Thanks to the internet, a lot of people contact me about my books. These are usually folks who have read one (or more) of them and want to comment on some aspect of what I’ve written.
But I was surprised to hear from a Canadian company that designs and prints premium wildlife T‑shirts for animal lovers. Dark & Wilder was created by Aimé Huot and Ashley Miron and is based in Ottawa, Ontario. The company is named after their two dogs and promotes healthy wildlife populations.
But what really made me smile was their comment that they’d read a quote by me and found it so profound that they created a meme/quote to post on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
My words and an Algonquin wolf, wow.
Aimé and Ashley’s pairing of words and wolf is especially poignant as the Algonquin wolf, now only found in parts of Ontario, has been classified as threatened since June 2016.
Sometimes called the eastern wolf, Algonquin wolves are threatened by low population numbers, interbreeding with western coyotes and human development, as well as hunting, trapping and being hit by vehicles.
Wolves lead a feast and famine existence and can go up to two weeks or longer without eating.
When they do chow down, they make up for it by gorging. In scientific studies where captive wolves were not fed for several days and then given the opportunity to eat as much as they wanted – most gained nine kilograms (20 pounds) in a frenzy of feeding.
These three wolves were running and playing in deep snow after feeding on a big moose kill in Alaska. According to the photographer, John Hyde, the other nine members of the pack were too full to move.
I love the energy and movement of this photo and the playfulness of it too. The wolves look like they’re running full out, yet appear to be within touching distance of one another.
I wonder if they were gliding through the snow like synchronized swimmers or deliberately bumping into each other?
Either way, I’m delighted the image was chosen for the cover of Return of the Wolf.
You never know who’s going to show up or what will happen when on book tour. In Squamish, BC I was pleasantly surprised to see a fair number of children attending my presentation “In Search of the Real Wolf.”
I could tell by their faces that they loved the wolf images on the big screen. But even though my talk is geared to an adult audience, the nine- to thirteen-year old crowd asked the most – and the best – questions.
“Do male wolves kill their pups?” “Like lions, do younger male wolves come in and take over from the lead wolf?” “Do wolves only eat meat?”
But the very best question of all was, “Is not feeding wolves and scaring them away if they come too close all we have to do to coexist with them?”
The young girl made coexistence sound so simple. And, to a large extent, it can be, if everyone understands how to behave around wildlife.
Afterwards, Cinnamon, Vanessa, Lennox, Angus and others had their parents buy Return of the Wolf and brought their copies up to me to sign. It was all very gratifying but I wondered if any of them would actually read the book.
Two days later I received an email from Liesl Lockhart in northern Saskatchewan. “I absolutely love your book,” she wrote. “My nine-year old daughter is currently devouring it and loving every page. Her teacher wants to read it and share some insights for science class. Talk about inspiring the next generation!”
I must admit, the interest from youth and that endorsement from a nine-year old warms my heart more than a five-star review.