After reading every word on Craven Desires I feel compelled to share my own menacing dog story.
grew up in a very rural town in Alaska. When I was about 13 years old, I
wanted nothing more in the world than a wolfdog of my very own. This
was in the mid-80s, a time before internet, when access to the world's
knowledge was limited to what could be found at your local library. The
only library to be found in my town was at the elementary school. I did
love to read, though, so my head was filled with the heroes of Lad a Dog (in which Lad's wolfy behavior is frequently emphasized), Kavik the Wolfdog, White Fang, Journey of Natty Gann and so forth. Not to mention the similar wild or feral 'friends' found in stories like Gentle Ben or Plague Dogs.
the time my parents gave in to my incessant whining I thought I knew
just about everything there was to know about wolves, dogs and wolfdogs.
My wolfdog and I would form a legendary bond and together we would tame
the wilds of Alaska, just like Jack London. And so, for a mere $180, I
bought myself a wild beast.
Lulu, as she came to be known, was
purchased from a local fellow who bred wolfdogs to supplement his
income. He had somehow acquired two full-blood wolves from a zoo in
Minnesota years before; the rest of his dogs were various breeds of
huskies. Lulu was the offspring of the male wolf and a MacKenzie River
husky. The huskies all lived on chains, the wolves were in kennels that
wouldn't have looked out of place in a zoo. I still remember those
wolves, pacing, pacing, pacing, those golden eyes windows into foreign
souls that I knew intuitively, even at age 13, I could never truly
But Lulu wasn't like that. She was a curious,
blue-eyed little puppy that only wanted to play and explore the world.
With the luxury of time that only kids have, I spent every day working
and playing with her. In most respects she was great---very obedient,
could do every trick in the book and then some, and so on and so forth.
other ways she was not so great, especially as she got older. By the
time she was 6 months old she was extremely neurotic and fearful of
anything strange, especially unfamiliar people. She was also impossible
to contain; she could climb like a cat and dig like a badger. Her neck
ruff was so thick she could easily slip any collar, unless it was tight
enough to choke her. As free-ranging dogs weren't unusual around there, I
just let her roam.
We had our first physical fight before she
was a year old. I bent down to pick up her empty food dish and with a
quick snarl she bit my face. It was not a bad bite and it was very fast,
but it did leave a scar on the bridge of my nose. Thanks to all my
wolfdog book-learnin' I was of the belief that this was a normal attempt
to challenge my dominance. I made up some story about running into a
tree so my parents wouldn't take Lulu away. We had countless minor
'disputes' like that over the following years.
Not long after the
face bite, Lulu killed all my gerbils. Not long after that, she killed
one of our chickens. I hid the corpse and began working with her daily
to teach her to not attack our chickens, ducks, rabbits, etc. It
actually seemed to work, to my knowledge she never attacked our animals
Other peoples' animals though... that was a totally
different story. I found her outside playing with dead cats a few times;
didn't think too much of that because that's what dogs do, right?
Certainly wasn't the first time a husky-type dog killed a neighborhood
cat, and I didn't much like cats anyway. I always hid the bodies though,
fearing the response of adults.
Then one day I found her in the
yard playing with a dead dog. This was something I knew would definitely
not be okay with anyone. It was a little Jack Russel-looking dog, so
ripped to shreds its limbs were barely connected to its body. I buried
that dog deep in the woods.
She also regularly brought home wild
animals; rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc. One day she had a dead ferret; I
still have no explanation for that. Did she snatch out of someone's
Bit by bit complaints started coming in from other
neighbors about Lulu threatening or attacking their animals in their own
yards. I defended Lulu fiercely, lying about her being with me or
whatever to try to take blame off her. My parents built a 6-foot high
chain link fence to try to contain her, but she climbed it with ease and
her murder sprees continued, while I continued to do my best to hide
the evidence. I had quite the little pet cemetery going in the woods
behind my house.
This wasn't a daily thing; it happened maybe
once or twice a month sometimes, other times several months would go by
with no problems. She was great when she was with me, would barely even
acknowledge other animals were present. She would always come when
called, no matter what was going on, and heeled like a champion if
asked. The trouble was when she was on her own---and between school,
sleep and, as I got older, social activities, that came to be the
majority of the time.
One day I came home from school to find
Lulu on the porch, muzzle covered in blood. Something snapped in me and I
was filled with rage; after all my hopes and dreams and work this
stupid dog just would not stop. I was tired of burying dead critters in
the woods. I grabbed her roughly by the scruff of the neck and tried to
drag her inside the house. She twisted her head and slashed my arm from
elbow to wrist. So much blood... I was scared shitless and had my
parents been home it probably would have been a completely different
story. But they weren't home, the bleeding stopped, and I justified
Lulu's actions in my head. I wore long sleeve shirts for a few weeks and
yet again hid the damage from my parents.
When she bit my best
friend on the thigh as he tried to stop her from following us inside his
house, I convinced him to hide the injury too.
Finally Lulu was
caught 'red handed' killing a dog tied in its owner's fenced yard. The
owners put Lulu in their garage until animal control came; my parents
said the only way that dog was getting out of the pound was if I found
another home for her. So I did... some fellow who lived 40 miles out of
town and raised sled dogs agreed to take her. I have no clue what
happened to her after that.
Through all this I felt Lulu was the
victim; she was just doing what a wild, spirited wolf does. I felt
nothing but contempt for the pathetic little pussy dogs she killed. Her
threats and attacks on me were even seen positively; she saw me as an
equal, not a mean, domineering 'master'. The only fear involved was that
someone would take my poor misunderstood wolf away and contain her,
where her soul would surely die of captivity. I long resented that
tattle-tell neighbor and my parents for making me get rid of her. It was
many years before I started to see the whole thing in a different
I was a stupid, selfish kid, but I was also a victim to
some extent of the whole romancing dangerous dogs thing. I devoured
those wolfdog stories and took every word to heart, and at no point did
anyone bother to show me a different kind of reality. Standing up for
your dog by any means necessary was just what you do, everyone
knows that... just like everyone knows you stand by your best (human)
friend even if he kills someone. That's the code, at least at 13.
see so much of my former attitude reflected in pit bull advocates, and
quite frankly it scares me more than their dogs. It is so staggeringly
immature and unrealistic, but I remember how very real that world was
for me. Anyone outside of it was the crazy one, and, being crazy, they
had no value and warranted no consideration. They were pussies; I was
the one embracing life and adventure and nature red in tooth and claw.
The difference is I outgrew it; these people in their 40s and 50s
advocating friendly neighborhood pit bulls and other naturally savage
dogs have some serious developmental issues going on.
And that is my story. Do with it what you will.
--A former wolfdog fanatic