A white wolf and a dark gray wolf howling together

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — As I walk through the early morning cold, the wolves and coyotes begin their morning howl. I let the beauty of the sound vibrate through me, into me, into every cell of my body until the music of the howls and I become one. 30 March. The melting mounds of snow are forming great puddles on the land, puddles that are apparently irresistible to the multitudes of birds on the property. They are out there indulging wildly, ecstatically, fluttering and splashing and ducking and preening and ducking and splashing and fluttering for a very long time. The ice is gone! Freedom! Spring! The joy and excitement is contagious. Life is good. Hopefully our willow buds...

White chicken in a nesting box

— by Dawn Harrison — Sally the Chicken was on the office porch as she often is, sunning herself, when something told me she wanted attention. When I bent to pet her, she tucked her body and gave me a look that said, “Well come on, pick me up.” So I did. I was expecting a very short and possibly awkward time holding a wary chicken. What I got was a very loving Sally putting her head to my chest, looking up, and cooing to me a bit. It was a lovely connection with such a strong and willful creature. Of course, she kept true to her reputation once I put her down. She ruffled her feathers, preened a few, and determinedly walked back to her feed pan. But a connection was made. — by...

White chicken

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Sally the chicken came marching towards me with something clearly on her mind. She had a request. Would I kindly see to it that she could get back into the coop---she needed to lay an egg. Unlike her sister, she does not do anything with timidity. She had a demand and expected it to be responded to. In fairness to her, imagine if you were chicken-sized and had an egg as large in proportion to your body as an egg is to a chicken. You might have a sense of urgency as well. I’m not sure how I knew that was her request, but somehow, I did. She doesn’t have her usual access through the dip under the fence, since the snow is melting and the dip is...

Face of a grizzly bear

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Ravenous bears… 21 September. The bears declared that they’re starving today. It is a few hours before the fall solstice and they are complaining loudly. Food! They will have to be fed first before anyone else now---and three times a day---or we will hear about it. Have you ever heard a bear roar in protest? It is not a pretty sound. Poor sweet things. They sound ferocious, and because of their size we take it very seriously. But really, they are feeling like desperate infants crying their need out to the world. The physiological pressures and urges are huge. If they don't get enough food, they won't make it through their winter hibernation. Here, they...

White German Shepherd Dog

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I learned something: Wolves are not convenient. Dogs are. So I finally decided to be practical, at least in this one instance. After having wolves, wolf-hybrids, and a malamute (nearest dog to wolf hybrids, who also didn’t listen and ran away every chance she got), I broke down and got a dog-dog, a German Shepherd. People had been telling me for years to get one, but I loved my wild ones. Then, partly for Jean, who was in need of an excellent canine assistant trainer, and partly because I wanted something that might listen and not run away at the first opportunity into a blizzard in the middle of the night and risk being shot (wolf hybrid). Or run away...

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