really loud or rumbles so heavily that the floor starts shaking. And every time lightning strikes somewhere around us; meanwhile we can tell by the brightness of a lightning if it has hit and in such cases you automatically pull your head between the shoulders, hoping it has not struck the house, the power line or the cottage.

Recently, Ted was enjoying a hot bath to relax when a thunderstorm approached. I could see the clouds moving in on us quite fast, and from the direction it was coming I knew it would hit us full blast. I told Ted to better hurry to get out of the tub, because he had already been hit twice in the bath tub by lightning striking our water tower and electrifying his bath water (we have one of these large, deep, old cast-iron bath tubs). First Ted was reluctant to get out of the hot water so soon and he also had just shampooed his hair, but when he realized how fast the storm was closing in on us he quickly changed his mind. Better not to try your luck too hard and hope that you will survive the third hit too.

I have never believed in drugging our animals to calm them down but now I have started to investigate the different options available. The problem is that the moment you can hear the first thunder from afar you will get nothing down Taima’s throat, not even her most favourite treat, so it’s very difficult to find something suitable for her. I have heard (and also found on the Internet) about remedies that come in the form of room sprays or as burners with a liquid to stick into a wall plug similar to the mosquito killing stuff, but they must be run permanently, cost a fortune, and will last just for 10 days or so.

If you have a similar problem and have found something that works well without being a threat to the animal’s health, please share it with us. I’m sure there are many readers out there who are also trying to find the best solution and would be thankful for useful tips as well.

Will be continued…