Wolves are Not Dogs!
By Ceiridwen Terrill
Scribner, $15.00, 280 pages
This detailed memoir reveals the joys and challenges of raising a wolfdog (part wolf, part dog). It discusses the popularity and challenges, as well as the personal and societal consequences and dangers involved. It is also a candid view of the personal healing and strength that Terrill sought, and received, by raising Inyo, whom she often introduced to others as a “husky mix.” The background to her quest is a difficult marriage and pressures of her dissertation studies.
Perhaps the most valuable contribution of this book to cynology is Terrill’s detailed examination and interpretation of canine origins and the genetic and behavioral differences and comparisons between wolves and dogs. Both are of the genus Canis but, she says, “Dogs are not wolves. Wolves are not dogs. Evolution and domestication have seen to it.” Terrill’s sensitive, even sympathetic description of raising Inyo vividly depicts the differences. She also alerts readers to the immense responsibilities involved in raising wolfdogs, which owners must face for protecting private property and assuring the safety of unwary strangers.
Terrill’s story is revealing, sober and serious. The author is a Portland, Oregon based science writer and professor of environmental journalism.
Reviewed by Don Messerschmidt