Archive for March, 2013
My experiences with a Wolf Hybrid dog. Six valuable lessons that I’ve learned from owning him.
When I tell my friends now that I use to own a wolf hybrid many can’t believe it. One reason may be that I currently have 3 small Pomeranians.
When I was younger I owned nothing but large dogs but now I can’t imagine owning one. Perhaps the main reason would be all the problems I had with my wolf hybrid. Another reason may have something to do with the fact that large dogs have large poop, and when my two boys were young it was their job of picking it up. Now that my kids are grown and gone that job belongs to me. Or maybe it’s because small dogs can be carried around like little babies and don’t take up much room in my bed. Whatever the reasons my love and devotion now is dedicated to small dogs.
But to answer the question if wolf hybrid dogs make good pets my answer is a resounding NO. I probably could write a book on all the problems my wolf hybrid created but I’ll dwell on just a few of them here.
I’m not sure what prompted me to buy my wolf hybrid some 40 years ago but he was a beautiful dog. His name was Smoky and he was very attached to me. We had another dog then, a Collie and they were good friends. But because of the wolf’s destructive nature he couldn’t be left alone in the house, unlike our Collie. So when I worked we kept them both in our backyard.
Soon we discovered that our chain link fence was not going to keep him in the yard. He would dig holes and crawl underneath the fence. Our Collie must have decided our wolf needed supervision when he was out so he followed.
When I first discovered they were out I was frantic. Our street could be dangerous and I was worried about them getting hit by a car. So I got into my car and started searching the neighborhood. When I found them I opened my car door and asked them if they wanted to go for a ride. Great trick when it works.
When I returned home with them my husband would have to reinforce the spot where Smoky dug out with bricks and dirt. Then he would say, “Don’t worry they’re not going to get out again.”
Later that week or maybe it was the next day Smoky managed to get out in a different spot. So I got in my car again searching the neighborhood until I found them so I could practice my “Go for a ride trick.” My husband would then get to enjoy his hobby of gardening, although I’m not so sure you could call filling in holes gardening. But you do get to work with your hands in the dirt, right? Lesson #1 Wolf Hybrids love to dig.
Once I had to take my husband to work and planned on only being gone for 10 minutes. I didn’t want to put them outside because I didn’t want to end up searching the neighborhood this early. When I got home the fairly new couch cushion was torn to pieces. Lesson #2 Wolf Hybrids are very destructive.
As time went on Smoky continued to make his escape taking my Collie with him. This went on for months, he would always find a new way out and I would always have to cruise the neighborhood to bring them home. Then my husband once again got to repair the fence. If your asking me why we didn’t fix the whole fence in the beginning , every time they got out my husband would tell me that there was no way they were getting out anywhere else. I wanted to believe.
Naturally I should have realized he was wrong, after all how often are husbands right? Just kidding guys…..seriously though they continued to get out every couple of days. I think they had a master escape plan that we humans were too dumb to decipher. Day 1 dig hole, day 2 dig hole bigger and act innocent, day three make escape before humans find hole.
This went on until one day animal control picked them both up, I had to go to the humane society to rescue them. Had the pleasure of paying a fine for letting my dogs roam the neighborhood and another fine for not having two dog licenses. Sure it was the law but who had money for dog licenses when we were too busy paying for our wolf hybrid’s destructiveness.
Just when we thought the entire fence was reenforced and we were convinced our sweet wolf-hybrid was never going to get out again he must have been reading a book on teleportation. Amazingly he found his way out and we spent days trying to figure out how he did it. It wasn’t until much later, quite by accident that we seen him crawl over the fence.
It was then that we knew something had to be done. That’s when we got the idea to electrify our fence. Back then they didn’t have the modern electric fences with collars this was more like they used with farm animals. We strung wire (or my husband did I watched) around the bottom of our fence so he couldn’t dig his way out and along the top so he couldn’t crawl over.
This was going to be tricky because the wire had to go over the gate also. So every time you went into the yard you had to duck so you wouldn’t get zapped. Once I guess I didn’t duck down far enough and I learned what people meant when they said they seen stars after getting hit in the head. The electric wire hit me right across my forehead. My husband thought it was so funny he told me next time I wanted to see stars he ‘d buy me a telescope.
If we imagined for even a minute that the electric fence was going to keep Smoky our wolf-hybrid in, we were wrong again. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would have never believed what followed.
My kids had a wagon in the yard which happened to be close to the edge of the fence. He would pick up the handle and continually drop it until it landed on the wire and short out the fence. Did I mention how smart he was? How he knew he could then get out well……your guess is as good as mine. Lesson #3 Wolf Hybrids are great at problem solving.
He continued to get out for months dropping sticks on the fence wire or whatever he might find in the yard. We would search for them, bring them home, fix the wire. Rinse, lather, repeat, rinse lather, repeat…..oh sorry thinking of something else stupid.
I remember once my husband planted a beautiful tree so when it grew it would give the dogs more shade in the yard. Smoky must have decided the tree needed some pruning so he chewed off all the lower branches that he could reach. We had to put a fence around the rest of the tree to prevent him from making matchsticks out of it.
We had one of those really large satellite dishes back then that were popular and the best place for it to be located so it had a clear view of the sky was about 100 feet from the house. So we had the dish installed and the wire buried in our yard. When we had our backs turned Smoky dug up all the wire and chewed the wire in half. Didn’t I already learn this lesson? Repeat lesson #1 Wolf hybrids like to dig.
While wolves are somewhat shy around people they do like to sneak up on you. One day while he was out he bit my neighbor’s butt as she was walking from her yard into her house. Luckily there was no puncture wound. Lesson #4 check home owners policy for liability coverage.
Another time when he got out he severely injured my neighbor’s dog and I had to pay to have the dog put to sleep. Luckily for me they were very understanding and did not pursue any legal matters from this event.
And then there was the time he killed my neighbor’s pet goose. What could I do I was trying to keep him contained. Lesson #5 Wolf Hybrids have a strong prey drive.
I’m pretty sure many of my neighbor’s were getting sick and tired of seeing my killer wolf in their yard and in fact someone decided to use him for target practice with their shotgun. I was called home from work that day and found the police were at my house. Wolf hybrid or not it’s illegal to shoot someone’s pet. While he didn’t have any permanent damage from it, I had to take him to emergency clinic and many of the pellets remained in him.
Shortly after that they got picked up by animal control for the second time. It was all I could take. Many people suggested chaining him but that was something I just didn’t believe in and from what I knew chaining makes them more aggressive and protective of their area.
We decided then that we needed to find another home for him. After a lot of searching we managed to find someone who lived in the country that said they would take him. I warned him of the many problems we had experienced but he said he used to own one and understood. While it was hard to leave him it was the best thing for our sanity. Lesson #6 Never get any pet without doing your research.
I hope I’ve convinced you that wolf hybrids do not make ideal pets but if you’re still thinking about one be sure to check your state laws before you buy, many states like Michigan passed the wolf dog hybrid act (passed summer of 2000) which prohibits ownership of wolf dog hybrids.
Wolf hybrids are beautiful creatures but wild animals should just stay in the wild. What do you think?
Since Mondays are always the worse day of the week with the weekend so far away, I thought every Monday I will try to add something to bring a smile to your faces. Hope it works.
Soon it will be warmer here in Ohio and I’ll have to start taking my dogs for a walk. I have to start working on my excuses why I can’t. Any suggestions?
Navigation by WebRing.
I very excited today I’ll be talking to a pet psychic or animal communicator what they call themselves. I can hear many of you groan now but I firmly believe in them. I can tell you there are many pet psychics who in my eyes are frauds and have zero talent, but there are also great animal communicators who have a rare gift with speaking with your pets. You should always speak to friends who might recommend someone good.
The person I’ll be talking to needs no recommendation from me she is famous. Lydia Hiby is the most sought after animal communicator around. Her client list numbers over 60,000 over 20 years, and many of them including me began with a little skepticism. Lydia has also co-authored the book, that I read and loved,
Conversations With Animals.
I have consulted with her three times in the past and she always told me things that I would have never known about my dogs and cats. For example years ago I had a Pomeranian named Fuzzy who whenever I would leave he would go behind my couch and not come out till I got home. This concerned me, I wondered if he was afraid of my husband. This might not sound like a big deal but to me it was.
Anyway when I asked Lydia about this she told me my dog was deaf and he went behind the couch because he couldn’t hear my husband get up and didn’t want to get stepped on. I couldn’t believe it I should have known he was deaf but I didn’t. On my next visit to the vet I asked him to confirm this and he agreed Fuzzy was deaf.
When she was communicating with Fuzzy she asked me if he recently lost some of his hair around his face. I couldn’t believe it he had a growth removed and the vet shaved a small area around his face. When I told her yes, she said that he is very proud of his hair. Naturally, I agreed he does have beautiful Pomeranian hair.
And then she mentioned he likes to look at himself in the mirror. My response to this was, no way, there are no mirrors on the floor that a 7 pound Pomeranian can look into. I figured oh well, she couldn’t get everything right.
I didn’t give this comment much thought until around two weeks later when I seen him staring at his reflection in our sliding glass door. Wow, if he was staring at his reflection in my door then Lydia must have just assumed it was a mirror.
I realize that neither of these examples convey any real earth shattering news but I just really appreciated those few moments of real communication between me and Fuzzy.
Another time my neighbor found my cat laying in his yard with an apparent concussion. No one seen what happened but for some reason I was concerned that maybe my neighbor hit him with something and caused his accident. I thought maybe he was paying me back for me calling the dog catcher on his bulldogs that were always running loose. I had to know if he was being mean to my animals. If he did this what else might he be capable of doing to my dogs or cats.
When I asked Lydia what happened she said there is a low roof that he jumped on (I thought it must have been my neighbor’s shed) and was scared or attacked by another cat(my neighbor’s cat.) I know there was no way to authenticate these facts but I can’t tell you how much peace of mind it gave me. My neighbor no longer lives next to me but back then it was a real relief to know he didn’t do anything harmful to my cat.
I hope this communication will bring new insights between me and my dog. I’ll let you know.
Lydia Hiby has been featured in the following:
Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles Times
New York Post
Late Night With David Letterman
Wild About Animals
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Feel free to tell me your thoughts on pet psychics? What experiences have you had with an animal communicator? What pressing question would you ask Lydia Hiby about your pet if you could?